What To Expect From Rogue One
First and foremost, this is my favorite Star Wars movie to date. I watched it twice in two days and both times I found nothing wrong with this movie. It’s rare to come across a movie that is very, very close to perfect but this was one of those films. Let me elaborate a little bit further without any spoilers for anyone who’s reading this who hasn’t watched the movie yet.
As soon as the iconic words “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” disappear you immediately know this is not your average Star Wars film. Once again, this is spoiler free so I won’t tell you why but the very first second of the movie is entirely different. If you’ve seen the trailers you’ve seen when Jyn Erso’s a little girl and Director Orson Krennic comes for her father, Galen Erso alongside his troupe of menacing Death Troopers. This is the prologue of the movie and immediately sets the intense tone of the film. When you come to the end of the prologue the words Rogue One appear with the classic Star Wars music which is modified slightly and then the story begins.
Within the first fifteen minutes you are introduced to Jyn Erso as an adult, Captain Cassian Andor who for me was the best surprise of the movie, and the wonderful new droid K-2SO. Their introductions perfectly illustrate who their characters are without having to inform you too deeply into their back stories.
At the rebel base Cassian and Jyn are given a mission to go to Jedha, a planet where one of the earliest Jedi temples resides. I won’t tell you what the mission is of course but it’s definitely compelling to watch.
Within the next fourty five minutes you are taken on a wild ride that just doesn’t stop. You are introduced to the other characters Bodhi Rook, Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus, and Saw Gerrera in perfect fashion. The way they end up a team is one of the most flawless forming of a group I have ever seen. Before the movie I had never known these characters but the writers perfectly conveyed who they were within minutes.
You’d think after the movie’s first half they would give you a slight break and allow you to reset but they don’t. The movie only grows more intense until by the end when the credits start rolling you feel like you’ve experienced a Star Wars movie unlike any other.
This film definitely is a Star Wars Story, for the tempo is much more urgent than the Star Wars episodes because everything concludes in one movie. Michael Giacchino composes the movie so beautifully that I never found myself wishing John Williams had composed it. His take on the Galaxy we all know and love was astounding and definitely one of the highlights of the film. It also, unlike the prequels, perfectly integrated into A New Hope like a puzzle piece. The cameos and nods to the 1977 film were precise without feeling overdone or forced. We were told that this would be a gritty war film and yes, it had that feeling. This is hands down the most violent of all the Star Wars films I’ve ever seen. They really pushed the boundaries of what we’ve all come to know as Star Wars.
And then there was Darth Vader. He only has a few scenes but his role in Rogue One was beyond perfect. The way they brought him back to the movie was something I have always wanted to witness. His menace is felt straight through the movie screen and they truly brought back the reason why Darth Vader was so loved and feared in the original trilogy.
The Force Awakens was an amazing movie but at the end of the day it took a lot of direction from A New Hope. This was an entirely new film that we have never seen before and even though we know what happens at the end it was such a perfectly written movie I was still being surprised with every turn. And the most incredible feat of all, A New Hope, which was definitely one of the most boring Star Wars movies is now actually good. When I see the words in the opening crawl of the 1977 film it makes so much more sense because I now know who the “rebel spies” are. A movie that can enhance another movie is a pretty great film.
If you haven’t seen this wonderful movie yet please do. You will not be disappointed. And please watch it in IMAX. The increased price for the tickets are well worth it, for this is definitely one of the loudest movies I have ever watched. And the grand scale of the movie and planets is definitely worth seeing in IMAX.
I hope you enjoyed this review and if you want to see my complete review full of spoilers I’ll be doing that next.