It’s been three wee since Rogue One came out on Blu-Ray and in that time I have been able to watch the outstanding anthology film as many times as I please. In these past few weeks I have discovered small editing bloops and which portions of the movie make me hum with glee. One day for pure fun I watched Rogue One and then The Force Awakens back to back to truly glean the difference between the two newest Star Wars films and I was surprised by the results.
Rogue One is clearly a better movie, from its gorgeous cinematography to its impeccable storytelling about a band of rebels who managed to capture the Death Star plans to its memorable characters that despite only having one movie managed to insert themselves into the long list of lore and fascinating characters throughout the Star Wars universe. I was expecting to watch the bright and adventurous Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, afterwards completely bored. To my great surprise it wasn’t and this is why.
Rogue One, like I said earlier, is a great movie. It’s nearly perfect in my opinion except for that interrogation scene with Bodhi and Bo-gulit or whatever that tentacle monster is called. That scene could have been a deleted scene for all I care, that’s how disturbing it is. But anyway the movie is superbly made and so forth. When I turned on The Force Awakens however and that shot of Kylo Ren’s Destroyer covering StarKiller Base with its immense size came on this feeling of happiness came over me that Rogue One just doesn’t provide. Rogue One is an intense movie that despite being one of the shortest Star Wars films managed to make me invested in the characters’ stories enough that by the time the end comes (Spoiler Ahead if you haven’t watched Rogue One yet) I am truly devestated when everyone, and I mean everyone, comes to their demise. And like I said, the movie is intense. The Battle on Scarif is over thirty minutes long and that doesn’t count the rest of the movie! When I finished watching the saddening but amazing film it was like a breath of fresh air watching the lighter, more fun Force Awakens.
The Force Awakens’ brighter cinemotagraphy was a relief after the grey tones of Rogue One. The music, composed by the classic John Williams, was welcoming after the somber music of the anthology film. And just the contrast between the two stories is incredible. The Force Awakens is so much lighter compared to Rogue One. Yes the situations are dire but they aren’t as bad. You don’t have to deal with uncomfortable interrogation scenes or seeing rebels getting shot down by ruthless Death Troopers while trying to take cover in a ship. Instead you have wonderful scenes like Rey meeting BB-8 for the first time or Poe taking out stormtroopers and tie fighters in his beautiful black X-Wing with Finn cheering him on. And The Force Awakens does get serious in the final twenty minutes. After the confrontation between Han and Kylo Ren on the bridge the movie reaches an intensity that is silencing. And the end of The Force Awakens gives me chills every time even after nearly a year and a half of watching it.
So yes Rogue One is a beautifully made movie but The Force Awakens still has its hold on my heart. This is, to me, the perfect description of the two movies. Rogue One is enjoyable, The Force Awakens is magical. I hope this December The Last Jedi becomes the best Star Wars ever.
Thank you for reading my post and have a beautiful day! May the force be with you.