When Disney announced that, along with a new trilogy, there would be Star Wars stand-alone films I was undoubtedly skeptical. I love Star Wars and I know there are tons of stories in the universe that hadn’t been told but I wasn’t exactly sure if these Star Wars stories would be enjoyable or not. And then when I found out the first Star Wars story was going to be about the rebels who stole the Death Star plans I was even more unenthusiastic. That was a story I didn’t think needed to be told, a story that I wasn’t very interested in, but I held out hope that LucasFilm knew what they were doing and this was going to be an amazing film. Well, Rogue One ended up becoming an incredible, no, extraordinary movie that took what I thought of Star Wars to a whole other level. Now Solo: A Star Wars Story is coming out in a matter of months and if it’s anything like I think it could be it’s going to blow a lot of minds.
So, today, I’m going to share with you the five scenes from Rogue One that have made this film my second favorite Star Wars movie ever made. Enjoy!
1. The Death Star Test
The moment when Rogue One hits another gear in the already good movie status is when the Death Star obliterates Jedha. It’s such a horrifically riveting scene as the rebel heroes try to escape the planet before being crushed by mountain sized boulders and buried in the roiling sand and it’s the first time the Death Star was ever tested, making this scene all the more important. I mean, the glee on the Imperials’ faces as they watch the poor city of Jedha eradicated within minutes is slightly terrifying to witness.
The other day I watched Rogue One and something dawned on me. Jyn Erso saved a little girl during the skirmish between Saw’s rebels and the Imperial stormtroopers on Jedha but that girl still ended up dying thanks to the Death Star. That’s a sad realization I discovered and it makes the rebels’ goal to rid the galaxy of the genocidal weapon that much more understandable.
2. No More Lies
This is one of the best scenes in Rogue One because it’s such a quietly intense moment in the already somber film. Jyn’s father, the only family she had left, had just been killed by the rebels of all people and even though Jyn and her friends had gotten away the issue of Cassian’s betrayal had to be confronted. Jyn basically verbally punched Cassian in the face over and over again but what makes this part so stunningly important is when Cassian defends his actions.
He knows he’s done wrong, he’s lived with his guilty conscience for years, but even though he wasn’t the good man he had made Jyn believe he was he refused to be compared to a stormtrooper. When he throws in her face that he’s been a rebel fighting for freedom from injustice since he was six years old it’s a shocking moment because she was the exact same age when her life was turned upside down after her mother was murdered. At that moment an unbreakable bond is forged between them and even though they might’ve had their differences they end up becoming the best of friends.
3. Darth Vader Returns
The fact that this scene is directly after the previous scene I was just talking about is already amazing but the reason why this part of the movie was so special to me was for a couple of reasons. One, it features Darth Vader’s fortress (I didn’t even know he had a fortress!) which is, SPOILER ALERT, on Mustafar! How awesome is that?! When I saw that he had a house built for him on Mustafar it definitely was both parts creepy and terrific at the same time. Secondly, it was the first appearance Darth Vader made since Return of the Jedi (his brief cameo in Revenge of the Sith doesn’t count) and I was beyond thrilled to see him in IMAX.
For the longest time I had always wondered what Darth Vader was like in a movie theater. I wanted to experience the sound of his breathing in IMAX and the baritone rumble of his augmented voice to shake my soul and this scene provided all of that. I was so fascinated that I was seeing Darth Vader in all of his intimidating glory that I actually didn’t hear a word of the conversation between him and Director Krennic the first few times I saw this scene. Lol.
And when he choked Krennic I was like, “YASSSS!” A lot of people thought this scene was corny as he said, “Be careful not to choke on your aspirations” to Krennic but I was beaming with happiness. I’m just glad that there would be more Darth Vader, oh so much Darth Vader, in the near future. 🙂
4. The Rebels Prevail
This scene, gosh I’m getting teary just thinking about it, is so perfect and heartbreaking at the same time. The rebels managed to get the Death Star plans to the rebels in space but they also sacrificed their lives in the process and even though it’s such an obviously devastating scene it still happens to be one of the greater parts of the movie as well. The music is impeccable and it builds to a roaring crescendo that’ll really get your tears flowing, the final loving moments between Jyn and Cassian are beautiful to behold, and it overall is the perfect ending to these otherwise unknown rebels’ stories. But the movie isn’t over! There’s still more!
5. And This Is Why You Don’t Get Darth Vader Mad
I’ve seen a lot of epic Star Wars scenes in my time but this one just hits a whole other level of awesome for me. The pure horror on the rebels’ faces as they try to kill him but they can’t even so much as scratch him as he deflects lasers and methodically walks towards them like he has all the time in the world is utterly fascinating to watch. (Where’s my popcorn?) It’s actually, I’d say, the closest thing that’s ever come to a horror movie in Star Wars.
And the pure destructive beauty of that part. Wow, I’m getting chills just thinking about it. Rogue One had a lot of nuggets and this scene was undoubtedly the icing on the fabulous cake. Darth Vader rules! 🙂
I have had so much fun writing this post. I really, really love Rogue One and I’m hoping Solo: A Star Wars Story can conjure some of that magic that its Star Wars Story predecessor had because that would be a lot of fun to watch. Until then I thank you for reading and I hope you have a glorious day. May the Force be with you.