‘Rogue One’ vs. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’: Which One Wins?

With Solo becoming the second Star Wars Story to arrive in the Star Wars franchise after Disney acquired Lucasfilm it’s kind of obvious that comparisons between Rogue One and Solo are destined to be made and I am SO excited to see which of these movies I enjoyed the most because both films completely surprised me in ways I could’ve never imagined. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

There will be some MAJOR SPOILERS within this post just so you know. Thanks for heeding this warning.

The Major Characters:

Jyn Erso

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Jyn Erso was the main protagonist in Rogue One and I thought she was awesome. She was tough, resourceful, strong-willed, and she led her fellow rebels in completing a mission that was supposedly impossible to succeed. She didn’t take no for an answer and she fought against evil with every fiber of her being in the memory of her parents who never stopped fighting against the Empire either. I wish we could’ve been introduced to her character in Rogue One in a more concise way than jumping forward in her life to the point of her being in jail without us knowing exactly how she got there but the film was still perfect as it was and she was at the helm of that awesome movie.

Han Solo

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Han Solo is one of the greatest characters in the Star Wars universe because he’s so much fun to watch. He’s charismatic, funny, and he always participates in the greatest adventures. Solo was not an exception. Alden Ehrenreich took the character I’ve watched since I was a child and provided us Star Wars fans a different stage in Han’s life that was simply brilliant to observe. Seeing gaps that I could’ve only dreamed of knowing filled in through the movie’s various situations was so much fun to see and I’m glad that Disney found the perfect actor to portray the young rogue. I love Han Solo! 🙂

Cassian

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Cassian was my favorite character in Rogue One because for one, I had never seen a rebel like him before. We’ve always been shown the Rebellion in its most nice fashion but this film revealed the darker works of its inner circles and Cassian was part of that hidden faction of assassins and saboteurs and I loved it. Star Wars has always been a tale of good versus evil, the dark side against the light, but Rogue One helped introduce us to a character that sat in the grey area of both sides. He made the story so much more interesting and when he finally did choose to not be the assassin that he was ordered to be it revealed how great of man he really was. I wish we could learn a little more about him because he is clearly one of my favorite Star Wars characters but alas, he’s dead. 😦

Qi’Ra

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Like Cassian, Qi’Ra was another grey character whose allegiances weren’t clear until later in the movie but unlike Cassian she ultimately decided to remain on the bad side of things. I honestly liked Qi’Ra more than I thought I actually would. I liked her fluidity and her strength, I loved her fighting skills, and I loved that it took me until the very end of the movie to figure out who she exactly was. That’s great storytelling which is suspected because Lawrence and Jon Kasdan are fantastic writers. I hope to see her in future Star Wars Stories.

K-2SO

K-2SO (Kay-Tuesso)

K-2SO is undoubtedly one of the coolest droids ever to appear in Star Wars because, well, he’s awesome! He was basically the anti-C-3PO and it was a fantastic fit for the overall serious tone of Rogue One. We had also never seen an Imperial Droid as a major character as well so that was also exciting. All in all, I love me some K-2SO.

Chewbacca

Chewbacca

I already loved Chewbacca from his participation in the original trilogy and the current trilogy but after seeing his early times with Han in Solo my love for the lovable Wookie has risen to galactic-levels of happiness. Chewbacca is so COOL and I loved seeing the Wookie in a much more energetic and self-reliant way than we’ve ever seen him before. Chewbacca is an awesome character and I’d want him to be my buddy any day of the week. I LOVE Chewbacca.

This category almost was a tie but Chewbacca helped provide this category a clear winner.

Rogue One: 0 pt.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: 1 pt.

 

 

The Villains:

Director Orson Krennic

Director Orson Krennic

From the trailers it seemed that Krennic was going to be an absolutely amazing villain but he ended up being a lot less intimidating than I thought he would be. Maybe, before the reshoots, he was that menacing Imperial antagonist that I thought him to be but unfortunately there was never a moment in the film where I actually felt scared of him. None in the slightest. He definitely could’ve been better.

Dryden Vos

Dryden Vos

From the first second Dryden Vos comes into Solo I knew this was a villain you do not want to mess with. He was scary, threatening, menacing, intimidating, he was a criminal villain worth getting worried about and that was positively awesome. He might not have had nearly as much screen time as Krennic but sometimes less is more and that is undoubtedly the case with Dryden Vos. This category has another obvious winner.

Rogue One: 0 pt

Solo: A Star Wars Story: 2 pts.

The Side Characters:

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Bodhi, Chirrut, Baze, and Saw Gerrera were great side characters who helped participate in the movie in their special and specific ways. I loved Chirrut the most of the side characters because first of all, I had never seen a blind character in Star Wars before so that was unique and secondly, he might not have been a Jedi but he knew the ways of the Force as well as any Jedi. Donnie Yen brought his martial arts skills to Star Wars and I loved every bit of it.

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While the movie focused more on Han’s story rather than the characters around him it didn’t mean that these other co-stars weren’t given their own various spotlights. From the four armed Rio to the ultimate smuggler mentor, Tobias Beckett, this movie allowed every character to shine and make the movie so much better. Rio was funny and a bright personality that helped ease the early dialogue in the movie along in a smooth and engaging way. Val, during her temporary involvement in the film, always kept herself cool and collected, even in the face of death, which showed how awesome of a character she really was. As soon as Beckett showed up in the film spinning his blasters like an old-Western gunslinger I was an immediate fan. Lando was suave, like I’d imagine, but beneath that charming exterior was a smuggler that definitely had a darker side to him that was slightly revealed in Solo. Maybe that other side of him will be elaborated upon in his own standalone film. L3-37’s feisty attitude made her the perfect droid to be in the movie. I mean, after her plight to provide liberation for droids, I will never see droids in the same way. And don’t get me started with Enfys Nest. Not only was it exciting to find out that this character wasn’t a villain in the film but the fact that she was a woman was downright AWESOME! I love Disney so much. That was the best surprise of the movie for me. 🙂

This category has another clear winner.

Rogue One: 0 pt.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: 3 pts.

The Story:

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Rogue One could’ve easily been super boring. I mean who would’ve thought a movie about the rebels who stole the Death Star plans could end up becoming such a compelling story to follow but there were so many heartfelt developments and moments throughout the movie’s entirety that it never got boring, all the way until the very end. Now I can’t imagine the story of the Rebellion’s first major victory against the Empire not being canon and it really was a well told movie.

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Solo is a compelling movie from beginning to end but in essence with films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok it doesn’t really base itself off of a concrete story. The movie moves along through character developments and action scenes more than anything and that ends up being the main basis of the story. That’s why Solo was perfect to bring out in the summer, because it was basically a super fun Star Wars action flick.

Solo has a great story but Rogue One wins for me in that category.

Rogue One: 1 pt.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: 3 pts.

The Action:

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Rogue One was advertised as a war film and it definitely was. That major battle in the final sequence of Rogue One was undoubtedly one to remember for its loudness and its various awesome moments. And there are plenty of other action scenes in the film that stood out such as the “Jedha Destruction” scene or the “Darth Vader Rampage” part but this film surprisingly focused more on the characters than anything else and that’s what helped make the movie so compelling.

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Solo‘s action scenes were not only incredibly engaging and fun to watch but they were long too. After The Last Jedi delivered slightly disappointing action scenes that I had been waiting two years to see it was nice seeing a Star Wars movie that took the action of the film seriously. From beginning to end the various action-packed scenes kept me engaged and beaming with joy. Especially the incredible Kessel Run sequence. That entire section of the film was ridiculously enjoyable. I haven’t had that much sheer fun watching a Star Wars movie since The Force Awakens two and a half years ago. This category is clearly going to Solo.

Rogue One: 1 pt.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: 4 pts.

The Music:

Rogue One

Michael Giacchino was the first composer outside of John Williams to create music for a Star Wars film and I have to commend him for the incredible job that he did. Not only did he retain that classic vibe from Williams’ score but he created a fresh tone for Rogue One that really imbued the movie with a special essence that made the film that much better. I love the music for Rogue One so much I literally have the soundtrack for it…and I LOVE it. Michael Giacchino is a great adapter of John Williams’ iconic scores (just listen to the music for Jurassic World) so it’s no surprise that he would create some fantastic music for a Star Wars movie. I would love to see him return for an Obi-Wan film.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

John Powell was the composer for Solo and for the most part I think he did a remarkable job. My favorite theme of his was clearly the theme for Enfys Nest because it felt tribal, which is something you don’t normally hear in a Star Wars film. Besides that though the music was just very simple and reactionary to the certain events in the movie, which I liked but nothing truly stood out to me that made me say, “Wow.” He still did, overall, a fantastic job though.

Rogue One: 2 pts.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: 4 pts.

The Cinematography:

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At first glance it wouldn’t seem like Rogue One is one of the most beautiful Star Wars films ever made but throughout the movie there are jaw dropping shots after jaw dropping shots that catch the eye in stunning ways unseen from other previous films. I love the colors of Rogue One that provide the rugged tone of that Imperial time in the galaxy. The cinematography for Rogue One is one of the reasons why it’s become one of my favorite Star Wars films of all time. I’m really hoping that Gareth Edwards and the team behind the cinematography return for an Obi-Wan centered film because I think they could do an amazing job with the secluded Jedi.

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There were also moments in Solo where visually the movie made me say, “Wow. That’s cool.” Ron Howard has an eye for awe-inspiring shots and the wide variety of colors and tones for the movie helped inspire the theme of each sequence. I have to say, these Star Wars standalone films are a lot more creative visually than the movies in the current trilogy because these films are given, I think, more room for outside-of-the-box designs and ideas.

Ah, this is a difficult category for me because they both provided such amazing visuals time and time again. I think I’d have to give this category to Rogue One simply because I just happen to love the darker tones of that film a little bit more than the wildly different tones of Solo. But they are both outstandingly gorgeous films.

Rogue One: 3 pts.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: 4 pts.

And the winner is…Solo: A Star Wars Story!

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I really didn’t expect this outcome because I absolutely love Rogue One but what Solo has that Rogue One didn’t have as much of was lovable characters and action. The characters and the AMAZING action scenes made Solo a film I can’t wait to see again and really imbued the movie with a fun vibe I won’t soon forget. People who didn’t go to see Solo  have no idea what they are missing because this movie is awesome with a capital A. Loved it, loved it, loved it. 🙂

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a splendid day. May the force be with you.

 

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