This documentary, narrated by Daisy Ridley, follows the wonderful story of a teenage girl named Ahshopan who becomes the first eagle huntress in Mongolia.
We are introduced to her at a boarding school located in a small town miles from her home. It’s the last day of school for that week and she is taken home by her father on their cute moped. Her family are nomads that live in a simple circular hut in the midst of a vast barren plain edged with beautiful rocky mountains. Her family consists of a younger sister, younger brother, her mother, and her father.
Her father is one of the few remaining eagle hunters in Mongolia. For centuries Mongolian men found eagles and used them to hunt for food to support their families. Since she was a little girl she loved watching her father put on the eagle hunters’ garb and go out hunting. As she grew older her father allowed her to play with his eagle as he saw her interest in being a hunter.
She eventually gets a baby eaglet of her own and then her journey as a eagle huntress begins. This is a beautiful story that shows both her and her eagle’s growth as a team. She faces a little bit of adversity from the male elders who believe that women shouldn’t be eagle hunters but through sheer love of the role she doesn’t let anything sway her from what she wants to do. It was nice to see her father teach her in the ways of an eagle hunter.
One of my favorite parts of the film is when her father teaches her how to let an eagle land on her arm. That scene was powerful because most people (including me) would be mortally afraid to have a large bird like that fly full speed onto your arm. This fearless girl, however, was smiling the entire time and perfectly caught the eagle on her arm as if she had been doing it all her life.
The cinematography was gorgeous. The people who made this documentary filmed it on a low budget but they did such a fantastic job with their drones and cameras you would never know. They perfectly illustrated how expansive and untouched the land was. There’s one part where they’re filming in an area where there is nothing but fields of pristine snow and ice as far as the eye can see. The quiet peacefulness of that area could be felt through the screen.
The videographers perfectly followed the eagles as they flew at all sorts of different speeds. I loved watching the eagles flying over the ground so you could really see how fast they are going. At times they also put cameras on the eagle so you can see the world from the bird’s eyes. It was a very beautiful movie to watch.
I loved this documentary because there are many cultures throughout the world where men are dominant and they don’t let women or girls achieve their dreams. Ahshopan however stepped outside of the box of what Mongolian women are expected to do and did something extraordinary. It’s also beautiful because her father encouraged her to pursue being an eagle huntress rather than stop her. This shows that the world is slowly becoming more inclusive for everyone. I definitely think this is the perfect film to show young girls because it’s empowering. A girl might watch this documentary and want to do something that she thought she could never do until she saw the fearlessness of Ahshopan.
I give it a 93 out of 100 because it does end abruptly. I came away from the movie wanting to know a little more about Ahshopan’s end story but the movie was perfect besides that. There wasn’t much music but they did integrate some here and there, the cinematography was beautiful, and I am so glad to have witnessed another piece of history being written.
If you can’t see this documentary at any nearby indie movie theaters then I urge you to watch it when it’s available on the internet. You will not be disappointed. At the end of the movie you will have laughed, cried, cheered, and enjoyed the simple beauty of Ahshopan’s wonderful journey that, thanks to cameras, has been told.
I will talk about a few things in the movie so if you haven’t seen it yet and you don’t want to know any details do not continue to read this.
The Music of Rogue One
One of the best components of any film is the score. If the score is horrible the movie is horrible. Music makes you feel a certain way about certain things in movies. When I found out John Williams wasn’t doing the score for this movie I was definitely worried. Would the movie sound like Star Wars? And if it did would it even sound good? I happened to be very impressed with the fantastic score Michael Giacchino created.
First of all having someone other than John Williams make the score allowed the movie to feel fresh and new. There were many times in the movie when I found myself saying, “This score is awesome.” Particularly my favorite part was the music for Jedha. I loved how he made the music seem warlike while resembling the sound of Saw Gerrera’s suit. The Imperial theme was fantastic too. It felt like something definitely out of Star Wars but nothing like John Williams would ever make. The theme for Chirrut had an ancient tone that perfectly matched him since he’s supposed to be one of the last Guardians of the Whills. The music for Jyn and Cassian was beautiful and perfectly escalated in a saddening way when their doom became eminent. When the light rushes towards them as they’re embracing on the beach the score gets louder and louder until it stops as the light engulfs them. That was a powerful moment that Michael Giacchino precisely composed.
There were many other smaller pieces of wonderful music placed here and there that enhanced parts of scenes. One of these scenes was when Jyn and Cassian were climbing the data tower to get the plans. The music at that part is so, so good. It has a threatening tone because Director Krennic is walking to the data tower at the same time. This is one of those examples where the music made the scene just that much better.
Overall the score for Rogue One is amazing and definitely worthy of humming.
The Miscues of Rogue One
As perfect as this movie was there were a few mistakes. First of all if this film is supposed to literally be right before A New Hope then where did all of this new technology come from? Where did all of the Death Troopers and Tie Strikers go? What about the Imperial Tank Soldiers? Are we really supposed to be believe that they all just somehow vanished? And the Imperial droids just like K-2SO? What happened to them? The First Order, which was thirty or so years after Return of the Jedi, didn’t even have that much new technology. Now don’t get me wrong. I love the new stormtroopers and ships. They’re very cool. I just wish they hadn’t introduced so many different Imperial things that we’ll never see in the original trilogy.
The use of the force was a little overkill. A lot of normal people were saying things about the force in this movie. Now nearly everyone who said something about the force had a legitimate reason for saying it. However when the rebel alliance were getting ready to go to Scarif and a random man on the intercom said, “May the force be with you” I was a little annoyed. The force in Star Wars is a pretty big deal. If you start just having anyone say “May the force be with you” it’ll take away the magic from that line and turn it into a kind of joke. Having that man on the intercom say that famous line was just about as bad as if K-2SO said “May the force be with you.”
Another miscue is Bodhi’s death. The way they ended his life was a little lackluster compared to everyone else. Every other main character, including Galen Erso who’s in the movie for a max of maybe four minutes, had a death worth remembering. Bodhi however finishes sending a crucial message to the rebel alliance, a stormtrooper spots him in the ship, throws a grenade, he sees the bomb in front of him, and then boom! It’s a strong contrast compared to Chirrut’s memorable demise before him.
And last but not least we come to Jyn. We are introduced to her locked away in what seems like an Imperial establishment. We then see her a few scenes later being taken to an Imperial labor camp. My question is how did she get there? What was she doing in her life at that time to get captured by the Empire? I was left to use my imagination of why she might be there because the movie never gave me an answer. If Rogue One had been that fragmented it would’ve been an entirely different movie.
The Visuals of Rogue One
Since the trailers I have known this was going to be a visually stunning movie. And after watching it I was happy to see that it was. The very first thing you see is a ship flying across a ring of a planet. This reminded me of something you would see out of Interstellar. The rest of this movie was full of beautiful cinematography and visually appealing shots. I loved Gareth Edward’s vast vision of this Star Wars film. From the beautiful shots of the vast red plains of Jedha littered with giant rocks and half buried Jedi statues to Jyn atop the tall tower on Scarif with X-Wings and Tie Strikers fighting around the building. Those shots were so cool it stuck in my head, among many other things
One of my favorite parts is when Cassian and Jyn are going through the city on Jedha and the camera sweeps upward to show the massive underbelly of the Star Destroyer parked above the city. That is an amazing shot that really displayed the menace of the Empire at that time in the galaxy.
This is also the first Star Wars movie that really made the Death Star scary. Gareth Edwards did an incredible job showing how terrifying it would be if you saw the planet destroying space station in the sky. One of the many shots that accentuated the menace from the iconic weapon is when the Death Star eclipses the sun and blasts the sacred city on Jedha to oblivion. That was a frighteningly beautiful shot that truly enhanced the movie.
Overall Gareth Edward’s vision was stupendous and I hope he gets to make another Star Wars film.
Saturday was a day full of underwhelming games. LSU vs. Louisville was a blowout. It was painful watching Lamar Jackson scrambling to and fro, getting sacked mercilessly and getting intercepted. LSU refused to let the Heisman trophy winner embarrass them on Saturday.
Washington’s defense did a fantastic job keeping their offense within range of beating Alabama but thanks to Jake Browning’s timidity and Alabama’s stellar defense they ended up winning a boring 24-7 game.
Clemson beat Ohio State in a 31-0 annihilation. It was a pitiful game that had me believing #5 Penn State should’ve been included in the playoffs instead of Ohio State who they beat earlier in the regular season.
Still the championship has been realized. #1 Alabama will be facing off against #2 Clemson once again. Maybe it’s foolish of me to root against Alabama again but Clemson’s performance Saturday night was very impressive. Alabama however struggled on offense and despite the 17 point difference at the end of the game didn’t really impress me. Clemson’s weakness is their turnovers which Alabama thrives on. They scored 10 of the 24 points off of turnovers versus Washington. If Clemson can keep interceptions and fumbles to a minimum then they really might have a shot at winning the Chamionship.
Sunday’s games were, thankfully, a little more enjoyable than Saturday’s games. I watched the thrilling Panthers/Buccaneers game which ended in a bittersweet 17-16 finish. The New York Giants/Washington Redskins game was boring and ended with the Redskins not making it to the playoffs. The Sunday night game however was worthy of watching.
Aaron Rodgers proved again why he is always in the MVP conversation by leading them to the playoffs once again after having such a bad first half of the season. The Packers will play the Giants on Sunday at Lambeau Field and I am so excited. I am already predicting that they will win. I think that Eli Manning will make too many mistakes that will cost them the game. Now the Giant’s defense is very formidable but will they be able to stop Aaron Rodgers win he starts to scramble? I don’t think so. If Dallas has to face off against the Packers in the second I think they’re lucky streak might come to an end.
Now this Saturday the Lions will go against the Seahawks. I think they will win this game because Seattle has been looking horrible lately. Yes they have more playoff experience but I think Detroit just might have the edge on them.
In the AFC the Dolphins face the Steelers and the Raiders go against the Texans. These, to me, are both boring games. The Steelers are undoubtedly a better team than the Dolphins and therefore will win. The Raiders lost their starting quarterback and their backup quarterback so as unfortunate as it is they will likely lose to the Texans. It doesn’t matter who wins because I’m already predicting the Patriots will win the AFC. They’re ridiculously dominant and the next best team are the Chiefs. Yes the Chiefs are very good but the Patriots, in my opinion, are just better.
So I can’t wait to watch these games. A month from now the Super Bowl will be here and then football will be over until August again. For right now though I am hoping for a wonderful college football championship and some fantastic playoff games.
This post will contain spoilers so if you don’t want to know any details please do not read any further. I hope you enjoy and happy new year!
The New Locations
I love that this movie showed us six brand new worlds that we’ve never seen before in Star Wars. There was the planet where Galen and his family resided, the Rings of Kafrene, Wobani, an imperial labor camp, Jedha, home to the last Jedi temple, Eadu, and Scarif. Even though it was brief my favorite new location was the trading outpost at the Rings of Kafrene. The concept of a small city placed in between two asteroids is amazing. I hope the next Star Wars has cool, original locations like Rogue One did.
The Return of Grand Moff Tarkin
Having Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One was brilliant! The CGI used for him wasn’t the best but putting him in the movie was a great move because it cemented this film in the timeline of Star Wars. He was the best surprise of the movie and to me, was the real villain. Krennic was just the angry puppet. This also shows that Disney can bring any character back to the big screen.
The Action in Rogue One
This movie was full of intense action that was superb in IMAX. The part where the rebels start fighting the stormtroopers in the city on Jedha is one of the many great action sequences. There were so many fantastically loud explosions and so much commotion it’ll take me a while to see everything that happened at that part. One of my favorite pieces in that sequence is when the walker came through the streets firing at everything in sight. That was really cool! This long action scene also allowed Jyn to show off her very impressive skills. Having Chirrut and Baze finish off that part by having them take down about a dozen stormtroopers was perfect and one of the highlights of the film to me.
The part when the Death Star blows up Jedha is my favorite part of the movie. I’ve always wanted to know just exactly what’s it like for the people on the surface of the planets that get annihilated. The Force Awakens gave a slight hint of how horrifying it is but Rogue One really elaborated on that terrible experience. I love when Bodhi is looking and there’s that giant cloud of huge chunks of rock and dirt coming towards them. When they barely escape and they show the space shot where the fire and dirt is reaching up into space all I could say was “Wow.” That part was jaw dropping in IMAX.
The action on Eadu was okay. I loved when Chirrut turned his stick into a crossbow and shot down that tie fighter. That was awesome. Baze protecting Jyn and Cassian from the droves of stormtroopers emerging from the facility in his perch on the rocks was another amazing part. I think he has the coolest gun that I have ever seen in Star Wars.
The space battle was fantastic. I loved how several times throughout the battle the camera had you in a cockpit flying alongside the other X-Wings. At those moments in IMAX it kind of felt like Star Tours at Disney World except without the moving seats. This was, for me, the best space battle out of all the Star Wars films.
The greatest part of the action on the surface of Scarif was when Chirrut, Baze, and the rebels are busy fighting the stormtroopers and that giant AT-ACT appeared out of the smoke. That was another one of those beautiful shots that enhanced the film because it truly showed how difficult it is to fight against the Empire.
The Unfortunate (and not so unfortunate) Demise of Everyone in Rogue One
It’s sad because everyone died in this Star Wars film. K-2SO’s death was one I was not expecting. Before I had watched the movie I had predicted that he would undoubtedly live. A main droid has never gotten killed in a Star Wars movie so why would he? As I watched him riddled with blast holes from the horde of approaching stormtroopers I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness. He’s going to die.” And he did which was horrible.
Chirrut’s death was just as saddening. I really hoped he wouldn’t die because he was so cool. At first when he miraculously reached that switch I was so happy because he made it without getting shot. Then when he got knocked forward by that explosion as he was walking back to the ship I was shocked. At least he got to say goodbye to his best friend Baze but it was still sad.
Bodhi’s death was sudden and not that depressing. I wished they could’ve made his death a little more memorable.
Baze’s death was at least better than Bodhi’s. He shot Death Trooper after Death Trooper while taking blasts of his own. Unfortunately the last trooper he took down still had a ticking grenade in his hand and he became the third person to fall to an explosion. Fourth if you count Galen Erso on Eadu. The writers definitely weren’t trying to get creative with their individual deaths. They just decided to have each of them get blown up.
Director Krennic’s demise was well deserved. I loved when he looked up after getting shot and saw the Death Star in the sky. The weapon’s destruction that he thought was so beautiful was going to be his doom. He got the ultimate karma.
Jyn and Cassian’s death of course is the grimmest. The prequel trilogy tried to tell the love story between Anakin and Padme but thanks to bad acting and a terrible script when everything crumbles for them it’s not even close to sad. The romantic arc between Jyn and Cassian is perfectly written because it never feels forced or unnecessary. When they’re taking that elevator ride down to the beach they both realize like each other a whole lot. Their fate is unfortunately sealed however when the Death Star fires on the base. When they’re hugging each other on the beach and the bright light washes over them it’s a very solemn moment. I really hope the next Star Wars doesn’t have as high a death count.
Darth Vader is Back!
It’s been decades since the iconic villain has had any substance in the Star Wars saga. In Rogue One he appeared in only three scenes but his impact on the film lived up to his standards. His first appearance in the movie was fantastic. First of all, Darth Vader has a castle? What?! And it’s on Mustafar?! I loved how Rogue One not only tied itself to A New Hope but it also recognized the prequel trilogy by putting his castle on the planet where he met his gruesome fate. The next time I watch Revenge of the Sith the Mustafar scenes will have an entirely new meaning.
I loved when the door opened and you could see Darth Vader’s shadow on the wall behind Director Krennic. That was a beautiful shot because it showed how nervous Krennic was while also displaying the menacing, awesome presence of the Sith Lord. Their conversation was brief but wonderful. When Darth Vader choked Krennic and then said, “Be careful not to choke on your aspirations” I was so excite Darth Vader was back and just as great as he once was.
The last scene with him was incredible! I remember when I watched it the first time I was wondering why the rebels were so scared. Then when out of the darkness came his iconic breath and blood red lightsaber my eyes widened in gleeful horror. I feel so sorry for those rebels. Darth Vader sliced and force choked his way through them like as if they were nothing. At that moment you realize just how frightening it would be to see Darth Vader if you weren’t a Jedi. I remember when I first heard Darth Vader was going to be in this film I was hoping he would have at least one scene where he would terrorize the rebels. Before this scene came I thought that the movie would end without him doing anything truly substantial. I’m so happy I was wrong. This, for me, is the second best scene with Darth Vader of all the Star Wars films. If him telling Luke that he was his father wasn’t so crucial to the Star Wars saga this would hands down be my favorite scene with him. Let’s hope there will be more standalone films in the future with even more Darth Vader in it.
The Conclusion of Rogue One
And then when you think the movie can’t possibly get any better they throw a Leia bombshell on everybody. Seeing her at the very end of the movie was so fantastic because not only did it connect Rogue One and A New Hope like a puzzle piece but it showed, once again, that they can do so much with CGI these days. This was the perfect way to end the movie.
I give Rogue One a 95 out of 1oo. There are a few flaws but the story and endearing characters were so flawlessly written into this film that it definitely deserves an A. It also, without a doubt, is the best prequel. The cameos and nods to A New Hope never felt forced or unnecessary and only enriched the story of the 1977 film.
For me this is definitely one of the best Star Wars movies ever made. I can’t say it is the best for the reason that the other Star Wars episodes are just that, episodes. Those movies can’t reveal everything in one film. If the original trilogy could somehow be jammed into one movie it would be a very, very good movie full of plot twists.
Rogue One was such a fantastic entry into the Star Wars universe that I’m now super excited to see the Han Solo movie in 2018. If it’s anything like this film it’s going to be very enjoyable.
Tonight the first of the six great bowls comes on. #11 Florida State plays #6 Michigan and I am so excited. I don’t care who wins but I am hoping for a good game that goes into at least one overtime. I’ve been waiting for weeks for these games to come and now they’re here! Yes!
Tomorrow at 3:00pm #1 Alabama faces off against #4 Washington. I am so ready for this game. I will be routing for Washington to win. Alabama has been so dominant this year that watching them win game after game has been exasperating. Washington has had a weak schedule but I believe they might be the team no one sees coming this year. Let’s hope this game ends with the surprise of the football playoff.
Then at 7:00pm #2 Clemson goes against #3 Ohio State. This will probably be a close game. Both of these teams have lost only one game this year, both teams have dynamic quarterbacks, and both teams have had tough times throughout the regular season. I have no idea who will win. It could go either way. I would like Clemson to win so they could get back to the championship and win it all but I wouldn’t mind if Ohio State managed to win.
Then of course on Sunday there’s NFL. This is the last chance for a whole bunch of teams to get their positions in the playoffs. The game I’m most excited to watch is the Sunday Night game where the Green Bay Packers play the Detroit Lions. Whoever wins this game is going to the playoffs. I really would love it if the Packers won. Aaron Rodgers is my favorite quarterback in the NFL and he had a tough time for the first half of the season. If they win I will be so happy because who doesn’t want to watch the Packers in the playoffs?
So the time has finally come! This Monday the college football championship and NFL playoffs will be set. I can’t wait to see what happens.
This is my list of the main characters in the new Star Wars movie from my favorite to least favorite. Now, all of the new people are great but some outshine others for various reasons. I will be talking about the characters in the movie so if you don’t want any details please do not read any further. Otherwise I hope you enjoy.
Captain Cassian Andor
Cassian is hands down my favorite character in Rogue One. The reason why is because he was the most surprising. From the trailers and commercials I thought he was just the regular rebellion officer who was helping Jyn. I had no idea that he was a cold-blooded assassin who did all of the dirty work for the Rebel Alliance. In fact, I didn’t even know the Rebel Alliance was so ruthless behind closed doors. And picking Diego Luna to play him was brilliant. His accent immediately differentiated him from anyone else we’ve seen in Star Wars and his grim, stern expression summed him up within a few seconds without you having to know him for long.
Watching his transition from being the semi-villain to becoming a man with a conscience was to me one of the highlights of the story. And if it weren’t for him Jyn might’ve died at the hands of Director Krennic instead of from the blast of the Death Star. I’ll get to that later. So yes, he is my favorite new addition to Star Wars. Unfortunately he’s in only one movie.
If Cassian hadn’t been such a surprise K-2SO would’ve definitely been my favorite character. K-2SO is C-3PO if he were cold, very straightforward, and could fight. He has the same humorous personality and literally made me laugh out loud. I mean when he slaps Cassian for speaking when Jyn and Cassian are supposed to be his prisoners I couldn’t help but laugh at the hilariousness of the situation. Or when you first meet him and as Jyn is trying to escape he picks her up, slams her to the ground and says, “You are being rescued.” That is simply hilarious. I could just go on and on about all the funny things he did in the movie but that would take too long. Is he my favorite droid in Star Wars? BB-8 still reigns supreme in my opinion for his extreme cuteness. (Can you call a droid cute?) Yet he is definitely a brilliantly conceptualized droid and will be remembered as one of the best new Star Wars characters. Too bad he also is in only one movie….
I remember when I first saw Chirrut in the early trailers. He looked so cool with his stark blue eyes. Then I found out he was blind and my liking for him grew even more. His ability to use the force in the movie is limited but brilliantly used as his source of sight. He can read people better than those who can actually see and his sweet personality makes him instantly lovable. And that fight scene with the stormtroopers on Jedha is epic. Once again he is another character that was so cool. I wish he wasn’t in just one movie. It really is a shame.
Director Orson Krennic
He is definitely a fantastic villain in Star Wars. From when I first saw him in the early trailers with that grand white cape I was super excited to see him in the movie. He was definitely a different villain than someone like Tarkin or General Hux. He emitted a sort of posh vibe that was accentuated by that beautiful white cape. And unlike Tarkin and Hux he had a blaster of his own which he used to nearly kill Cassian in the tower on Scarif. He was also very ruthless with his band of Death Troopers always by his side to kill at his command. When he ordered the troopers to kill the assistant scientists instead of Galen who admitted he betrayed him I was shocked. It was a ruthless lesson to teach Galen and one that truly cemented his villainous ways. And his shuttle is pretty awesome.
I thought Jyn was a great new heroine in the Star Wars galaxy. Felicity Jones did a fantastic job molding into that character and making us forget who she was. My favorite aspect of Jyn was her toughness. She didn’t need anyone’s help and could take care of herself. Rey is still my favorite female character because she not only was an independent cool character but she ended up becoming a Jedi. Wow! I’m still amazed about that. So yes Jyn is an awesome addition to Star Wars but she still had to get saved at the end instead of taking Director Krennic on by herself unlike Rey who single handedly took down Kylo Ren twice. I definitely give her a thumbs up for killing all those stormtroopers on Jedha like a pro, though. That was pretty cool.
Bodhi was great. He showed up earlier in the movie than I expected. And I liked how he was quick to have an attitude. If played by the wrong actor Bodhi might’ve been slightly annoying but Riz Ahmed played him perfectly. His expression when he first saw Saw Gerrera was one of the highlights of the film to me. And poor, poor Bodhi. I feel sorry for him. That interrogation he endured was horrific. I’m not surprised he nearly lost his mind from that experience. And his signifigance to A New Hope even happening is great because right before he died he was the one who sent the message to the rebels to receive the plans for the Death Star. That makes Bodhi a hero in the movie that I didn’t expect.
Baze is yet another great character in Rogue One. His use of his very awesome, huge gun is incredible. One of my favorite parts in the Eadu sequence is when all of those stormtroopers come running out of the building and he just takes them down within seconds from his perch on the rocks. You can tell he is a hardened veteran who has been fighting the Empire for a long while.
Saw was another surprise in the movie. He emitted a slightly frightening presence with his hoarse voice, Darth Vaderish suit, and his brutal tactics. You can tell that the years and years of war had driven him slightly mad. The only time you can see who he used to be was when Jyn came to see him. He died much earlier in the movie than I thought but his significance to the movie with him relaying Galen Erso’s message to Jyn was crucial to the development of the story.
So this is my list. I really wish Cassian and Chirrut hadn’t died because they were so cool. I would love to see them in other movies. I am glad that these characters are now part of the Star Wars universe whether they are in one movie or not. And let’s hope in future Star Wars movies there will be even cooler characters that don’t last for only one movie.