With one week left until the event of the year, The Rise of Skywalker, it’s time to look at the posters for the anthology films in the franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story and Rogue One. Enjoy!
Solo is the lowest-grossing Star Wars film of all time and it’s understandable why that’s the case. The marketing for the movie did nothing to entice fans and it all begins with the posters. I’ve found several interesting posters for the movie but compared to the posters for the other Star Wars films, these pale in comparison. Continue reading It’s Seven Days Away from ‘The Rise of Skywalker’!→
It’s been a month since Rogue One has graced the big screen and wowed audiences around the world. In that time I have watched this new Star Wars film three times. I believe because it has been out so long this is the perfect chance to really see how it stacks up against The Force Awakens. Of course there will be spoilers so if you’re someone who still hasn’t seen Rogue One yet please do not read any further.
The Main Characters:
In the last two Star Wars movies there have been two female leads. In The Force Awakens there was Rey. In the movie we first find her as a scavenger living off of scraps. She’s been abandoned on Jakku but she never gives up hope that her family will come back for her. She quickly displays her toughness when she takes down Unkar Plott’s thugs within seconds. Then she grows in awesomeness when she flies the Millenium Falcon better than Han Solo himself which is saying something. She’s a mechanic. And most of important of all, she has the force! I remember watching The Force Awakens for the first time and being mind blown when I found out that she was basically the next Luke of the Star Wars franchise. I also love that she never depended on getting rescued but got herself out of sticky situations. And she’ll only become cooler considering that in the next movie we’ll finally find out who her parents are.
In Rogue One there was Jyn. From the commercials and trailers, I thought she was going to be another awesome heroine. And she had the potential to be just as cool as Rey. She came off as tough when she took out those rebels in the very beginning on Wobani. She could take care of herself very well during the dispute on Jedha. After that, however, she never got to really show off her skills again. Cassian was always saving her, her story arc wasn’t that special, and yes, she became the leader of the small rebel group to retrieve the Death Star plans but not really. Cassian was the brains behind the whole operation.
I mean why couldn’t she have helped fight those Death Troopers and Krennic when they were climbing the data tower? If she had Cassian probably wouldn’t have gotten shot. And why couldn’t she and Krennic have gone head to head at the end? I would’ve loved seeing her, after a fierce fight, push Krennic off of the top of the tower and watch him fall as if to say, “That’s for my parents.” That, of course, didn’t happen and she instead got saved by Cassian again! Yes, she transmitted the plans but besides that, the only reason why she was important is that she was Galen Erso’s daughter. Rey is clearly the better heroine of the two movies.
Now alongside Rey is Finn. Finn is a great character. He is the first stormtrooper in a Star Wars film to have turned good. That makes him such a different character than anyone in the Star Wars movies. He’s immediately lovable and is hilarious. I loved his growth in the movie. He went from being a man fleeing from the terrible evil of the First Order to co-leading a mission alongside Poe to destroy Starkiller Base. And he fearlessly fought Kylo Ren at the end and did a pretty good job against him. I can’t wait to see what he’ll be up to in the next Star Wars.
Then in Rogue One, there was Cassian. He’s my favorite new addition to the Star Wars universe. To me, his story arc in this new Star Wars film was way more heroic than Jyn’s was supposed to be. I mean when you first meet him he was a cold blooded rebel intelligence officer who was willing to do anything without question for the rebellion. Halfway through the movie, he has the chance to kill Jyn’s father, Galen Erso, but his conscience finally prevails. It’s a crucial moment that eventually influences him to get that ragtag band of rebels together to aid Jyn on her mission to steal the Death Star plans.
Besides Chirrut his backstory is very interesting to me. I hope that sometime in the future he’ll appear in another movie so we’ll get to know a little more about the rebel captain. Yes I love Finn, he’s a great character, but Cassian is just better. He’s more interesting and I really, really wished he hadn’t died so we can see more movies with him.
This category has both movies tied when it comes to the main characters. Rogue One: 1 pt. The Force Awakens: 1 pt.
This category is pretty straightforward. In The Force Awakens there was Han, Chewbacca, and Poe barely. Han and Chewie were already well known from the original trilogy so they weren’t anything new in Star Wars. Poe wasn’t supposed to live when they first started making the movie so of course his story wasn’t thoroughly developed. In Rogue One there was K-2SO, Chirrut, Bodhi, and Baze. The co-stars in Rogue One were so much more dynamic and thoughtfully written. None of their stories were rushed and they all brought a different skill to the team.
Rogue One clearly wins this category. Rogue One: 2 pts. The Force Awakens: 1 pt.
Droids are a large part of Star Wars. Ever since The Phantom Menace which was the first Star Wars movie I saw I have loved C-3PO and R2-D2. Even though they’re robots they are just as important as Luke or Darth Vader. The last two Star Wars have introduced a couple of amazing new droids.
In The Force Awakens there was BB-8. I remember when I first saw BB-8 I was disappointed because I thought that he was just another R2 except he had a soccer ball body. BB-8 ended up being such a cute, wonderful droid that he is definitely one of the highlights of the film.
Now Rogue One had K-2SO. A droid like BB-8 or C-3PO would’ve been out of place. His cold personality and bluntness made him the perfect droid to be part of the group. He was also the only character in the movie that made me laugh which was needed to cut through the intense scenes.
For me BB-8 is a better droid because at the end of the day BB-8 is a tangible droid. K-2SO is not. The Force Awakens wins this category. Rogue One: 2 pts. The Force Awakens: 2 pts.
Star Wars is known for their iconic villians, presumably Darth Vader. The last two Star Wars films have presented a few new villains to the Star Wars Universe. This category has another clear winner.
Kylo Ren, besides Darth Vader, is my favorite villain in Star Wars. First of all his outfit is so cool. I love his short ragged, one shoulder cape, his silver lined mask, and his very awesome lightsaber. He also had one of the most surprising moments of The Force Awakens when he took his helmet off and instead of looking like some sort of evil, twisted being like Palpatine he actually looked human. Secondly his story is so interesting because unlike other villains in Star Wars he’s still developing. He killed Han Solo (which is still heartbreaking to this day) and, according to Supreme Leader Snoke, in the next movie he will be completing his training. That means he’ll only get scarier and more evil. I am very excited for this next Star Wars film.
Hux is cool because even as powerful as Kylo Ren is he’s the general of the First Order. It’s terrible because he was the one to come up with the idea to destroy the New Republic. One of my favorite planets in Star Wars is Coruscant so the part where Starkiller Base blows it up is very sad. I’m afraid to see what terrible new ideas he’ll concoct in the next movie.
Captain Phasma is so awesome! First of all she’s the first and only female villain to be in a Star Wars movie. And she is so cool. I love her cape that only goes over one shoulder and her chromium armor is just beautiful. Unfortunately she didn’t have much of a role in The Force Awakens but thankfully she did live so I can’t wait to see her again.
Director Orson Krennic
In Rogue One there was Director Krennic. He was okay. He’s not very diabolical. He is ruthless but I wouldn’t call him truly evil. He’s just a tool of the Empire and Tarkin, who to me was the real villain of the movie, showed him that by taking command of the nearly completed Death Star. He’s not very memorable in the list of villains in Star Wars. The only thing that makes him cool is his squad of Death Troopers which were undoubtedly scarier than him and his beautiful white cape. If he didn’t have those two things he just might be the worst villain in Star Wars.
The Force Awakens definitely wins this category. Rogue One: 3 pts. The Force Awakens: 3 pts
This category has another clear winner. The Force Awakens has a good story. It introduced us to great new characters and situations but this movie was basically a prologue. On top of that it relied heavily on plot points of A New Hope. Rogue One was original, did a superb job of tying the movie to A New Hope, and it was a complete story.
Rogue One clearly gets the point. Rogue One: 4 pts. The Force Awakens: 3 pts.
Music is a central piece of Star Wars. Without that beautiful score John Williams created for A New Hope back in 1977 Star Wars might not have become as legendary as it is now. Michael Giacchino did a great job picking up the essence of John Williams’ score while giving Rogue One a different feeling than other Star Wars movies. I still love The Force Awaken’s music more because as good a job Giacchino did John Williams is still the master.
The Force Awakens ties again. Rogue One: 4 pts. The Force Awakens: 4 pts.
This is the final category so after this there will be a winner. I loved The Force Awaken’s cinematography but it was rather basic and straightforward. The best shot in the entire movie to me was when Rey, Finn, and BB-8 are running across the sand on Jakku with those awesome explosions happening in the background and the tie fighter chasing after them. That was a special moment that stuck in my head since the first official trailer. Unfortunately, that was the only mind blowing shot in the whole movie. Rogue One had multiple mind blowing shots that wowed me. Here are just three amazing shots that had me stunned in the movies.
There was the Death Star eclipsing the sun while blowing the city on Jedha into oblivion. That was a terrifying moment. The giant AT-ACT appearing out of the smoke was amazing because it showed how terrifying the Empire is in the rebel’s eyes. And then finally, when the Death Star appears at the end of the movie like a horrible planet. That was another beautiful shot that stuck with me since the trailer.
Rogue One clearly wins this category. Gareth Edwards did such a great job directing Rogue One I really hope he makes another Star Wars movie. Rogue One: 5 pts. The Force Awakens: 4 pts.
So the winner is…Rogue One!
The Force Awakens put up a good fight but Rogue One just managed to edge it out. I hope the next Star Wars is better than both of these films combined.
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.