Rogue One

k-2so-in-star-wars-rogue-oneRogue One is the movie the prequels should have been. It is fresh, entertaining, and necessary. Rogue One’s humour works for adults as well as five year olds (though any self-aware Star Wars fan must acknowledge that the gap there for us is not all that wide). Rogue One links to what we’ve seen before in a way that feels natural and rewards fans who are familiar with every scene of the original trilogy, and leads into the known end point of A New Hope without any trouble whatsoever.

Rogue One is also a movie that could never have been made under George Lucas’ watch. I do not even want to imagine how he would have approached this story, but tonally Rogue One is entirely different than all the movies that have come before, and better for it. This is not a classic adventure serial, it is a war movie with high stakes, and we quickly realize that the stakes are appropriately high considering the evil dictatorship that runs the galaxy is constructing a superweapon to crush its opponents once and for all.rogue-one-cast-photo-d23-1536x864-521514304075-1

At the same time, Rogue One gives us the funniest character of any Star Wars movie. Fittingly, it’s a robot. But where R2-D2 and BB-8 were funny in a sweet, childlike way, K2-SO is funny because he is an asshole. It’s fantastic and he is absolutely one of the best parts of this movie.

Felicity Jones is great as well as the leader of the motley crew trying to save the galaxy. Her team (and the movie as a whole) is refreshingly diverse. Though this welcome injection of diversity is, on a meta-level, unintentionally remiciscent of South Park’s Operation Human Shield, since the multi-ethnic team is the one on the suicide mission while the all-white crew from A New Hope is (or soon will be) galavanting around in the fastest, most indestructible ship in the galaxy.

Rogue One has some cheesy parts that took me out of the flow a bit, but Jay rightly pointed out that I should expect nothing different from a Star Wars film. The end result is a movie that orson-krennic_4c6477e2occasionally feels like an awkward mix of serious war movie and hopeful space odyssey, but only rarely did I have that feeling. It definitely did not ruin the movie for me and that Star Wars feel is an overwhelming positive overall (especially an amazing Darth Vader scene during the climax that shows us the power we always knew he had).

My only other complaint is the use of CG to add a few familiar faces to the film. I found it distracting and yet I also thought it was kind of a nice tribute to one of the great characters from A New Hope. Maybe we’re just not quite there on the FX front but we are incredibly close.

This is a worthy addition to the Star Wars universe. If you’re at all a fan you should see it, but if you’re at all a fan you probably already have! Rogue One gets a score of eight May the Force be With Yous out of ten.

 

 

Advertisements

38 thoughts on “Rogue One

  1. mikeladano

    I had a discussion about the CG look on Facebook. I have not seen the movie, but I used Robert Downey and Patrick Stewart in recent superhero movies as examples. You could totally see the fakeness in the “young” versions of those characters, it looked somehow unreal.

    So I haven’t seen ROgue One yet, I’m pleased to bits about the reviews. This is the first Star Wars opening I have missed since 1983. I’m not keen on crowds anymore so I wanted to wait. I figure…it’s the Episodic films that really get me excited, so I can give it a week without my conscience killing me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Sean Post author

      I asked Jay as I did not expect she would have known that Grand Moff Tarkin was a character from A New Hope. I was right. She said she did not realize he was a CG creation but she felt his face looked weird somehow but she couldn’t figure out why. So we both experienced the uncanny valley but I think the cool factor of seeing the “original” Tarkin was worth it in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. reocochran

    I will see this eventually but loved the Star Trek movies more. Maybe since I started rather young. The last one had an homage to Leonard Nimoy.
    I have less to relate to during Star Wars but loved the first one, Jay!
    Happy Holidays, Jay, Matt and Sean!
    Hugs to all and your families. xoxo

    Like

    Reply
  3. In My Cluttered Attic

    I’m looking forward to checking this one out, but then my being here probably already told you that. Your review has reinforced the desire to see it and the television spots for it look pretty spectacular, only adding to my anticipation that the film is a real go to the theater experience for the holiday. The trailers haven’t hinted much at the humor in the movie, so I was very happy to read that there is some levity in the film, and very curious to see K2 now.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Sean Post author

      K2 is great as are the characters generally. They feel much more 3D than the “new” characters we met in the prequels even though we spend much less time with them (2.5 hours here instead of the 8plus hours of Episodes 1-3).

      Like

      Reply
  4. Harlon

    I may be the odd man out here, but I have not seen any of the Star Wars movies – I just was never really into Sci-Fi and as the franchise kept rolling out more I figured I would get less and less out of them. Do you think this movie would work as a stand alone or should I see the one before this – or all of them? Just wondering. Harlon

    Like

    Reply
    1. odell01

      You should retreat from the films before you are swept up by The Dark Side of the Force. This is because while Star Wars is of tremendous entertainment value, there isn’t any reason you should be swayed to begin your journey into the Star Wars creation on film simply to reap some appreciation out of Rogue One. If you wanted to begin an interest in Sci-Fi, I’m not sure the Star Wars films would be the best introduction to the genre. There are many ways you could begin to investigate Sci-Fi, but beginning with an interest in Rogue One is not, I don’t think, the best avenue to cultivate an interest in sci-fi on film.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Harlon

        OK, I am going to tell you a secret that I have never told anyone. Well actually I will tell you two things, the first is not a secret. I have never watched an episode of Star Trek in my life and I don’t feel I have missed out on anything. The secret is that I did binge watch all of Battlestar Galactica last winter and loved it. I totally got lost in it. Maybe I should just be happy with that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. odell01

        I knew there was something intriguing about you! Missing both Star Wars and Star Trek means that you are a beginner when it comes to science fiction, but even someone like me claiming some familiarity with it is really a beginner, too, as there is a wealth of science fiction material. I’ve never seen Battlestar Galactica, for example, but if that’s your preferred sci-fi, all the more power to you! That’s the spark that keeps science fiction thriving.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Sean Post author

      I loved the references to the other films and obviously you will not get those if you haven’t seen them, but I think this would still be an entertaining movie on its own. Plus it’s a fully self contained chapter and a natural stsrting point as it leads directly into Episodes 4-7, skipping the lame prequels!

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      1. Harlon

        Thanks, I will follow your example. Saw Nocturnal Animals yesterday. It’s cold, cerebral it’s visual and style. It’s Tom Ford. What he does isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, but I do see him as an artist – and for that, I respect him. Just not a lot of fun to watch, personally. I like movies that draw you in and this is definitely more of an art piece where you observe and admire (or not). Glad I saw it, nonetheless. Harlon

        Like

  5. edcblogsnet

    *SPOILERS*

    enjoyed the movie, including the reveal that the girl’s father built the flaw into the Death Star that is exploited in A New Hope, if only the prequels were filmed more like this…CGI Governor Tarkin didn’t bother me that much to distract me from the story, considering the actual actor passed away already

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

    Great review. I agree with most of your points. To touch on the CG uncanny valley, this would have been a great opportunity to bring John Wayne back 😉 Jokes. Although, I loved the western vibe of this one. A group of outlaws from all over band together to accomplish what no one else is willing to risk. I wish the characters were more developed, but this is a plot heavy movie. That said, I agree, K2SO was the scene-stealer. His gallows humour was a real highlight. I’m also glad you mentioned the diversity of our heroes. Kids of all cultures will have someone to root for… for once. The middle eastern character doesn’t want to blow up the good guys, he wants to save the galaxy. Just one example… Overall, an exposition heavy 1st act and slow(ish) 2nd act are forgiven for the emotion and spectacle of the final act. I absolutely loved seeing Vader in his prime. Best scene in movies this decade! Do you want more adult-oriented Star Wars? Or did you guys prefer Force Awakens?

    Like

    Reply
      1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

        It was fantastic eh. I think we got the perfect dose. Balanced, so we want more. At least they didn’t cut away with the snap hiss of red glory 😉 Vader felt scary as hell, like Jason Vorhees or something.

        Like

    1. Jay

      I think your Jason comparison is pretty apt. I don’t normally give a shit, but when we suddenly see him unleash the red glow of his light saber, I was like, Cool! It’s go time!

      I was half hoping we’d see, helmet off, Hayden Christensen with a head full of wavy Kylo Ren hair. I mean, I understand why that can’t happen, but that’s what got me through the slower bits of the movie.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  7. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy

    People keep asking me about the movie, and I keep telling them I can’t talk about it too much without giving huge amounts of it away. Then I realize the trailers gave away the entire plot (especially if you know the other movies well) and I realize I should probably just tell people about it.

    Like

    Reply
  8. J.

    I was initially a bit weary of these Star Wars story flicks and thought it was just a cash thing, but the trailers really did sell it. Looks great. Planning to go see it in January when I can avoid a busy pre-Christmas cinema trip.

    I had read that they did some additional shooting as the film had been looking too dark An too much like a war movie, so I guess that maybe explains some of the disruptive cheese?

    Like

    Reply
  9. hoplite39

    I personally was not put off by the CGI thing. Both Tarkington and Leia looked fine to me and they both added to the movie.

    The movie was good. I would give it 4/5. I’m not desperate to see it again (my definition of a 5/5 movie), but it was worth watching. It was also refreshing to see the darker ending.

    My main issues were that the plot development at the beginning was a bit disjointed. It tried to be sophisticated, but just didn’t have the time to develop the characters meaningfully. Jyn was especially undersold. Her transformation from Han Solo type skeptic to devotee wasn’t totally convincing. But I liked her as a character.

    Galen Erso was probably the most compelling character. But he also was under developed.

    The action was good. This time rebels did actually get hit and killed. It was more like a war movie like Saving Private Ryan, where Ryan was a data tape.

    One bit I really enjoyed is how Tarkin uses the DS to destroy his greatest rival. A simple act which demonstrated the tensions within the Empire.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Philosofishal

      Agreed about Jyn’s underdevelopment, along with that of Cassian (Diego Luna), and how unconvincing her 180 shift was. Not clear where she gets her fearlessness. Hubby thought this was more of a real story than the others–not just a bunch of explosions–but I think that’s unfair to eps 4-7. I agree with him Rogue One is better than The Force Awakens, but not by much. Tone is slightly different in a good way, but I found this early plot a little unclear, and the darkness felt more bleak due to insufficient character development.

      Great K2-SO. Loved the nods to fans, even fighter pilot leaders. Unhappy with the Tarkin CG, I found it distracting, but, yes, a bit inevitable. The Director was a sort of blah as a villain, but high stakes really did come across more strongly for the Rebels than in the other films, except A New Hope. Also, refreshingly, this was the only film in which the question of tolerating oppression arose. As Jyn says, it’s not so bad “if you don’t look up.” It drives home the point that it’s no picnic for anyone under the Empire, not just for the Rebel Alliance.

      Cinematically, I loved the shield gate battle on Scarif, like a blend of the space part of the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, with Akbar-like characters, and assault on the Death Star in A New Hope, with the theme of getting into tight spaces to save the day (Jyn and Cassian, and Princess Leia’s officers with the plans). I found what the Empire chose to do on Scarif at the end to be a bit shocking, which stressed their evilness. The battle was a great, complex assault with multiple heroics on the beach, in the tower, and at the planet’s gate.

      Yes, as a prequel into A New Hope, Rogue One was seamless and nearly flawless. Key things are explained that we never learn about anywhere else, like energy sources for Death Star and light sabers. Interesting that the Empire uses the Death Star in other, “smaller” ways prior to erasing Alderaan. The only connective improvement might have been a re-showing of the droids on Leia’s vessel to remind us they’d be there. Their single appearance without that felt forced. Darth Vader, yes. More Darth Vader, please. Loved it overall.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  10. Philosofishal

    Reblogged this on Philosofishal and commented:
    Here’s my comment from the post (spoilers included).

    Agreed about Jyn’s underdevelopment, along with that of Cassian (Diego Luna), and how unconvincing her 180 shift was. Not clear where she gets her fearlessness. Hubby thought this was more of a real story than the others–not just a bunch of explosions–but I think that’s unfair to eps 4-7. I agree with him Rogue One is better than The Force Awakens, but not by much. Tone is slightly different in a good way, but I found this early plot a little unclear, and the darkness felt more bleak due to insufficient character development.

    Great K2-SO. Loved the nods to fans, even fighter pilot leaders. Unhappy with the Tarkin CG, I found it distracting, but, yes, a bit inevitable. The Director was a sort of blah as a villain, but high stakes really did come across more strongly for the Rebels than in the other films, except A New Hope. Also, refreshingly, this was the only film in which the question of tolerating oppression arose. As Jyn says, it’s not so bad “if you don’t look up.” It drives home the point that it’s no picnic for anyone under the Empire, not just for the Rebel Alliance.

    Cinematically, I loved the shield gate battle on Scarif, like a blend of the space part of the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, with Akbar-like characters, and assault on the Death Star in A New Hope, with the theme of getting into tight spaces to save the day (Jyn and Cassian, and Princess Leia’s officers with the plans). I found what the Empire chose to do on Scarif at the end to be a bit shocking, which stressed their evilness. The battle was a great, complex assault with multiple heroics on the beach, in the tower, and at the planet’s gate.

    Yes, as a prequel into A New Hope, Rogue One was seamless and nearly flawless. Key things are explained that we never learn about anywhere else, like energy sources for Death Star and light sabers. Interesting that the Empire uses the Death Star in other, “smaller” ways prior to erasing Alderaan. The only connective improvement might have been a re-showing of the droids on Leia’s vessel to remind us they’d be there. Their single appearance without that felt forced. Darth Vader, yes. More Darth Vader, please. Loved it overall.

    Like

    Reply
  11. Pingback: Rogue One: A Reblog | Philosofishal

  12. Pingback: Oscar Nominations 2017 | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s