Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is just that. A Star Wars story, meant to fill in the gap between Episode III and Episode IV. If you have seen A New Hope, you already have the knowledge about how this story ends. No spoiler there. The Empire is building a Death Star. The Rebels stole the plans and now the Empire wants them back. Rogue One steps in to attempt to tell us just what happened and how they actually stole said plans. Cut and dry, right? Think again.
While I always felt that Star Wars (Episodes 4-6) were always family type movies, Rogue One breeches that. Off in its own universe, this is one dark, intense movie. But as I promised, this is spoiler free, so let’s talk about what you can expect, from this girl’s point of view….
Disclaimer: I do not profess to be a Star Wars expert. I grew up on Episodes 4-6. I believe that Episodes 1-3 were all a bad dream(like the shower scene with Bobby from Dallas back in the 80’s) and that rebellions are built on hope. For me, Star Wars is about dreaming big and looking beyond the stars.
You will feel ALL the feels
I know. Coming from me, you are shocked.
In a weird, unusual way, you will experience all the feels in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Having been a Star Wars fan nearly all of my life, I anticipated feeling anxious, excited and maybe even a hint of anger. Let me tell you, I was blindsided by the emotions that were felt. I wasn’t ready to feel ALL. THE. FEELS. I didn’t necessarily “cry”- it wasn’t that kind of sad. But the deep level of sadness that I felt during one particular scene was great. It was warranted, but because this is spoiler free, that is about as far as I can go with this one.
Where are we now?
If you are like me and have not followed along with Clone Wars and Rebels, there are MANY new places and faces in this movie. This can leave you scratching your head in some parts wondering where exactly you are in the universe. Do not fret. Each planet jump is labeled, and I promise by the end of the movie, you will know where you are! It was slightly overwhelming at first, but easy to adjust to in the end.
New characters are abundant, and I will admit, it was hard to tell who was who and who belonged where at first. Like with the rapid-fire traveling mentioned above, you will get to know each character as the movie progresses.
Is this a movie to take the kids to see?
As always, this is such an individualistic call.
For me, taking NDK to movies always depends on her tolerance for extensive fighting – which is near minimal. I would say that if your children have seen Avengers: Age of Ultron, and can handle violence on that level, they should be able to handle this movie. In all, this movie is violent (as should be expected) but not inappropriate or gory.
As a mom, I do appreciate the lack of colorful language and adult innuendo in this film. In a day and age where that seems to be key for entertainment purposes, it was nice to have a film where characters did not need to conform to every other movie. Know that there is no indecency at all in this movie. There is a small hint of “romance” (if you even want to call it that) towards the end. But it is so ridiculously minimal.
Magical death, as I call it, happens all over this film. Yes, people are killed (it is a war, you know) but there really isn’t any blood or guts. The squeamish can rest at ease. As I called it in Episode VII, they just “magically die.”
New Planets & Characters
Thanks to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you will jet set all through the galaxy. At times, I really thought I might be dizzy! As always, the cinematography is absolutely stunning. We experience different climates in this film. I will admit, it was a little unusual to see stormtroopers and palm trees.
New characters from Rogue One are, well, okay. Unfortunately, no one particular really stood out. Except for Darth Vader. He stands out, always. As a collective effort, they tell the story well, but the individual characters just did not capture my heart. Jyn Erso is a strong female character, or as I like to refer to her, a rebellious chick in a great jacket. But, she is definitely not as strong as Rey from Episode VII. Is she a great role model? Hmm, I’m not so sure about that one. Having been a Star Wars fan from the release of Episode IV, I loved the action, you know – that adrenaline rush as star destroyers passed overhead in the midst of battle. That is the Star Wars I know and love. I never was afraid of a character, nor ever felt scared in a Star Wars movie. They excited me – wanting more and more each time (including all of the toys so my sister and I could recreate movie moments at home). I am sad to say I do not feel that way today. If my child wanted to actually recreate a scene from a recent Star Wars movie, I think I might cringe.
I also didn’t find K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) as funny as everyone thought. I’m not sure why, though. He appeared to be a very frustrated droid with many humanistic qualities. He was intended to be the comic relief, but at times, I just rolled my eyes, as he reminded me of a bored child in the middle of the grocery store. I warmed up to Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Mabus (Wen Jiang) the most. Those are the two that I wanted more from. They had the whole package deal – a bit of comedy, a bit of strength, and a touch of compassion.
There are also a few cameos that you should keep your eyes open for.
What else can I tell you without spoiling this?
You have to see this movie. Not giving any details makes this review hard, but I can assure you, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story answers questions you want answered. It gives you perspective on the Rebels and the Empire in the early stages. While this movie takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, you can empathize with the characters and understand why they do what they do. You can easily relate.
If I was to compare this movie to Episode VII, this movie beats it, hands down. Rogue One is unique to the Star Wars saga that you know and love. It is a story that will not have a sequel. Yes, Episode IV takes place afterwards, but this is it for Rogue One. They have one chance to shine in the galaxy, and they exceedingly do just that. It is a story that will complete itself. There is no cliffhanger (that can’t be a spoiler – you have seen Episode IV, right?).
It is a war movie. There are star ships – and plenty of them. There are battles. You will cheer for the good guys (and when a certain dark lord in a black helmet breathes, too).
I feel like I may have said more negative than positive about this film. I did like it. But, I liked it as a movie, not necessarily a “Star Wars” movie. I feel that there was not enough familiarity for this to have felt like it belonged in between Episodes III and IV. I still recommend that any fan should see this movie, but don’t feel like this movie will bring you closer to the galaxy. I’m going to wait for Episode VIII for that one. There is hope.
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY is in U.S. theaters this Friday in 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D!