Star Wars: Rogue One Movie Review

rogue3Star Wars: Rogue One (2016) is a good movie.  It’s not a perfect movie and it’s not the best Star Wars movie ever made, and I’m guessing it’ll be forgotten about in about ten years, so there is that.  It’s just pretty good.  Is that a bad thing?  It certainly has a lot of positives, which is why it will probably carry a lot of fans for years to come.

The positives far outweigh the negatives.  I like the characters a lot, even though most of them are paper thin.  I like Jhin and K-2 the Robotic One-Liner, despite Donnie Yen and Riz Ahmed doing a better job acting the crap out of their roles.  Donnie Yen is especially quirky as Chirrut, but it works for his character, who I guess is not really a Jedi but a force user none-the-less.  The cast does a good job.

rogue2Peter Cushing returns to life as Tarkin in this movie and takes over the Death Star.  Seeing him in this movie is sorta jarring, since I’m a big Peter Cushing fan, and I think they overdid it with his character’s participation in the plot.  I get why he needed to be there, but maybe some of that dialogue could have gone to Darth Vader.  Yep, Vader is in this movie, and he’s not awesome until the last 2 minutes.  Until then, he gets to threaten some people and make a pun for the first time in a Star Wars movie.  Ugh.  Terrible.

The beginning of this movie is a disaster.  There’s no title crawl.  There’s no theme music.  There’s no big action set piece to open the movie.  It begins with a dull dialogue heavy scene and then jumps around to different planets as we meet our main characters.  They tell us who they are in their dumb intro dialogue, so that’s helpful.  Things pick up when the Death Star starts firing on cities.

rogue1The last part of the movie is nearly perfect.  The anti-hero mission works well to throttle up the pace, where the Rogue One squad disobeys direct orders and tries to get the Death Star plans.  It works.  For the most part.  At the very end, we get a great scene with Darth Vader, as he mows through people trying to get those stolen plans back.  I think people were cheering for Vader at that point, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, since he’s a villain.  That’s like making a Boba Fett movie.  Why? He’s a bad guy, right?  I guess you can’t fight the awesomeness.

The thing about prequels is that there’s always going to be continuity nitpicks.  There’s continuity jaffes about Rogue One too, but this movie exists to explain plot holes in A New Hope, for the most part.  That’s the trouble with prequels.  They don’t stand on their own, although Rogue One breaks away from that mold by not sending characters back in time like most prequels do, except for Tarkin and Vader’s appearances.  And Bail Organa, who’s there to wink wink at the audience to remind us of his involvement in the Star Wars movies.  

Overall, this is a good movie.  A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back still hold one over as the best Star Wars movies, but the third act of Rogue One stacks up well against just about everything.  I think maybe they could have done better sticking with Jhin and developing her character, instead of jumping around between planets and characters.  Or giving more time to Donnie Yen.  Either way, the character development is lacking.  And the first act needs a lot of help.  I still thought it was pretty entertaining, and I had a good time watching it.