Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

'Trust the Force.'

(And trust that this will be kept spoiler-free, too.)

Rogue One is the first stand-alone film from the Star Wars franchise. As I have explained to my wife which is a non-Star Wars fanatic unlike me, it would be watchable without fully memorising all the scenes, back-stories and characters from the 7 Star Wars films. The trailer got her sold.

It can be tough to digest this movie franchise for a beginner. From why the original trilogy starts with episodes 4-6; then the debatable debacle that was 1-3 (Hi Jarjar), and the 7th 2015's The Force Awakens. I did like TFA (The Force Awakens), but it divided the fans, some calling it an off-shoot of the A New Hope. It would be hard to disagree on that, too.
This is not a trap.

This is where the Rogue One wins the moviegoers. No, it's not a perfect film without flaws. But personally, I enjoyed this more than last year's JJ Abrams' directed flick. It would be tough to favour a 2016 film to a 1977 A New Hope when it comes to film technology, budget, and marketing. However, I feel Rogue One can be mentioned alongside the original trilogy with the triumph of story-telling, directing style, movie tone, and modern day film technology.

This guy was cut from the film. =(

'Rebellions are built on hope.'- Jyn Erso

Rogue One has the continuous classic appeal of the space saga that captured the cinematic imagination, with a ragtag rebel team led by a young lady named Jyn Erso. The plot seemed simple and straight-forward: The rebels needed to find a way to destroy the Imperial forces' newest super weapon, the aptly named Death Star. The rich and diverse group of characters that have intertwining schemes and backstories make up an intriguing adventure to battle the much superior Galactic Empire. This is Fellowship of the Ring in space.

For the much versed Star Wars fans, this takes place right before the Episode 4: A New Hope. Here's a little memory exercise: Episode 4 started after the rebels succeeded in stealing the plans for the Death Star. Princess Leia has the information and must find a way to send it to the rebels through the dynamic duo of droids, R2D2 and C3P0. Darth Vader of the Imperial forces was tasked to stop them at all costs.

It is an open secret from the trailers that the iconic villain Darth Vader will appear in this film, but I was more intrigued and rooted for the fresh on-screen heroes. Their notable diversity is needed and much more logical if you get an occasional alien and android walking around on every scene within the galaxy.

The android K2S0 is a scene stealer itself. If BB8 was a crowd-pleaser with mere sounds and cuteness ala-R2D2, K2S0's one-liners are effective as he does not have filter nor emotions on his blunt thoughts and straightforwardness.

The action scenes were generous, especially the climactic warzone kept me at the edge of my seat, literally. Imagine watching the World War 2 Allied forces landing on the enemy beachfront with laser gun fights and explosions. And of course the equally eyegasmic space fight between the Rebel spaceships versus the behemoth Imperial Destroyers. It was theatrically spectacular.
'Do you miss anything this Christmas?'
'Yeah mate. Everything, I miss everything.'
The ending is both a surprise 😱, and at the same time familiar (again pre-Episode 4), but the last 10 minutes of the film were pure joy and treat especially to the hardcore Star Wars fans.

All in all, this is easily my favourite over The Force Awakens. Rogue One is easily accessible and entertaining for both fans old and new. This definitely brought the 'WAR' in Star Wars. I am looking forward to more stand-alone films and stories with the rich characters in the vast galactic epic saga of the Star Wars.

Do not miss it, like the StormTroopers!

Will you be seeing it?
What's your favourite Star Wars film?
Share it in the comments, and please, no spoilers.
May the force be with you.

1 comment

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