Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review - No Spoilers

Here's my non-spoiler review of Rogue One which I saw today in theaters with my friend Hailley.  I will have a spoiler review up shortly, but if you haven't seen Rogue One yet, this review will not spoil you.

I also am going to go back and review Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and Force Awakens properly in the coming days because I ran out of time this week.  I am reviewing them out of order because I'm a rebel (get it?).

You can see my other Star Wars Reviews here:  The Phantom Menace - A New Hope - The Empire Strikes Back - Return of the Jedi

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The Verge

So Rogue One tells the story of how the Rebel Alliance acquired the plans to the Death Star.  These are the same plans that Princess Leia gives to R2D2 and sends to Obi-wan at the beginning of A New Hope.  The events of Rogue One take place about six months in advance of the beginning of A New Hope.

The name Rogue One refers to the squad of rebels who is responsible for ascertaining the plans.

The main character is Jyn, and her father is sort of forced to help the Empire against his will in constructing the Death Star.  He secretly creates weak points in the Death Star since he still sympathizes with the Rebels.  Eventually it becomes Jyn's responsibility to locate the plans in order to stop the Empire.

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First off, this film is based around a really creative idea.  In A New Hope it appears super easy to destroy the Death Star, but once you know the backstory of how the plans were taken in the first place (and the reason the Death Star has a weakness in the first place) it becomes clear that it wasn't as easy as it appeared.  I would say this reason alone warrants a watch of Rogue One.  It's worth it to know the backstory.

Even though the idea is great, some of the plot isn't the best fleshed out and it seems rushed in some parts and extremely lagging in others.  The pacing problem I'm guessing is due to production problems and multiple re-shoots, and you can tell the movie doesn't quite flow precisely.  One example of this is at the ending.  Without spoiling too much, let's just say that certain characters were meant to die because they were not in the original trilogy.  The film did not really give a super compelling reason for them to die, but just kind of rushed them out the door within the last few minutes of the reason.  This seemed really poorly planned out.

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With that said, the lighting is really beautiful, in my opinion.  I particularly liked the ending when things were tied in with A New Hope because the lighting used aboard Leia's ship was really similar to what it looked like in the original film and it tied things together well.  Even though this movie comes before A New Hope, it obviously has better effects and looks great, but those ending scenes recalled what the original film looked like without trying to show off.  I feel that this was a smooth transition.

Additionally, this film has some stunning visual effects.  I can't give away what my favorite visual effect is without spoiling things, but just be prepared to be blown away.

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One thing I felt this film really lacked was compelling characters.  I found myself disinterested when certain things would happen to characters because I simply didn't care about their fate that much. When Han was frozen in carbonite in the Empire Strikes Back, I was beside myself.  When characters in this film are completely obliterated--and this is going to sound bad--I didn't

I think too much of this film was devoted to action sequences rather than character development.

So what's my conclusion?  I say go see the film because it does add to the original story.  Is it perfect?  No.  Is it better than Force Awakens?  Nope.  But is it worth two hours?  Sure, if you want the whole Star Wars story.

So let me know what you thought of Rogue One, and I'll be back with a spoiler review shortly.

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  1. Thank you. I'm seeing the movie soon, and want a detailed review without many spoilers and this was perfect. tried a different website and it told me that_____ ______died (not a huge spoiler). I'm happy!

    1. You're welcome!! I'm glad you liked it :)
      Thanks for commenting.