Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
“Rebellions are built on hope”
We hear these words powerfully uttered by rebel commander Cassian Andor, and later echoed by the female protagonist Jyn Erso, and oh how potent those words are.
The first anthology film in the star wars franchise was a bold and seemingly risky move for the multi-billion dollar franchise, but Rogue one delivers on nearly every level, and most certainly contends for top 3 Star Wars films of all time. My doubts coming into the movie were the character development, main story integration and above all else, satisfying action sequences. All of my demands were met on a grandiose scale that kept me invested from start to finish and certainly gave me new ideas on how to watch the franchise in marathon.
The performances were quite spectacular. Particularly from Diego Luna and Felicity Jones, who were undoubtedly the most developed characters in the film. Diego Luna’s character had torture in eyes, but a fierce desire and passion for emancipation. Felicity Jones’ character did not capture me immediately, in fact it took her roughly 45 minutes to get me interested in her character as an adult, but immediately after her transition in my heart, it made the viewing on the screen all the more better. Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk are easily the stand-out characters in the film, and provide much needed levity, and pulsating action sequences. Alan Tudyk as K2SO specifically, definitely takes the spot from R2D2 as my favorite droid; his jokes are well timed, and his interventions never seem like plot devices, which truly enhances your viewing experience. Forrest Whitaker’s character was one I thought I would enjoy more, but left me ultimately disappointed. The character wasn’t bad, but he just wasn’t the archetype I had perceived him to be. Darth Vader in the film is remarkable, but I will leave it at that, you must see for yourself.
In terms of action, this film has it all. We jump immediately into a conflict situation at the beginning, and it surely grabs hold of us. Chirrut Imwe’s fight sequences are mesmerizing and incredibly charming, along with Baze Malbus’ companionship, it provides a strong dynamic for the audience to follow. The beach scene on the Empire base, is absolutely mind-blowing and one of the best war scenes in the past 10 years. We have the opposing forces, both weak at certain parts of the sequence, but we never feel as if one has the complete edge over the other, which I find extremely effective, as uncertainty is a huge factor in this film, or rather hope. The space battle is perhaps the best we’ve ever seen in star wars, and is more than capable of contesting with the legendary likes of the episode 6 space battle. The third act of this movie, is also quite possibly the best in 10 years of a blockbuster film. There were a few issues with visual effects and the right usage, but for modern technology and our evolution, I do believe its the best we could’ve done, and boy was it necessary.
You will most definitely enjoy this film way more if you are a hardcore Star Wars fan, but ultimately, even the common movie goer would have an enjoyable experience. The way it ties in to the Star Wars franchise is truly astounding, and for its bravery, and successful attempts to mold the Star Wars universe together, it is truly an amazing film.
Story telling: 10
Character Development: 8