Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Robin LynnMovies, TheatricalLeave a Comment

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As most of you Beastlings know, the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens tonight, 16 December. And while Rogue one is a prequel to the sequels, and a sequel to the prequels, it holds a firm place in the series by itself.

Jyn Erso, our heroine, finds herself at a crossroads. Does she join the Rebel Alliance, or does she go back to living with her head down, escaping the notice of the Galactic Empire. After all, her name is a recognizable one in the Empire, and she could be used as a pawn.

That eternal question is the over-arching theme on Rogue One. Do we join forces with what seems to want to keep us free, or only look out for ourselves. And it’s a question that Jyn, as well as the viewer, must answer several times over.

While Rogue One holds its own in the cinematic universe of Star Wars, it’s not the strongest movie in the series, but it’s not the weakest either. I’d rank it right in the middle. There are a few things that stand out, but all in all (for a Star Wars movie), it’s fairly average.

The sweeping, lush landscapes are exactly what is expected, the impeccable costuming is also standard, and the score is beautifully tied into the visuals. Even though John Williams didn’t write and orchestrate the score for this one, it’s very clear that the music is his.

There are the usual quips, some terrific one-liners, including one from Darth Vader himself, and a wonderful cameo in the final scene. Guy Henry channels the perfect Grand Moff Tarkin, Genevieve O’Reilly is a spot on Mon Mothma, who is one of the two female characters to be more than background or have just a couple lines. I found that a touch disappointing, but it is the Star Wars universe, and it’s filled by men. There was one performance in particular that really disappointed me, and when you see it, you’ll know which it was.

But it’s a solid film, and completely (for me at least) wipes out the need for Episodes 1-3. There’s just enough backstory to fill most of the voids, but it’s not as overblown as the other prequels were. It’s solid on its own, and should be treated as such.

Full on fun, lots of action, wonderful battle scenes, character development, characters you could relate to, beautiful scoring and visuals. And that’s where I’ll end. I’m not giving out spoilers, as that would ruin much of the enjoyment out of the movie. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. The Rebels win, and bring A New Hope to the fight.

 

8 Stars

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Robin LynnMovie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story