Alright, here it is. You didn’t ask for it, you didn’t want it, I made it anyway. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: A Spoiler review of a Star Wars Story: Rogue one. It’s kind of long, so strap in.
This review may come across as a little negative. So, I should preface this by saying; I really enjoyed the film, I had a lot of fun with it. This is a long review, but the bulk (if not all) of it is made up by minor nit-picks…there’s just a lot of minor nit-picks.
It comes as no surprise to any of us who like movies that are coherent, that this would be addressed. To be fair, it’s mostly the first act, or even, the first half of the first act. But boy, was it jarring.
Visiting three locations in under three minutes was fun, in the sense that I liked that the characters were scattered across the galaxy doing their own thing. But, you know what would be more fun? Spending more time at those locations, and with those characters to develop them a little more.
NB-Just quickly on character development: all the characters were underdeveloped. That’s right, I said it.
The score, it was kind of dull overall, and very noticeable at times for all the wrong reasons.
Bear in mind, Michael Giacchino only had about 3-4 weeks to work it. Had he had adequate time to truly nail-down, I’m sure we would have gotten something akin to his work on Jurassic World. A Score, which I feel, rode on the success of its predecessor, whilst adding its own little flare in there.
There was two main moments were the music just wasn’t quite right, and it took me out of the scene.
The first being; when Ando, Jyn, and K-2SO arrive on Jedha.
Their ship lands off-screen, then hard cut to a shot of the three of them from a distance climbing a rock with menacing music playing. We later learn that the menacing music is playing because the camera pans up to a shot of a Star Destroyer.
Which just makes you notice the pan, and the hard cut from the ship, and the “why didn’t we just see them land” of it all. It’s more of an editing issue than the music itself, however, it was the music that drew attention to the edit.
The other moment is when the Hammerhead ship was pushing a neutralized Star Destroyer into another, cutting it in half. That’s an incredible moment! Undercut, only by the bizarre musical choice, which didn’t convey the epic imagery on the screen.
Let’s take a moment to honour the Rogue One members who died. And by that, I mean literally all of them, they all died.
As sadistic as it sounds, I’m glad Donnie Yen’s, Chirrut Imwe, was the first to go.
If you did your best to avoid spoilers before seeing Rogue One, then this may have been a surprise.
However, if you’re like me and are ambivalent towards spoilers/kind of hate yourself, then you’d know that during Star Wars Celebration Europe, Wen Jiang (who plays Donnie Yen’s force sceptical partner in crime protecting crystals, or something) casually mentioned the death of Chirrut to highlight a “…big thing.” that he does. Just between you and me, it wasn’t that big.
As the naïve young man, I was at the time, I thought Chirrut was going to be the one and only death of the Rogue squadron. But, well…no.
For some reason, Bodhi’s death was the most emotional and impactful, to me at least.
Maybe it was because he was the second to die, which suggests that the rest of them are probably going to die. Or perhaps it’s that Rogue One (the ship) dies with him, meaning their one way off Scarif has been destroyed, which again eludes to the fact that they’re kind of f@&ked. Or maybe it was simply Riz Ahmed’s performance with a final look, accepting the situation knowing he did his bit for the cause.
Whichever way it was, Bodhi’s death brought another level of tension to the third act, knowing that anyone could go at any moment.
That moment everyone’s been gushing about
Despite the film’s technical flaws, the final scene, alone, is worth the price of admission. Watching Vader cut through a handful of rebels, like a knife through butter, was extremely satisfying.
One final nit-pick, the movie would have been more impactful if it had cut to credits on the shot of Vader looking menacing out of an exposed docking station (that’s not a euphemism or anything).
As far as Rogue one’s ranking among the rest of the saga, it’s in the upper half of the franchise. That’s not really saying that much considering about half of the Star Wars movies are kind of garbage. To rank it more specifically, I would slot this in 4th, behind A New Hope, Empire, and Force Awakens.
What did you guys think of Rogue one, and where would you rank it compared to the other Star Wars films?
There, it’s done. If you made it this far…one final spoiler: you might hate yourself, almost as much as I hate myself for writing this. Still, I admire your endurance.