Dump Star Wars, My Ass…
Yo, this be Reuben. Not much is better than Star Wars on the big screen, and not much is better than Star Wars at Christmas time. There is always a special, magical and enjoyable thrill to be enjoyed in Star Wars, unless you look to the prequel crap. Let’s forget about those, though, and enjoy this fun Star Wars spin-off.
I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan for years now, and the announcement of Rogue One was a great one for me, because my view is, the more Star Wars, the better — so, thank you, Disney!
Rogue One follows the story of Jyn Erso, the daughter of Galen Erso – a guy who begrudgingly works for the Empire – who after being captured by the Empire is rescued by Rebels. She was mostly raised by extremist Rebel Saw Gerrera and is sent by the Alliance to his base-planet, Jedha, to persuade him to help the Alliance himself. However, the main focus turns to a message delivered by a defected Imperial pilot, Bodhi Rook, from Jyn’s father to Gerrera, revealing the way to destroy the recently built Death Star. Then stuff blows up and Jyn and her formed band of misfits of a Rebel pilot, defected Imperial pilot, wise-cracking robot, blind Asian guy and a not-blind Asian guy eventually embark on a quest to find the Death Star plans and deliver them to high-ups in the Rebel Alliance, thus kick-starting the legend of Episode IV’s plot.
It goes about it in a slightly too convoluted manner, but when it comes to it, Rogue One is basically a bunch of suicidal maniacs in the Alliance trying to get the Death Star plans. The plot works well enough in that it gives the foundation for the characters and their relationships to grow, and gives more context to the original Star Wars.
The core cast of characters is given its background in the film’s start, and they bond through fireworks, with fantastic performances all around and a clever screenplay. Every character is unique and has their quirks, and all manage to get enough screentime, so there is no problem of having too much characters. However, the strongest of the lot is no question Jyn Erso, as Felicity Jones makes her an even stronger protagonist than Rey in The Force Awakens, her lead performance being one of the most impressive I’ve seen in a long time.
On the other side of the core cast is the bad guys. The one who takes up the role of the main antagonist is Admiral Raddus, who is a definite tool-bag. He is just generally douchey, and that’s fine, because that’s what the Empire is supposed to be. ‘Course, Rogue One wouldn’t be as good as it is without the cameos of a particular Sith, but let’s see… But yeah, the good and the bad side is always in conflict in Rogue One, and the core cast of both sides is in top form, for a proper bruise up.
It takes a little while to discover this core cast’s real quality, though, because Rogue One starts pretty slowly. The different cinematography and slightly less classic Star Wars-y feel to Episode VII do a good job at setting it apart from the main canon, but take a little while to get used to. Indeed, the acts of the first half-an-hour or so, therefore, seem quite odd, and the slow progression isn’t exactly thrilling — alongside the fact it is all over the place.
Even so, from the very start the grand scale of the movie can be seen. There is no over-use of CGI environments or creatures, as carrying on what The Force Awakens began, as the immense backdrops and quality costume designs show off. There is a multitude of planets and new spacey places to feast your eyes on, emphasized by some mighty impressive shots.
The sound is absolute quality, too. It’s clear that Lucasarts wanted to separate this film from the main canon, as mentioned, and so the score is mostly made up of never before heard tracks, and boy are they good as always. In atmospheric moments or moments of reminiscence they brought in some classic tunes, and it really helped bring the goosebumps.
Obviously, this film wouldn’t be as good as it is without some ‘splosions. And dude does Rogue One have some good action. After a problematic start, for the last solid hour-and-a-half the film gets in full flow and there is a constant barrage of exhilarating action, all under a dark, but adventurous, and all in all absolutely thrilling veil: giving us a climax rivaling Return of the Jedi’s.
In conclusion, Rogue One was such a pleasant surprise, because it holds up with Star Wars’ elite, as possibly one of the most entertaining and adventurous films of the decade, with fantastic action, visuals, sound and a selection of brilliant characters that really bring the film to life. However, it’s held back from being quite the complete action sci-fi like last year’s The Force Awakens with its annoyingly slow start.
Nonetheless, this is oh so easily Gareth Edward’s best film to date, blowing both Godzilla and Monsters into a galaxy far, far away. And, for now, it’s easily recommendable as a Christmas treat.
Bringing redundant opinions for scrollers everywhere,