I love Star Wars! Though I only got into it three years ago. My mother bought me the complete set (which I now know it isn’t! The box it came in is a liar) of Star Wars movies, Episode one through six.
Previously I had been trying to catch them when they were on regular TV and since I was young and didn’t understand the strange order of the films, I may, therefore, have seen them all but not in an order that made sense and not understanding the change in the age of films. It wasn’t until I met people hugely into the films and looked them up fully online to understand why I had been so confused!
Now I have seen them all and understand the stories though please don’t treat me as an expert, I am not! I still get muddled when I see people in big white plastic suits and need to remember if they are clones or storm troopers or something else entirely – this is one confusing story and one day I will write a post about what the plot line is dumbed down. Not today, though, today is the review of the newest film in the Star Wars Canon Universe, Rogue One.
*There will be no spoilers in this review.*
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Overall – 4/5
Acting – 4/5
Props and Sets – 5/5
Special Effects -5/5
Set up for Further Sequel – 3/5
Lucasfilms newest addition to their infamous space opera Star Wars, Rogue One opened up to packed cinemas full of fans ready to be hugely disappointed. Though their fears were not to be confirmed as now that it’s been out for a few months, all I hear about this film is how great it is, darker and more serious than the others but still sticking to the story we all love. To date, it has made over $1 billion dollars in the cinemas and that figure isn’t taking into consideration merchandise and such sold in Disney stores and shops around the world.This is Gareth Edwards first time at directing a Star Wars film and I suspect not his last with the way this one turned out.
Actually, it’s not surprising this film is quite dark when looking through Gareth Edwards previous works, he isn’t exactly the ‘My Little Pony’, rainbows and sugar drops director, his last major piece being Godzilla, you know, that light hearted family friendly film about the dinosaur-type-creature destroying cities and killing thousands, lots of death, lots of screaming. Yeah, it’s not surprising this film is darker than others.
When I was first going to see it I ended up seeing it with a couple of under 12-year-olds who weren’t scared of the action and death scenes, but also had no interest in the film and in the end I spent more time in the bathroom with them on potty breaks than watching the film, missing the ending completely and most of the dialogue in the middle, so as soon as I could I went to go see it by myself. While going I mentioned it to a friend and she summed up this film completely, “It’s 2 hours of happiness followed by 1/2 hour of tears and anger”. Well, she wasn’t wrong.
This is not a movie to see for those who get attached to characters. Just don’t. It will hurt and I cannot be held responsible for the pain or the bill for tissues. Acting wise, I may have found a new love in Diego Luna, who plays Cassian Andor, a rebel pilot and fighter. Forget how cool this last name is, that accent has got me all goosebumped, with some brilliantly moving and emotional dialogue. Not to mention the appearance of Princess Leia, the infamous character played by Carrie Fisher who had just passed away previous to this film, and I couldn’t stop myself from tearing up. This films biggest achievement – being the best tear-jerking film of the year.
Props, sets, structure, music – this film is perfect! How could a Star Wars film not have the greatest of props and sets, especially with Disney running the show? Also, this film moves smoothly from beginning to end with no problems following the plot and weaves in the previous movies plot with surgical precision. Musically, when you find out who composed the music, Michael Giacchino, who previous to this has worked ‘The Incredibles’, ‘Up’, ‘Star Trek’ (2009) and immediately before Rogue One, ‘Doctor Strange’, you can’t help but just feel Giacchino is the perfect choice, he has proven himself by now multiple times over. He is an expert by now at making the audience feel any emotion he wants without the need for dialogue, just the music. Also got to give him credit for doing this entire score in 4 weeks – my lord, he is beyond praise!
Though no film is perfect. Yes, this film did take part in a universe I love and yes, the music was brilliant, yes, the props and sets were gorgeous, yes, it had characters I adore, and yes, it expands on a storyline I love and fills in the gaps between III and IV*. I did, though, find myself feeling like those were supposed to be its selling points and nothing more. I just couldn’t enjoy it as much as the others. Maybe it was because I already knew the outcome from knowing the overall arc, or maybe it’s because it just wasn’t as similar to ‘Force Awakens’ as I would have liked. I simply don’t know. Very few films I can’t figure out what I don’t like, and to be fair that is a selling point for me in its own way. With this film as soon as it is on DVD/Blu-Ray/PayPerView I will be watching it again and again until I figure it out!
*Lets cover the question I have been asked two dozen times by now – How does this film fit in with the rest? Is it a sequel to Force Awakens? Well no…
Basically, this is how it works IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER (meaning this is how the films are in order of the timeline)
- Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
- Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
- Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (Yet to be released, coming out this year, December)
So Rogue One fits between episode three and four, filling in the gaps and explaining some of the plot jumps (there are approx 18 years between the end of three and four so naturally plot moved on, information has be gotten and lost, characters have changed and aged etc.)
Basically, don’t feel bad if you’re lost. Most are! There are also animated programs that fit in between films and then they are going to release a Han Solo individual movie, there is another film to come after Last Jedi, but its yet unnamed and not filmed, and another Star Wars Story film, similar to Rogue One, but to date all that happened with that is Disney hired a writer last year, nothing has been heard since. So yeah, confused? It’s absolutely utterly fine. Just enjoy the films, especially Rogue One and the lovely voice of Diego Luna!
On a final note, my MVP of Rogue One – K-2SO, the most sarcastic, sassy and delightful robot yet! Between Lunas voice and K-2SOs dialogue, I was in auditory heaven!
**This review and its opinions belong to Ella-May Wallace under the pen name of Tinyblades. The movie this piece is reviewing belongs entirely to Disney and George Lucas. Ella-May Wallace receives no monetary value for this review.**