Gareth Edward’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” hit theaters Friday, but does it live up to everyone’s expectations?
“Rogue One” went above and beyond my expectations. Many reports of on-set drama and reshoots had me worried about the direction it was going. I thought “Rogue One” could very well be a disaster. After seeing it, I can assure you it’s not.
This will be a spoiler free review. You will be able to check out a spoiler review on our YouTube channel at a later date.
“Rogue One” is the first live action “Star Wars” film without an opening crawl. Did it need one? Yes and no. I think it could’ve used one but it didn’t affect my opinion on the film. The way the film cuts to the opening scene it really seems like they had a crawl planned though, but did away with it.
We are then introduced to Director Krennic, one of the villains of the film. Krennic’s character isn’t as fleshed out as I would’ve liked, but Ben Mendelsohn plays the character so well that it made me forget about his lack of development. Can we get Ben Mendelsohn in a comic book movie now?
The main character of the film, Jyn Erso, is the most developed, and the best character of the film. And Felicity Jones is absolutely wonderful in the film. I can’t wait to see her in more blockbusters after this.
Michael Giacchino’s score is fantastic, the editing for the score is just a little odd. There’s some scenes that are very dark, but the score is very light. But Giacchino does a great job filling in John William’s shoes.
Now let’s talk about Darth Vader. Don’t go in expected Vader to be in most of the film. He’s in around 5 minutes, but he has my favorite scene in the entire saga. Yeah, it’s that epic. You don’t really think about how little he’s in because they use him so well.
Now let’s talk about my very few negatives.
The only big problem with “Rogue One” is some of its characters. The only two well developed characters are Jyn and Cassian. We don’t really learn a lot about the Rogue One team before we jump into the third act. And the way some of the characters come together seems really forced and coincidental just for the plot’s convenience.
“Rogue One” has very slight pacing issues. There are some scenes that drag in the third act. There’s also some scenes that don’t really need to be in the film, and wouldn’t affect the film at all if they weren’t there.
Also, there is one person slacking in the film – acting-wise – and it’s surprisingly Forest Whitaker. He isn’t that great in the film. It seemed like he was just phoning it in. Although, he is only in about six or seven minutes. The rest of the cast is great.
“Rogue One” is by no means perfect, but it’s an incredible entry in the “Star Wars” saga. It takes many risks, and isn’t your typical cookie-cutter blockbuster. I’d even go as far to say this is probably the darkest “Star Wars” film, and that’s a great thing. It tells me that Disney is taking this franchise in the right direction.
I’m confident in saying “Rogue One” is the best “Star Wars” film since “Empire Strikes Back”.