This is a large shift in tone for the Star Wars universe. Instead of something fantastical, this movie is more down to earth, so to speak. The Jedi are once again a mysterious presence. It’s like some old story again, like how it was in A New Hope. Though I still consider that strange since come on, it’s been less than 20 years since the Jedi Order was destroyed. How does everyone think it’s just a legend?
Anyway, Rogue One is about how the rebels got the plans for the Death Star. It has a lot of more, I’ll say, realistic fighting. It’s like soldiers fighting other soldiers. There’s no Jedi holding off entire battalions at once, though it comes close with a few of the characters. But a lot of people get gunned down, both good guy and bad. It feels like a big sacrifice just to get the Death Star plans.
You know, it really feels like a realistic version of the Endor battle. Instead of ewoks taking out walkers with swinging logs, it’s the rebels desperately trying to survive the assault to get their stuff done.
The idea of the movie is alright, and the actual mission to steal the Death Star plans worked really well. Before that it was sort mixed. The beginning jumps around a lot to set up the story instead of happening an opening word crawl. We get introduced to the main character, Jyn, and her father.
After that, things ramp up fast. We don’t got too much time for character development here. There is an esemble cast, but not all of them are used to their full potential. I’m mostly speaking of the guy with the big gun (whose name I don’t even know), and Cassian, the only actual member of the Rebellion at the start of the movie. The big guy with the gun is mostly just there. And after the midway point of the movie, Cassian just loses his position of being in charge to Jyn.
Jyn is alright, though. I do think it was strange how she went full in on the Rebellion enough to lead the Rogue One instead of Cassian. I did like the character of Saw. He really gives a bleaker look into the rebels.
Overall, none of the characters stand out to me as being super beloved. I think it might have to do with the more serious tone. The robot member is probably the one that stands out most to me followed by Chirrut, the blind, uh, force-believer.
But like I said, the actual part where they try to steal the Death Star plans is fantastic. It assumes all of the characters are built up well enough when they aren’t, but it was still great. They should have a scene earlier in the movie to show the team starting to work together, though. That never really happens.
Onto some spoiler thoughts. If you don’t want that, know that Rogue One is a side story, one that didn’t necessarily need to be told but is pretty good. The characters are a bit underdeveloped, though.
Now then, is that Tarkin? Whoa. I remember hearing his actor had died, so I was really surprised to see that. I did notice he was off at times, but not enough to take me out of the movie.
And I really liked Vader’s scenes, though they are such a tease for A New Hope. The only good thing is that I don’t have to wait years for A New Hope since I’ve already seen it.
But tell me this, would it be too dark if Vader faced the heroes directly instead? He has a great scene of cutting down entire hallways of rebels. Instead of that, how about Jyn and Cassian get off the planet with the plans? But Vader boards their vessel or something. They have to sneak the plans away while Vader is marching through the ship taking care of everyone. It would be a much more direct threat from him and be really chilling since you know Vader will win.
And I think one of the reasons the writers chose not to develop the characters as much was because they knew all of Rogue One would be dead by the end of the film. I did appreciate them not being afraid to just kill off the entire team since that’s pretty much how it was said to have gone down. I still would have liked more reasons to care about the characters, though.
I would like to see more side stories within the Star Wars universe. Sure, there are books, but movies are fun. Rogue One worked really well from the third act on while being a bit spotty in the character parts.
Oh, I love all of the Star Wars Rebels references. That show is fun, and I’m glad to see or hear it in a major movie.