Well here it is the next instalment in the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Until the first reactions came out of the premier I had relatively moderate expectations. I was excited but wasn’t losing my mind over it like I had for last years, The Force Awakens. Once the reactions hit from some of my favourite critics, that I trust and share similar taste with I got much more excited but still kept my expectations at a moderate level. With that being said I am very happy to say that my expectations were blown out of the water. This film is incredible and a much welcomed addition to the Star Wars saga.
Gareth Edwards has done a brilliant job directing this film and making it connect directly to the original 1977 Star Wars seamlessly. Edwards throws us into this story and never allows a dull moment. Thanks to his intuitive direction every scene is filled with a purpose of excitement and relevance not only to the story at hand but to the entire saga as a whole. There are so many enthralling sequences that have you on the edge of your seat, but there are two in particular that stand out. The first is the space battle, which isn’t only the greatest space battle in any Star Wars movie, but in any sci-fi movie ever. My breath was taken away by the gorgeous visual flare and the larger than life look of it all. It also blends beautifully with the battle that takes place simultaneously on the beach. The second sequence, I’m not going to get into any details about as it would be a spoiler and the last thing I want to do is ruin this for anyone. Just know that my jaw was dropped the entire time and it alone is worth the price of admission.
Aside from all of the glorious set pieces in this film, another stand out is the characters. Jyn Erso our main protagonist is a really well rounded character and is portrayed by Felicity Jones who absolutely crushes it. Erso is bad ass, fearless and just an incredible character to lead the team Rogue One. Her co-lead in the film Cassian Andor played by Diego Luna might just be my new favourite character in the entire franchise. I loved every second he was on screen, he is a dedicated rebel soldier and there is a lot of inner conflict with his character. The way some people feel about Han Solo is exactly how I currently feel about Andor. The rest of the cast is great as well. Ben Mendelsohn as always brings his A game to the role of Director Orson Krennic, highlighting why he is one of the best character actors out there. Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang are all fantastic as well in their respective roles. The last performance worth mentioning is that of Alan Tudyk as K2-SO. This was a character I had thought I was going to be dreadfully annoyed with before walking into the film but I absolutely loved him. He added a lot of levity to the film at all the right times and never feels out of place. Tudyks charm shines though this character and managed to put a smile on my face countless times.
The movie is spectacular when it comes to the effects, which is a no brainer for a Lucasfilm production. There are some specific visuals that I want to talk about in detail but won’t due to avoiding spoilers, I will probably talk about that in a future post. The writing is on point, nothing seems out of place for the film. Everything that ties into the original trilogy was perfect and was seamless. Especially when it came to Vader who wasn’t in it much but they brought me back to the character I know and love from the original trilogy. If anything this made me want a Darth Vader solo film more than I ever thought I would. In the way of issues with the film I don’t have many just a few nitpicks here and there and some stuff that would be better suited for spoiler talk. With that being said my biggest issue that I can talk about is the lack of the iconic crawl, and the awful title card for the movie. The crawl is a Star Wars staple and this film proves to me how important it is for it to be there at it serves as a smooth transition into the movie. In this it just jumps into the movie and it is jarring to be quite honest. Although I did forget about it after a few minutes in so take that for what it is. Last thing I want to talk about is the weird and awfully lazy title card. It is something that I could easily make in Windows Movie Maker and doesn’t really mesh well with Star Wars. It’s a small thing but it stood out to me.
Overall I really enjoyed Rogue One and I look forward to more stand alone Star Wars films in the future. I implore you all to go see this, it is really well done and worth your money. For the rating I’m going to give this movie could go up but for now this is what I think it should be.
I give Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 9/10
So there you have it that’s my review of Rogue One. What did you think about the film? Love it? Hate it? Who is your favourite character? I’d love to hear your thoughts and you can share them with me by simply leaving a comment or starting a conversation with me on twitter and instagram @nerdycasual. If you liked this review and think other friends of yours might enjoy it please share it with them I’d really appreciate it. As always guys thank you so much for reading, take care.
All images belong to Lucasfilm.