I really didn’t want to watch Rogue One: A Star Wars story. Star Wars isn’t just a movie franchise in our family, it’s legacy, it’s tradition, something we have been brought up on. So when I heard of Rogue One, I was sure that after the Force Awakens, this was another attempt at turning the franchise into a money-printing machine. While the intentions behind Rogue One may actually be this, the movie is more authentic than anything we have seen, dare I say, after the original series ( Episodes IV, V, VI).
Rogue One doesn’t have the baggage of figuring out the Skywalker family tree, it’s a completely different kind of Star Wars film. It takes you to the trenches of the rebellion and shows you a grittier, darker world where not everyone is a princess or blessed with Jedi genes.
In fact it’s a relief to see no lightsaber or jedi powers but for one, as opposed to the flying-kicking power rangers version we saw in the Force Awakens.
This movie has heart and the patience to tell a story without rushing into the temptation of a visual effects parade. Just like the older movies, there is wonder and awe but no VFX fanfare that overshadows the story. Rogue One isn’t flawless but it’s worth worth watching. Did I mention Darth Vader at the height of his viciousness? I also love how Star Wars continues to create strong female characters. Since it’s a stand alone film and an adventure one at that, there isn’t much time to develop the characters but I loved Felicity Jones and Donnie Yen’s characters and their acting as well. I also liked the fact that this just might be the most diverse Star Wars cast to date. There is also a surprise in the cast, let me know in the comments if you noticed the actor.
While many view Star Wars as being an almost fairytale-like set of stories, if you gave the original series careful thought, you would see it’s far from it. It tells the tale of how a rebellion succeeded, giving it a happy ending but otherwise it isn’t sugar-coated at all; I mean, it has familial dismembering for one. Rogue One stays on that line between the light and the dark side, set in the heart of the rebellion, the grim reality of war and of course the tipping point that gives the Star Wars universe a new hope.
Watch it now.
p.s. – If you were worried that John Williams wasn’t part of this film, you were right – The score is bad.