Rogue One (2016)

The daughter of an Imperial scientist joins the Rebel Alliance in a risky move to steal the Death Star plans.
Watching this for the purposes of writing this review was actually my third attempt at watching this movie, and was a spur of the moment type thing. Somehow it never gripped me in the early parts despite having all the hallmarks of a good ‘Ryan Movie’, such as a sassy robot and some stunning setpieces. This time, however, I seriously enjoyed all 2 hours of it. The story follows Jyn Erso, who is the daughter of an Imperial scientist who through an exciting series of events ends up working for and then believing in the rebellion as they uncover the Death Star plan and work to steal the empire’s data.
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Story-wise, I have no problems with this film. It has great pacing and ties well into the beginning of the next film in the Star Wars saga, which would be the first one ever released. That was kind of sold to me as a gimmick, but it works well. I found myself instantly wanting to put A New Hope on. The characters built for this story were pretty good too. Jyn Erso is a compelling character who gives me Katniss vibes, while Cassian is pretty much an amalgamation of every other pilot in the saga. The resident robot, if I may be harsh, comes across as Threepio without a sass limiter. Not that I didn’t absolutely love him. His spats with Jyn were the highlight of the movie for me. Plus he gets to deliver the once-a-movie line everyone comes to expect.
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If I had a criticism of the movie it would be that a lot of things seem ever so familiar. I know it’s a prequel that uses characters already very much solidified in the canon, but if there’s one I’ve come to expect when watching current-generation Star Wars movies is that they know which tropes the fandom loves and how to execute them. Family members who die in each others arms for example. Hasn’t this been done? Related: killing the innocent bystanders after the culprit you were looking for has confessed. That’s something that felt just all too familiar. And don’t get me started on a certain sith’s ostensible inability to break into a light jog to just get a few feet forward to pick up the Death Star plans before the door shuts inches from his lightsaber. Hmph. Maybe he has asthma. Sure sounds like it.
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I did get a little bit of a lump in my throat when the ending came up and we saw the CGI Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia. Her one line sent a shiver down my spine. It was really well-done I feel. Although Grand Moff Tarkin’s are often quite noticeable, Leia looked completely inconspicuous. It makes me hopeful for what they may and could do come the last movie of the Skywalker saga. I’m no Star Wars superfan, but I’m certainly a regular fan who is excited to see what’s going to happen next.
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