It’s no secret that Star Wars has been one of the greatest movie franchises of all time. In the past 40 years, each film has killed the box office and the 7th installment to the series netted over two billion. In 2012 George Lucas sold his company Lucasfilm to Disney for four billion dollars. Star Wars has been held to a very high standard as maybe the best science fiction series to matriculate. So did Rogue One hold up to the reputation of the franchise?
Star Wars Rogue One tells the story of Jyn Erso, a woman who joins the rebel alliance in order to find her father, Galen Erso to uncover the plans for the Death Star. The first thing I noticed was that this movie had no chemistry between its characters. In every Star Wars movie there’s a core group of characters who have a sense of trust with each other, even if it takes time to develop. I didn’t like how nobody could trust anyone. I had a real issue with the fact that the droid K-2SO was the only character who knew where his loyalties stood.
The Force Awakens was a terrific movie overall, but it had one strong fault, it was too much of a reflection of A New Hope. Unfortunately, Rogue One failed to change that. Cassian was a proud rebel with hair trigger and it took him a while to come around towards Jyn Erso. He and his droid were a representation of Han Solo and Chewbacca. That’s the first experience Star Wars has had with a droid fighting for the rebels and making decisions by their own choice. Jyn Erso to me was shown as Luke Skywalker with a twist. It doesn’t take a Jedi to be a good rebel. A main issue I have with the new wave of Star Wars films (prequels excluded), is that we are fed a similar story again and again. Just a generation or two later.
Rogue One was a very entertaining film and I understood why we never saw any Jedi due to the Jedi Purge but WHERE WERE THE JEDI? The foundation of what makes science fiction movies like Terminator so popular isn’t that the storyline is pristine, but the ability to visualize something much greater than ourselves. To feed us fans our Jedi hunger, the writers implemented a blind but force-sensitive man named Chirrut Imwe. I liked this character, but he was boring. He was talented and of good heart, but that does not make for excitement. Assurance for him was “I am one with the force and the force is with me.” Hearing this 500 times was too reminiscent of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. The scriptwriters should have used their words more.
The biggest lure of this Star Wars installment was definitely the appearance of Darth Vader. My brothers actually went to the theatres twice just to see his scenes again. Darth Vader is terrifying. You hear it in his breath and even those most loyal to him are afraid of him. The way Vader moves and speaks, every action comes out with such conviction and that’s what I liked most about his appearance. We see the best character the Star Wars saga (and maybe also any movie franchise) has to offer.
All in all, this movie is reminiscent of the previous movies, with the same theme of a smaller, good hearted group trying to battle an ultimate evil. Rogue One had a great battle, the rebels first stand against the Empire that set the pace for Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia to become fictional heroes. In the end, Rogue One held true to a Star Wars caliber movie, but failed to exceed my expectations.