Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

This is the first Star Wars movie that does not focus on the Skywalker family, but as we know the Skywalker family still has a presence in the film.  Darth Vader is in Rogue One, but not heavily used.

Rogue One takes place immediatly before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.  Rogue One ends and A New Hope begins shortly after, I mean if that is a spoiler, sorry.  But, you could watch Rogue One and skip the opening crawl in A New Hope and it would be a 4 hour movies.  Also, it would be the best movie ever!

I have stayed relatively quiet about Rogue One.  I worried about it when I heard about the re-shoots and from what I have read and heard, the third act is nearly completely different from what we actually saw.  I would love to see the original, to see why it needed to be changed.  I also worried about the reception from fans.  So, this time I sat back and kept my expectations low for Rogue One.  Sure I was excited for a new Star Wars movie and even more so I was excited for a Star Wars movie that is outside of the episodic format.  To me, Rogue One is a test, a test to see if Disney can make more Star Wars movies without the story revolving around the Skywalker family.

I say, success!

Rogue One is all about the Death Star, between the Empire testing the battle station and the Rebellion trying to stop the Death Star.  Of course we know what happens to the Death Star in A New Hope.  But, I have always wondered how the Rebels got the plans.  The movie was executed to perfection.

Rogue One follows Jyn Urso, who is looking for her father who is Galen Urso a research scientist who helps build the Death Star.  There is a short prologue as Orson Krennic is charged with bringing Urso in to complete the Death Star as he left to become a farmer.  Jyn is left on her own until rescued by Saw Gererra.  Later, when she is an adult she is rescued by the Rebellion to help find her father.

Galen Urso, has left a flaw in the Death Star plans and he seeks to help the Rebellion destroy the Empire.  Jyn, how has been searching for her father and wants to help him.  But the Rebellion thinks he is nothing but an Imperial scientist.

To avoid any spoilers, even if I have waited three days since the release, I stop there.  I will unleash one spoiler, it will be at the bottom of the post.  I’d rather tell you how I feel about Rogue One and where it would fall in my list of Star Wars movies, well the ranking.

Let me start by saying, yes I believe it is better than the Force Awakens.  I really enjoyed the Force Awakens, but it took me out of the era I was very familiar with and it was tasked with bringing us back into the Star Wars Universe.  The Force Awakens was way too much like A New Hope, the story was different but the journey was way too similar.  Rogue One was something all its own.

The one problem I have, the beginning there is a lot of jumping around, trying to catch everyone up on the characters.  Something new was added, superimposing the locations on screen and we began the movie with no opening crawl.  While I love the opening crawl for the episodic films, the anthology films seem to jump right in.  It is, in a way sad, I loved the crawl and theme setting the movie up and making it that much more epic.

As for the actual movie, I loved it, while it may have started slow, it finished off with one of the most climatic battles in Star Wars film history.  I liked not knowing what to expect and seeing new locations and characters.  But it all felt familiar, the setting and seeing older characters was fantastic and it recognized the prequels.  I saw the movie and left fighting tears I was so happy.

Rogue One is a Star Wars movie we have all been waiting for and wanting to see.  I think every Star Wars fan will be happy, is it better than Return of the Jedi or The Force Awakens?  I don’t know, I think it is the best since Return of the Jedi, so better than the Force Awakens, yes.

Rogue One brings me to wanting more from the Galactic Civil War.  Sure we have the animated television show Rebels.  But I want a live action show, you know the one Lucas promised us back at Star Wars Celebration III in 2005.  Exploring the underbelly of Coruscant or more sabatatours, bounty hunters, scoundrels and Darth Vader.

SPOILER TIME!!!

Darth Vader was not in the movie a ton.  He did not need to be.  We finally get to see the Darth Vader everyone always wanted to see on screen.  At the end of the movie, he takes things into his own hands trying to retrieve the Death Star plans from the Rebels before it ends up on the Taintive IV.  Slicing, force  choking his way through the troopers with ease.  It was fantastic and leaves you wanting more Vader.

To me, he is redeemed, in the original movies, we saw a Vader on a leash.  Rogue One, we saw Vader unleashed and what can do…I want a Jedi Purge movie, starring Darth Vader as he seeks an destroys the final Jedi.

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