Rogue One is the first Star Wars film to be set outside the Episodic Sagas. With that, there was a lot of pressure on it to perform and launch this new series of Star Wars films.
By far, this is the least kid friendly film. This was at it’s core, a war film, something we have never really gotten in the Star Wars universe. With the war theme we got an overall darker tone than we are use to, and it really suited the story they were telling. We never have experienced the war side of Star Wars because the stories have always been focused on a force user rather than the events around them. Because there are no jedi, we got to see more of the Rebellion and the Empire and the battle that is taking place during the original trilogy.
Offsetting the darker tone of the film, I thought this was perhaps the funniest Star Wars film. There are so many one liners and comedic moments that brings a lighter tone to the darker moments. I think much of the comedic moments came from the droid character K2SO. For the most part, he was the comedic relief and because of that, you are drawn to his character and is a stand out.
While still on the cast and characters, I thought they were near perfect. While the characters themselves aren’t as fleshed out as we get during the saga films, for the role themselves, they served their purpose. Apart from K2SO, I thought Donnie Yen’s character, Chirrut was a close second standout. I really enjoyed his character because of his connection into the Star Wars law.
How much you enjoy Rogue One is, for the most part, going to depend how deep you invested you are into the world of Star Wars. As someone who read Cataylst in the lead up to Rogue One, I felt as though my experience during this film was enhanced so much. There were so many moments that was so much meaningful and heartfelt because I knew the backstory to some of these events and characters. There is also a lot fan service in Rogue One that on paper, it seems like it’s too much. But what stood out was that not one of the fan services felt shoed in. All of it felt like it had a place in the movie and should of been there regardless of if it was a fan service moment or not.
Walking out of this film, you are going to be on a high and that is because of the fantastic third act this film has. Rogue One has a third act that will rival that of Return of the Jedi. This is one of the best space battle I have ever seen. While I love the one in Return of the Jedi, personally I rank the opening battle from Revenge of the Sith above it. However, the space battle in Rogue One beats them all. It had the feel that Return of the Jedi brought in their space battle but with the action and visual effects the space battle in Revenge of the Sith.
Stepping back from the space battle, the third act has a terrific ground level fight. This was where the war tone was heavily present. This was a scene we see in a WWII war film but with a Star Wars skin. There’s no better way to describe it, and that is a good thing. What really enhanced the war toned ground fight was how well it was edited between the action happening on the ground and the spectacle of a space battle happening above them.
I have to mention Vader. While he isn’t in it all that much, when he is, his presence is felt. Without giving so much away, his final scene is perhaps one of my favourite scenes I have ever seen. The short scene alone rivals the Airport scene in Captain America: Civil War for me. It is so exciting that it has the capability to make any major Star Wars fans cry with happiness.
Overall, I loved this movie. This did what it need to do and prove that they can make Star Wars films that isn’t all lightsabers and Skywalkers. But what this film does the best is enhance A New Hope. As soon as I walked out the cinema I wanted to go and watch A New Hope. Personally, I really struggle with watching A New Hope but with Rogue One it makes me excited to go back and watch the original Star Wars.