Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Written by: Chris Weitz, Gary Whitta
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 2 hr. 14 min
Rogue One is everything the prequels should have been, and thankfully nothing like last year’s fan service remake of A New Hope. It delivers a nicely thought-out back story leading into the original Star Wars storyline, and entertains with great characters and superb action sequences. The force is most definitely strong in this one.
As of today, if I were to rank Rogue One with the rest of the movies, I’d put it in third place behind Empire Strikes Back and A New Hope. Its fan service moments are kept to a tasteful minimum, and it was nice to watch a story that broadens our understanding of the Star Wars universe. This film takes a refreshing step away from the force mythos, and gets down and dirty with the soldiers. Within this fictional world, we’re made to honor the sacrifices they make, and despite knowing the outcome of the story, the details that get us there were a lot of fun to watch.
Felicity Jones is great as, Jyn Erso, and the supporting characters were immediately likeable and a lot of fun to spend time with. The serviceable script doesn’t land a lot of big memorable moments of dialogue, though one scene with Darth Vader flexing his favorite force move certainly delighted the packed theater I was in.
This is just a solidly told story. The stakes feel important, the characters are relatable and interesting, and it perfectly balances the new with the familiar.
If you were disappointed by The Force Awakens, I think you’re really going to enjoy this. This is the Star Wars film you wanted. Familiar, but more importantly, new. With a twist on the film’s opening, and Michael Giacchino’s score, this Star Wars film feels a little different, and that’s a good thing.
Best Moment: << spoilers! >>
Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn – good villain by the way) pays a visit to Darth Vader. It’s not long before Vader needs to put Orson in his place and he force chokes the SOB. Delivering arguably the only memorable line in the film.
“Don’t choke on your ambition.”