Rouge One: A Star Wars Story: See it!

Ian Calandro-Bitjeman ’18
EE Staff Writerrogueone_onesheeta_1000_309ed8f6

Almost a year ago, the Star Wars franchise was officially revived with the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”  Director JJ Abrams took it upon himself to start off where the franchise left off, making a hopefully new trilogy with new characters and a new scenario –  but all in the same universe with some familiar faces we all know and love. So it’s no surprise that this movie was a big hit, raking in a whopping 2.8 billion dollars at the box office and  making it one of the highest grossing movies of all time.

Interestingly enough, the movie  doesn’t take place in this new universe created in the previous film, but instead goes back in time to the timeline of the original three movies. Not only that, JJ Abrams isn’t responsible for directing this movie, instead being replaced with Gareth Edwards.

Who’s Gareth Edwards? He’s a British film director, film producer and screenwriter to name a few. He is responsible for some movies such as “Godzilla” (2014) and “Monsters” (2010). These movies are, to say the least, “okay,”  but will “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” follow this trend? Will the movie be a big success for the director? Most importantly, is “Rogue One” a movie worth seeing?

Well the short answer is, “Yes,”  this is definitely a movie worth seeing. But even though this may be a satisfying answer for some, others aren’t convinced that easily. So if you’re one of those people who remain unconvinced, let me hopefully persuade you by explaining why I believe this movie is worth seeing.

The first thing I want to focus on are the characters, and needless to say, they’re as original as you can get. We have the main character Jyn Orso, a convict and daughter of an (unwilling) imperial officer.

Then there’s Captain Cassian Andor, a rebel intelligence officer and Jyn’s partner throughout the movie. We also have other characters such as K-2SO who’s a reprogrammed imperial droid (and comic relief character), Chirrut Imwe, a blind spiritual monk who is a heavy believer in the force (and my personal favorite character), Baze Malbus, his war hardened partner, Bhodi Rook, a defective Imperial pilot who was responsible for bringing the news of the Death Star to the rebels, and last but not least; Saw Gerrera, a war hardened veteran from the Clone Wars who helps the rebel cause throughout the movie.

We also have some new imperial characters such as Director Orson Krennic, who was responsible for building the Death Star. But we also have some familiar faces appear throughout the movie, such as Darth Vader, Admiral Tarkin (who’s actually animated into the movie since the actor who played Admiral Tarkin, Peter Cushing, died in 1994. But the CG used for this character is just mind blowing!), C-3PO, R2D2, and Princess Leia. Overall, there is a pretty good selection of characters.

But what about the story? A good story is one of the most important parts to making a good movie, after all. The story for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” takes place just right before “Star Wars: A New Hope” and focuses on the rebels stealing the plans for the Death Star. The plot seems simple enough, but there are a few minor details that really improve the whole plot, and possibly the original trilogy as a whole.

Throughout the plot, Rogue One provides explanation for events in the original three movies, such as why the first scene of “Star Wars: A New Hope” is a dogfight between the rebels and Empire, and why the ventilation shaft that leads all the way to the core of the Death Star exists. Overall, I think it’s a really nice addition to “Rogue One: Star Wars Story” to include.

Obviously, any movie is absolutely nothing without visuals, so how are the visuals in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story?”  They’re absolutely spectacular to say the least! Everything seems so clear and lifelike, like the X-Wing fighters, The Imperial Cruisers, The At-At’s that show up later in the movie, and most importantly, the Death Star.

Interestingly, the Death Star has to be either the greatest sight or biggest turnoff for people watching the movie. Some sick of the Death Star plots in the new movies might be annoyed with it, but others who feel nostalgic for the original trilogy might see it as a major bonus.

In terms of the visuals in the movie, the Death Star is arguably the most pleasing out of all the others. You see the Death Star finish construction earlier in the movie, you see the Death Star come out of hyperspace later in the movie (which I thought was pretty cool) and you see the Death Star’s laser being used not once, but twice in the movie.

To add to the epicness the Death Star provides, you get to see in detail what it’s like on the surface of the planet when it’s being destroyed by the Death Star, which provides more stunning visuals to the movie.

Unfortunately, it is impossible for any movie to be perfect, and sadly “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is no exception. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” seemed a bit more “realistic” than previous Star Wars movies, and there are multiple reasons for this. First off you are a bit more engaged in the action and the overall action seems a lot bigger than in previous movies.

Not only that, instead of focusing on the main character for the whole movie like previous Star Wars movies have done, “Rogue One” seems to focus on both the main characters and the action to an almost equal level. Overall, this makes the movie seem much bigger and more chilling than previous movies. Some people may like this more realistic approach, but for others it may be a bit too much to process.

Before I finish off this review, there are a few more details I want to bring up. With some, the idea of the new Star Wars movie being more “Realistic” may not sit well with them, but this does have a bright side to it. With the movie being more realistic, combined with the changing focus from main character to action, you feel connected to almost every character. No matter if that character is a main character or foot soldier, extra or scripted character, or even if you know their name or not, you feel like they’re important and they serve a purpose. It’s a very interesting feeling that I haven’t seen in any movie before.

However, something else I noticed about the movie was the weird pacing the movie had. If you were going to take the energy and action a movie had and demonstrate it in some sort of picture, it would be shaped like a mountain.

While climbing up the mountain the movie is slowly reaches the climax, but once it reaches the climax (the top of the mountain), it starts to go back down and move away from all the action and energy the climax had. Many movies, such as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, work in this way, but oddly enough, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” doesn’t seem to do that. A physical demonstration of the energy and action of the movie would be more like climbing up a cliff side instead of a mountain. It starts off slow, quickly rises, and once you get to the top, there is no where else to go.

This is how “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” pretty much worked. It started off slow, with slow action, simple dialogue, decent visuals and odd camera angles, then once you get closer to the end of the movie, the action increases, more visuals appear, and the movie becomes more life-like, all the way until the end credits roll. The movie has an odd habit of lowering your expectations in the beginning, not too much, but enough to make you surprised with the outcome.

One more thing I want to mention about “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” are the stormtroopers. There has been a joke in the Star Wars community for a long time about the stormtroopers not being able to hit anything. Well, in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” they disprove that, maybe a bit too much. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I will just say that the movie was a “massacre”.

So if I was going to rate this movie, I would give it an 8/10. Even though I liked this really liked this movie and would rate it much higher than an 8 out of 10, I feel like some people might be unsatisfied with how the movie ended and how realistic it was. Once again, I’m not going to spoil anything, so you will have to watch it and decide for yourself.

I’m going to end this review with a piece of advice. I personally felt a bit sick watching this movie, and that was either because of some of the odd camera angles or because I had to sit in the front row. Since I think it might be the latter, I would recommend that if you’re going to see “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” any time soon, try to get to the theater early to get a good seat – it’s totally worth it.

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