Movie review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

By now I’m guessing everyone and their dog has seen Rogue One. Probably some people’s dogs have seen it twice by now. What can I say, I’ve been busy. Anyway, I finally got around to it last week. This is what I thought.

Yeah yeah, it’s hard to get copyright free images when you Google “Rogue One”, ok? Image credit Wikipedia. Whatever.

Rogue One is slow to start. Like, I was curious about the family and the little girl and everything, and I realise a certain amount of introduction is needed for the story to fit neatly into the gap left by the previous films but still. I was glancing at my watch for the first 45 minutes wondering when things were going to get started.

Fortunately, when it did finally get into gear, it was pretty fun. I’m not going to pretend I enjoyed it as much as The Force Awakens, a film I loved so much that I left the cinema with aching cheeks from grinning so much, but it still does get a lot of things right. Plus, having discussed this with others, I’m pretty confident that people who are bigger fans of the Star Wars franchise will get more out of it than I did – bear in mind I only saw the movies just before the release of The Force Awakens, at the insistence of P, and only the original trilogy. At least one person has strongly recommended going back to watch episodes IV-VII to see how it changes the viewer’s perspectives of them and I have to admit that I’m tempted.

It’s full of your traditional sarcastic droids (I don’t believe anyone has ever made a non-sarcastic droid in the Star Wars universe) and grand space battles. And, although not all of the characters made much of an impression on me, the main band were well acted and convincing, with a few scenes that managed to tug the heartstrings. I thought Felicity Jones was particularly good as Jyn Erso and it’s good to see her continuing the trend of bad ass leading ladies of that Galaxy Far, Far Away. That said, yes, I too wouldn’t have minded a few more female characters – I’m sure they could have squeezed them in somewhere.

The score was great, the tone was very chilly in the best way possible and there’s a scene with Darth Vader using a light sabre. If you’re a fan of Star Wars you’ll find it a satisfying addition to the existing parts of the story that we’ve already been told. If you’re new to the franchise, it’s a good space-based action movie with likeable characters and cool explosions. What’s not to love?


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