The Force is Strong with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Before I get into my impressions of the latest Star Wars addition (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) I have a not so little confession to make. I am (arguably) one of the biggest Star fanatics around. I can (and have) carry on conversations about the movies, books, television shows, video games, role playing games, card games, and so on, for hours. To say that I have been waiting impatiently for this latest installation of the series is putting it mildly (you can just ask my wife…she’ll more than likely agree). So, please keep in mind that I will try to keep my fanboy side in check as I share my impression of the movie.
There are not words enough to describe just how much fun this movie was. Throughout the entire movie, I was on the edge of my seat, and I found myself surprised at just how quick the 2 hours 14minutes passed. Even when the movie ended, I (and the rest of the theater) were hungry for more, and didn’t want to leave. While there were literally dozens of little treats for the devoted Star Wars fans, one of my personal favorites was when Darth Vader (facing away from the camera) says to Director Krennic, “Don’t choke on your aspirations.” As Lord Vader is saying this, Director Krennic is on his knees…choking. Needless to say, that when the Dark Lord of the Sith turns around, he was holding his hand in the traditional Force Choke claw. This is but one of the many little gifts that are sprinkled liberally throughout the movie….and by no means the least. There were so many Easter Eggs hidden throughout the movie, that it would take almost a book to describe them all.
Rogue One definitely carries on the torch of the franchise by having both a fun and easy to follow story, but also one that upon closer inspection is rich, full, and surprisingly complex. Rogue One is set virtually right before the start of Star Wars: A New Hope, and details how the Rebel Alliance was able to actually get the plans to the Death Star. This is a question that has plagued fans since the initial movie, and which has fueled endless speculation and debate. Further, this movie actually explains (rather believably) one of the biggest questions that critics of the franchise have had for over a generation. I won’t give away the exact question that is answered, spoilers after all, but it is as hard to miss as the Death Star itself.
From the very start of the movie, Rogue One sets a familiar tempo that is comfortable to any Star Wars fan. There is just enough buildup between scenes that you never find yourself tired as you watch the movie. While the transition between each of the scenes may be a little choppy at times, for example when Jyn Erso finds herself no longer an Imperial prisoner, but rather a Rebel Alliance prisoner, it doesn’t really detract from the story in the least.
Characters, both old and new, are presented in this movie with loving and painstaking attention to detail. You learn about enough of the main characters, and their backstory, that you truly come to care about them. Two of my favorite characters were Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, who were guards in the Khyber Temple, in the Jedi Holy City of Jedah. While these two are not Jedi themselves, the skills that they exhibit are definitely enhanced by the Force in some way. Not to mention, these two are truly a treat to watch as they saunter through the battlefields of the movie.
Once seeing this movie, you will immediately want to start watching all of the others, and trying to catch how this latest installation interconnects with ALL of the other movies in the series. Going through everything with a fine-tooth comb, and parsing out what happened, and seeing if there is any hints as to the future. You might just be surprised at what you find. I for one will be heading back to the theater as soon as I can to watch it again, and seeing if I can catch anything new that I missed the first time through.
If you are even remotely interested in the Star Wars series of movies, then you have got to see this movie. Rogue One is, in the simplest possible terms, the movie that Star Wars fans have been missing, and never realized. About the only down side that I can see right now to Rogue One is that I must wait a few months before I can add it to my growing collection of Star Wars movies.