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Star Wars: Rogue One Movie Review

December 20, 2016

Rogue One is the newest Star Wars movie to keep the growing legions of Star Wars fans happy. The movie takes place before Episode IV and after Episode III. Although it is not part of the official series, the movie fits perfectly into the series to add in additional information and illustrate more of the battle between the Empire and the Rebellion.

The iconic (and rather terrifying) Death Star rises over a planet.

For fans of the Star Wars original trilogy, keep an eye out for familiar faces throughout the movie because there are more than a few nostalgic head nods towards the other Star Wars movies. Sadly, the music was not composed by the legendary John Williams, who has scored all the Star Wars films. The music, although reminiscent of old themes, doesn’t quite evoke the same feeling that the original music achieved.

The film is overall much more gritty than any Star Wars film ever made. Putting hundreds of high tech stormtroopers, death troopers, coastal troopers and more against Rebel commandos makes for a Star Wars movie that features much more of the “Wars”. From Rebel ambushes in the Golden City, which, in my opinion, evokes images of the Iraq war, to pitched firefights between Imperial forces and Rebel commandos which can bring back memories of World War II, Rogue One brings intense and well done ground combat to the table. Rogue One also features very satisfying space combat whose dogfights keep the viewer on the edge of their seat. The land and air/space combat that is featured in Rogue One is definitely what keeps the movie interesting and flowing. The final battle that takes up the last section of the movie is a big strong point in the film.

Imperial troopers fight off an ambush in the Golden City.

The plot was generally entertaining and much more political than previous Star Wars films. The Rebel Alliance trying to fight the Empire and deal with extremists in its own ranks brings fresh perspective to the film. So does the conflict between officers within the Empire. Rogue One brings to light the power struggle of Imperial officers within the Empire itself. This makes for a movie that not only brings satisfying combat, but also a sense of grit and realism. In a movie filled with death, destruction, and political intrigue, comic relief is very necessary and luckily, the droid K-2SO does an absolutely wonderful job throwing in wit and humor. In fact, K-2SO might just be one of the best characters in the entire movie.

 

Some of the weakest points of the film occur when Jyn, one of the main characters, makes quite cheesy inspiring speeches. Although her character is interesting, her supposedly “inspirational” speeches seem rather, well, uninspiring. Jyn talks about how rebellions run on hope and although that’s all nice and fine, it just doesn’t seem like the sort of talk that can convince people to go and confront the most powerful military in the galaxy.

The grit of the ground and air combat in the film as well as the political intrigue in both the Rebellion and the Empire plus the balance of comedy brought by K-2SO and a few one liners from other characters keep the movie dark and intense but not crushingly so. The ending of the film was one of the most satisfying film endings I personally have ever seen. For those who have watched the original trilogy, Rouge One manages to set off a perfect ending that brings the movie right back into line with Star Wars episode IV. I really loved the film overall and I would definitely encourage old fans and new ones to check it out.

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