So shortly before New Years, I decided to venture alone to the movie theater to take in Rogue One, afraid it would disappear from the local theater if I waited much longer (apparently its scheduled for a few weeks so I was not in any danger of missing it). I don’t usually like going to the movies by myself, preferring to have the company of friends to discuss the movie afterwards. But none of that has to do with this review.
Rogue One was good. It did as it said and was a single entity film, there were no openings for a sequel, as it ends almost exactly where A New Hope Begins. While a few of the characters from the main episodes appear, the main plot had nothing to do with them. Even Vader stays mostly out-of-the-way. (although there is a scene where we see Vader’s house. It made me laugh, although I don’t think that was the intent.)
Rogue One continues Star War’s tradition of women getting things done. In this case its Jyn Erso, a woman who had her parents taken from her as a young girl by the Empire. Her mother was killed, her father was an engineer they needed. However she goes on a mission to help the Rebellion, mostly to try to find her father who she has not seen in 15 years. She is joined by an odd group of rebels, including a new Droid I wish we could see more of .
While I feel at times the pace of the story was a bit quick, the editing was good and the writing was also good. It also included archive footage from scenes filmed but cut from A New Hope to add to the film, which were remarkably well-integrated into the film.
Also we get to see some of the characters we love from the Prequels and the Original Trilogy interacting. Jimmy Smits for example returns for a few scenes as Leia’s adoptive father Bail Organa. And we also see Mon Mothma Pre-ROTJ trying to get everyone in a room to talk plans and wishing she had some Advil.
I will say this: This does not have a happy ending, so be prepared. It does have one of my favorite end scenes a few minutes before the actual ending of the movie. It was beautifully edited and filmed.
I will also say this: I was happy to see the romance played down in this. It is clear that there is something there for those who want to find something, but these people are in the middle of a battle and the “romance” doesn’t get in the way of that. It’s all very subtle and can be easily pushed aside if you don’t care for romance plots. I was afraid going in that they would be pushing some sort of romance, diminishing from what the main characters were doing because they got distracted with said romance.
Final Grade: A