Rogue One: A Star Wars story is the first of the anthology Star Wars movies that will release every alternate year. It’ll be very hard to tell a Star Wars without rooting it in the wide, and often confusing Mythology of the universe. They decided to look to the period between Episode III and Episode IV, the original movie.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story tells the tale of how a group of Rebels get hold of the plans of the Death Star and transmit it to the Rebel Alliance. The movie stars Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, the daughter of the scientist who is working on the Death Star against his will, Galen Erso, played by the magnificent Mads Milkkensen; Jyn is brought into the Rebel Alliance, against her will, to locate a pilot for the Empire, who has gone rogue, and is looking for Saw Garrera, an old friend of both Jyn and Galen, to deliver a message to him about the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance wants this message, but also wants to kill Galen, unaware of the circumstances under which he is working for the Empire. The initial teasers and trailers, though, portrayed a different Star Wars Story, but the reshoots, I’m told, have made all the difference.
As soon as I came out of the movie, I had exactly one thought: this is the best Star Wars movie I’ve seen. But the reason for this is because it was released as a prequel and not the first in the series. If Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the first of series of Star Wars movies, then, I’m sure this movie would’ve flopped. The charm of this movie lies in the fact that it is the eighth live-action movie in the franchise. It is so deeply rooted in the mythology that it is hard to imagine this movie as a first – as a someone’s first Star Wars film- rather than a prequel. But anyway, seeing as how, and when it is placed, and not separated from the rest of the franchise, I think it is the best movie of the series.
Though, I will admit that the characters aren’t all that great, the first act is quite slow, and hard to ease into for a first time inductee. Apart from that, I do love it a lot. Felicity Jones’ Jyn was brilliant, but the actual stand out was Alan Tudyk’s K2SO, the Imperial Droid whose memory was wiped and is now with the Rebel Alliance – it seems as though the memory wiping, and the rebel alliance induction has given him a heavy dose of sarcasm in his circuitry.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good the recreated Governor Tarkin looked in the movie; I was terrified the days leading up to it thinking it would look horrible, and weird. And I was surprised by the surprise recreation in the final scene of the movie, which directly connects this movie to the original Star Wars, or how it is now known – Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
You can see the connection to the new line of movies with a rebel pilot gone rogue, and the hints and flavours of John Williams’ score for The Force Awakens. Michael Giacchino’s score reminds me so much of the original movie’s score.
The movie, every moment of it, reminds me of something else in the franchise, and that is probably why I loved it so much. Every aspect of it is so familiar – from references to Star Wars Rebels, to the returning characters, to the opening shot of the blue Bantha Milk, to the recreations. It was beautiful. It is beautifully retro, and modern at the same time.
The writers of the movie, Weitz and Gilroy, have done a brilliant job in weaving in the references, and creating quite the enjoyable movie, but I do wish they had done a slightly better job with some of the characters. Gareth Edwards, who did wonderfully with Godzilla, succeeds once again in making a visually beautiful film. He manages the large sets brilliantly, and I must commend him for the final few minutes of the movie, especially where Vader comes out of the shadows with his lightsaber at the ready – my mind was going all over freaking out, and my eyes were busy orgasming at the beauty of it. Every scene that Darth Vader is in, he looks stunning, and the scene was shot, and directed brilliantly.
So, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, remains my favourite star wars movie since 1977. And we have to wait until next year for Episode VIII.