Just a warning - There may be spoilers in this post for Star Wars: Rogue One!
For the second year in a row, I caught the newest Star Wars movie on opening night, almost as soon as I possibly could, and let me just say...it was sort of weird watching a movie where you knew the whole time exactly how it was going to end. For the entire two hours, you just sat there knowing that the characters you were getting attached two were ultimately going to die, and then for a moment in the middle you forgot...and then remembered all over again.
But that says something extremely important about this film, and it's the reason I actually loved it far more than I expected to. We knew what this film was about - the rebels that stole the plans for the Death Star and gave their lives doing so. We knew they were going to die at the end, and yet we were able to grow attached to them the same way we do any of the other characters. That's some intense storytelling, because in the case of the other main characters, we've had or will have much longer to grow attached to them. Darth Vader, for instance, has been around from the beginning, and we've had how many films to enjoy him as a character, but for the others in Rogue One, this is it. There's no Episode VIII, no Rogue One II, no further story.
They do, however, play such an important role in the overall plot of the Star Wars Universe. Rogue One was, at one point not too long ago, was sort of just legend. We didn't really know what was going on or what had happened in that 20 year or so span between Episodes III and IV, and now there's a solidified story that helps complete things. Overall though, let's talk about the ups and downs of this film:
What I Loved: As previously mentioned, the characters. I'm a particular fan of K-2SO, who I definitely refer to as "C-3PO but better," and really I thought it was a great play on our favorite droid, especially with all the statistics and such. I couldn't help but think of "The chances of successfully navigating this asteroid field..." in the middle of the movie. And that's just it - Rogue One fits in perfectly with the other films, and that makes it feel cohesive and real, even if it's a standalone film that isn't a part of the main arc. I was also a HUGE fan of the little references to the original films that were stuck in there, which consistently made me chuckle throughout the film.
What I Liked: I honestly thought the casting in general for this film was great, especially for the characters that they brought back from the original trilogy (aka Tarkin and others). It brought a sense of connection to A New Hope, and while there was always this sense that "this isn't real" because they're not exactly the characters we see in the other films, I for one got chills when each of the original characters appeared on screen - especially Vader.
What I Didn't Like As Much: As much as I really loved this film, there was still something about it that I couldn't quite get behind. Perhaps it was the fact that, after last year's episode that took me on a complete emotional rollercoaster, this felt like it was lacking, at least for me in the excitement department. That's not to say that this isn't a phenomenal movie though, because it absolutely it.
In the end, I'd say that Rogue One ranks somewhere like this in my Star Wars line up: V, IV, VII, Rogue One, VI, III, I, II. I'm always a little hesitant as to where to put Episode VI though, because I adore the film and it's one of the ones I watch the most, but overall, I think, in terms of the film overall, that's where I'd put it, almost smack dab in the middle and, yes, underneath Episode VII, which I know is a hot debate right now. Why that is I'm still not entirely sure, but after I get a chance to see Rogue One again, I'll let you know!
What did you think of Rogue One? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Have a magical day!