Okay, no spoiler disclaimers here because if you haven’t seen Rogue One by now, you need to turn in your lightsaber and your Princess Leia hair extensions. This is the best Star Wars movie since A New Hope and, if you don’t believe me, then you’re a scruffy looking nerf-herder!
There’s only one word to describe this movie and that’s AWESOME. Whenever you see the word AWESOME listed in the dictionary, a picture of this movie will appear next to it. It was that good! I know it’s hard for some people to accept that premise but it’s just that good,,, PERIOD! This movie ties everything from Revenge of the Sith to Star Wars Rebels TV show, and right into A New Hope. Think of this movie as the jelly in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This movie is the strawberry jam and Mom bought the good stuff, not the store brand, but I digress.
Just please, for the love of humanity, if you are any kind of a Star Wars fan (and even if you’re not) go see this movie. The battle scenes are spectacular, the touching moments between a father and a daughter are tearful, and the tribute to a beloved princess is heartfelt. I can’t heap enough praises on this cast, they were exceptional and a privilege to watch on the big screen. You would want to see them in more movies but their story ends here, but it’s a doozy.
It is worth every penny to see Rogue One again, and again and again. I saw Star Wars 17 times in the theater as a teenager and I will damn try to outdo that with Rogue One, although I may match that with DVD viewings instead because I know the wife won’t let me.
In any case, this movie was fantastic. It centered around one sentence in the opening crawl George Lucas wrote over 40 years ago… “Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star.” This movie is literally a heist movie.
Beyond that, it shows just how close the Rebel Alliance was falling apart before it destroyed the Death Star. I really understand why George Lucas titled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Their successful attack on the Imperial Base where the Death Star plans were being held gave them the hope they needed to rally the alliance.
There was also the introduction of a new order, the Ancient Order of the Whills. These were holy men who were deeply connected to the Force. The blind monk Chirrut, played brilliantly by Donnie Yen, showed us a connection to the Force outside the Jedi Order. His chant, “I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.” drives the can-do spirit of the rebels. It adds another dimension to the Star Wars universe. To me, it’s like discovering there are two different groups within the Ancient Order of the Whills: the Jedi as the warrior caste and the Shamen as the religious caste.
Lastly, there is Darth Vader. We see so much more into his life between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. He has a freaking castle on the same planet where he was nearly killed, Mustafar. As a bonus, we finally get to see the badass Darth Vader Sith Lord we know and love. He literally tears through rebels to try and stop them from getting away with the Death Star plans. It is the best scene in the entire movie and worth the wait.
If I had to say one this bad about the movie, it’s the CGI of Grand Moff Tarkin. I understand the complexity of bringing the late great Peter Cushing back to life in one of his legendary roles. It just wasn’t seamless enough to bring that necessary realism to the film. I would rather they find an actor that looks and sounds like Cushing, similar to the way Josh Brolin played a young Agent K (ala Tommy Lee Jones) in Men In Black III. What they did for Princess Leia was perfect and quite flawless but Tarkin had too much interaction within the movie that made his CGI look fake.
I can’t heap enough praise on this movie. As I said in the beginning, it is the best Star Wars movie since A New Hope, and I mean it. You need to see this movie, again and again. Then, where it’s released on digital download, watch it again. Then, when it is sold on BluRay/DVD, buy it so you can watch it again and again. You won’t get tired of it, I promise.
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse. The Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.