Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Rewatch)

#84

I was going to watch something I hadn’t seen, but nothing jumped out at me. After spending several minutes debating what to rewatch, I settled on the first movie I reviewed on my blog: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Supposedly Disney is planning to start their own streaming service, at which point the newer Star Wars and Marvel movies will no longer go to Netflix. So I figured I should at least give the first spin off movie another go while I had a chance. Soon we will have the 8th episodic entry and the 2nd spin off movie, so this could also be justified as a reminder of what I can expect. Sure The Force Awakens went off without a hitch, but Rogue One had some storied directorial issues and a fair amount of studio involvement. Now that The Last Jedi is finished, we will have to wait and see how it fares since there were no reported issues. Yet Solo has already lost its two directors who have been replaced in addition to some key scenes being reshot or replaced.

How did Rogue One hold up after the hype died off?

I would give it 7 “Stormtroopers CAN hit their targets” out of 10.

For my prior review, see below:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

FOR THE UNINITIATED

The Rebellion learns of a weapon being built by the Empire that is catastrophic in scale. They must rely on the daughter of the engineer and a rag tag group of fighters to find the weakness.

Director: Gareth Edwards

Writers: Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy

Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Forrest Whitaker, and several more

THE BEST

The battle sequences and the nods to other Star Wara lore are the main reason I wanted to rewatch Rogue One. Sure there are great lightsaber fights or dogfights in others, but I believe this has the most and the grandest in scale. The ambush on Jedha, the bombing on Eadu, and then of course the entire battle on and above Scarif. My ramblings on each battle wouldn’t do them justice when you can watch them on Youtube or Netflix. I will say that the Hammerhead Corvette ramming the Star Destroyer into the other and Vader singlehandedly taking out a couple dozen soldiers is worth the entire movie.

In terms of lore, I would say there are countless Easter eggs but I am sure someone counted them all. The quick cameos, new alien races, new ships, and backstory helped flesh out more of the Star Wars universe … of which I am a huge fan. It makes me excited for the first spin off that explores something outside of the main sagas / episodes.

THE WORST

I am not sure if it is due to the rewrites, reshoots, studio interference, or a combination of several factors; but there were several plot issues that jumped out this go around. First thing that struck me is needing an engineer to design, supervise, and finish the Death Star when the plans existed since Attack of the Clones. Since the Emperor was aware of the plans by that point, it doesn’t make sense they would keep him in the dark. Which also means they should have access to the top engineers in the galaxy, so why they would need one specific one is insane. Then for one person to alter the plans for a crippling flaw is even more astronomical.

My next big issue is the transmission on Scarif. Why would no other ship, Rebellion or Empire, be able to receive the plans for the Death Star? The entire Citadel was a hot spot for all transmissions and the Empire was aware it was being sent … so why didn’t they intercept or get a copy as well? Granted that would have completely screwed the Rebellion and the following movies.

OVERALL

Rogue One is much more of a war movie as opposed to the space operas the way the saga / episodes are constructed. It further separated itself by not using the opening crawl, which it didn’t need thanks to the cold open. The first spin off was great, but had its problems. With more money and creative minds behind the franchise, there is only … hope. So the hopes of future Star Wars stories deviating further and exploring the universe in more detail and better is very exciting. I would assume that everyone knows and loves Star Wars, but I know that isn’t true. If you like Star Wars or sci-fi and haven’t seen Rogue One, then you should while it is still on Netflix.

RECOMMENDATION

I was looking up spin off movies for ideas of what to recommend and came across several great ones: Logan, Creed, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, or The Lego Batman Movie. I decided to go with a less traditional choice as is my way: Get Him to the Greek (spun off from Forgetting Sarah Marshall). It is one of my favorite comedies of all time thanks to how Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, and Sean Combs play off each other. It is infinitely quotable and has one of my favorite original soundtracks to boot. Last thing I will say is the “Jeffrey” scene might be the hardest I have ever laughed in a theatre.

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