Date watched: Friday 16th December 2016
Year released: 2016
First time watching?: Yes
From IMDb: “The Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.”
I am going to lead with a horrifying fact about myself; I am not a Star Wars fan. What I mean by this isn’t that I don’t like it, I just mean the extent of my knowledge into the Star Wars universe is that I’ve watched A New Hope twice, I know I thoroughly enjoyed The Force Awakens and I have a vague memory of watching The Clone Wars in the cinema many years ago. That said, watching the entire series is on my to watch list, it’s just a case of getting the time to do so.
I didn’t know going in that this movie was setting up for the events that start off A New Hope. I have no idea how I missed this piece of information before going to watch Rogue One but I did. At least having watched the first movie of the original trilogy meant I wasn’t completely in the dark once the movie got itself going.
Rogue One is a really interesting movie. How they managed to tell a story – an original, engaging and interesting story at that – when 99% of people going in to watch it know exactly how the movie is going to end is pretty impressive storytelling. I think (bear in mind again my knowledge of this particular universe is sketchy at best) that this is an important part of the overall story, and definitely did the job of filling the large void between Episodes VII and VIII.
My main criticism of the movie is that it seemed to take a while to get going. There seemed to be a lot of setup at the beginning, and a lot of jumping between worlds and it just made the beginning of the movie feel a little unsettled. The pacing also dropped in the movie in one or two places which obviously slowed the pace down a little, but saying that the action sequences definitely made up for those drops when they occurred. Even a non hardcore fan like myself can appreciate how spectacular the space battles are on the big screen in this franchise.
Felicity Jones was wonderful, as she always is. And I didn’t realise Alan Tudyk was supplying the voice for K-2S0 – he’s becoming to Disney what John Hamm is to Pixar I think. His voice acting is always spot on in my opinion. The rest of the principle cast were generally unknowns (I think – I didn’t really recognise anyone) but everyone performed wonderfully in whatever role they were playing.
This movie is very much a war film, and felt a lot darker than the other movies from this franchisee i have seen. That said the comedic wit and one-liners from some of the characters – particularly K-2S0 – break up the darkness a little bit and provide some genuine laugh out loud moments.
Overall a reasonably enjoyable movie; a nice chapter to add to the Star Wars canon I think. I may have missed some nods that were included to the original trilogy upon this watch, but I hope to rectify that in the future.
My rating: 7/10