Jean-Paul’s rating: 4/5 stars
Bottom Line: A good Star Wars movie? Yes! Good story. Good acting. Good diversity. George R.R. Martin would be proud.
The Star Wars series has has a bumpy run. Even the most recent “The Force Awakens” was more of a fun movie than a good movie. “Rogue One”, I am happy to say, is legitimately good. What makes it good is that it wraps a coherent story around a series of characters with actual depth. Even more so, what makes it good are the stories that it doesn’t tell. How did Jyn land in prison? Why did Saw break with the Alliance? Is Chirrut a Jedi? How did Baze come to be Chirrut’s guardian? In each case, you’re given just enough context of the characters to make them whole while still wanting to know more about them. These are all signs of a great script writer. When you’re watching the movie, think about it. These are all brand new characters to a vast majority of Star Wars fans and yet, by the end, you feel like they’re always been part of the story. Admittedly, this is partly because we know where the story goes from here, but it’s still quite the accomplishment.
Another big winner in this movie is diversity. The only white males with speaking roles belong to the Empire. I exaggerate some, but the Alliance is robustly comprised of women and people of color and aliens and very few have American English accents. You know, like any galaxy spanning epic would be comprised. Comparisons to the Trump presidency abound.
There is also a lot of death in this movie. Like George R. R. Martin levels of death. None of the death scenes are as cool as Martin’s, but this is, nominally, a kids movie after all. And given the story, those of you who follow the Star Wars universe should not be surprised that your favorite character is unlikely to make it out unscathed from this story.
I’ll likely see this movie multiple times. If only to remind myself how bad the other films are in comparison. I recently watched the end of “Revenge of the Sith” and my god is it bad. Dialogue, acting, everything. Can we please get a remake of episodes one through three by the script writers for “Rogue One”, Disney? Pretty please?
Another note on 3D. 3D continues to be a waste of money and “Rogue One” is no exception. I went to see this one in 3D mostly because I wanted to take advantage of a better sound system. Because Star Wars.