Movie Review – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Full, Spoilery Review) (2016)

Hey 3.5 Jedis.

“I am one with the force and the force is with me.”

But if you read on, the SPOILERS will be with you.

So seriously.  If you haven’t seen this movie yet, then a) you aren’t a true nerd and b) stop reading so the movie isn’t ruined for you.

This is a review for people who have seen the movie and want to talk about it.

I’m serious, 3.5 scruffy looking nerf herders.  This is your last chance to avoid SPOILERS.

OK, now that the true nerds are here, let’s talk.  This isn’t so much a review as it is a list of observations:

#1 – The Opening Crawl and the Usual Theme Song Weren’t Used

This is the franchise’s first foray outside of the saga, i.e. the ongoing plot line in which the Skywalker family’s petty bullshit spills over into the galaxy and ruins everything.  Stupid Skywalkers.

Even so, I missed the opening crawl and the theme song.  There was a variation of the theme song but it wasn’t the same.  I assume someone made a decision that the crawl must be reserved for the saga only.

At least they split the difference by throwing, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” up there.

Nerds must be satisfied.

#2 – It was the best Star Wars Movie I’ve Seen in a Long Time

Last year’s The Force Awakens was OK, but let’s be honest, it was basically just a retelling of Episode IV except Luke is a girl now.

Rogue One has guts, grit, and best of all, an interesting plot, which brings us to…

#3 – The Hollywood suits didn’t do business as usual with this one and it paid off.

Think about the decisions that were made in this film:

  • Jyn Erso isn’t a role model – Jyn (Felicity Jones) is a space convict who has committed crimes.  While, given her back story, those crimes are understandable, she probably wouldn’t be a Hollywood suit’s first choice when it comes to merchandising.  Squeaky clean Rey is the poster girl for lunch boxes, shirts, and yes, even posters.  I mean, I haven’t been paying attention so maybe there is Jyn merchandise but all in all, “space convict” wouldn’t be a suit’s first choice and yet her being a space convict made the story more interesting.
  • The Rebels don’t come across as total angels – Yes, for seven films now we’ve heard of the bravery of the Rebel Alliance but low and behold, now we learn they have done some nasty shit.  It is unavoidable in war.  The concept of how far a side should go in the name of a cause they believe in is explored.  Saw Gerrera (Forrest Whittaker) even commits acts of terrorism against the Empire that are so bad he has been denounced by the Rebels.  I can hear the suits worrying that toy sales might drop if the Rebels are shown to have a bad side but hey, it made the movie better.
  • Everyone dies at the end – Sorry, but I did tell you this review would be spoilery.  Yes!  Everyone freaking dies at the end!  Hollywood suits surely worry about shit like this.  “Why would kids buy action figures based on characters who are dead?  How can the kids act out new stories if the characters have bought the farm?”  The suits were ignored.  Everyone dies and repeat after me, “the movie was better for it.”

#4 – Chirrut Imwe is the first non-Jedi follower of the Force religion we’ve seen (that I know of) – I’m sure there are nerds who would be willing to tell me that I’m wrong, but Chirrut (Donnie Yen) is a martial artist as well as a big believer in the Force, but at no time in the movie does he actually use the Force.  Come to think of it, that was also a big deviation from the saga.  The Force isn’t used much (by any one good, anyway) and there are no light saber duels.  There is a light saber bitch slap session conducted by a certain dark helmet wearing fellow, but we will get to that.

#5 – The space battle was awesome – It really was, and in keeping with my #OscarsSoPretty activism, it is good to know that ugly actors always have a home in the cockpit of an X-Wing.  X-Wing pilots can spend their time primping in front of a mirror, or they can practice their flight skills, but they can’t do both.  And a banzai style ramming of a Star Destroyer?  Yes, please.

#6 – K-2SO – The droid voiced by Alan Tudyk was the films much needed comic relief.  That’s all I have to say about him.

#7 – Reviving old characters through CGI – Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarken both make CGI aided appearances.  Usually, I think this move does not end well (it totally sucked with Jeff Bridges in the latest Tron fiasco) but it worked well here.  They looked very real.

#8 -It’s a one and done – Really.  They all die at the end.  No sequels.  The box office totals have been great, but the money that can be made off of these characters is limited.  Oh, who am I kidding?  They could always do something like, “Jyn Erso: The Early Years” or “Fun Times with Saw Gerrerra.”

#9 – Darth Vader is a F*%King Badass and It’s About F*%King Time – Remember all those prequels that promised to tell the life story of Darth Vader, the man who became Space Hitler?  Remember how they turned out to be glorified children’s cartoons geared toward toy merchandising?  Yes.  Very disappointing.  Pod racing was the last thing that was on Darth’s mind when he was slicing, dicing, and julienning those rebels and, I’ll say it again, “the movie was better for it.”

Speaking of…

#10 – The Ending Was BRILLIANT – I’ve read some critics who are pooping all over the ending.  These critics are idiots.  This movie perfectly lines up with Star Wars IV: A New Hope.  Remember, IV begins with Darth Vader being totally rip shit over missing Death Star plans and he ends up tearing ass all throughout the Rebel fleet, giving light saber enemas to anyone who stands between him and the plans.  We are then told that some rebels died in order to get these plans to Princess Leia.  Ergo, this film is the story of how those rebels got their grubby mitts on those plans.  It really is the best story of how a vent in a giant planet killing machine was found.

Was Darth Vader brutally violent as he begins his search for the plans at the end of this film?  Yes.  But I’ve been waiting for him to kick ass again for a long time and Disney finally gave me what I wanted.  You can now watch Rogue One before watching IV and plot wise, the films line up perfectly.

Do I care that your kid might get nightmares of Darth Vader going on a lightsaber slashing spree?  Yes, but that just means you should leave your kid at home because I should be able to enjoy Darth’s lightsaber slashing spree.

Darth Vader is Space Hitler.  Darth Vader chokes bitches who do him wrong out with the Force.  Darth Vader will not hesitate to cut a bitch with his red lightsaber.  I’m sorry that in the late nineties and early 2000s, George Lucas led your child to believe that Darth was “Ani,” the little boy who pod raced, had Jar Jar as a side kick and fell in love with a space queen over a space picnic.  Ani is gone.  Darth Vader remains.  Darth Vader will Force choke a rebel bitch.  Darth Vader will even Force choke his own people.  You might call that workplace harassment but Darth calls it employee motivation.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  See it on the big screen.  The best Star Wars film since Empire.  (Although I do like Return of the Jedi even though many nerds don’t).

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Full, Spoilery Review) (2016)

  1. Mei-Mei says:

    It delivered pretty much exactly what I wanted, so yeah, I’m happy 🙂 I’ll probably see it again at some point soon.

    • It didn’t get so violent that it is unwatchable by anyone under 18 but it didn’t pansy out, toss in cuddly CGI sidekicks or put merchandising over a good story. I was proud of Disney for allowing Vader to engage in so much space murder.

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