As I’ve mentioned a few times I have a problem with the Star Wars spin-offs and it being annualized. But I enjoyed a lot of things about the film even if there are too many “Why?”s for me to actually say I liked it. As much as I did not like The Force Awakens I think Episode VII is a better movie even if this movie has far less things that annoy me if that makes any sense. Going in I had accidentally read a few spoilers but of stuff I already knew or suspected was going to happen so it didn’t affect me a lot.
I understand the reason Disney wants to make sure we comprehend that this is a spin-off and not one of the “ones that count” but I think it was handled the wrong way. The movie begins with “A long time a go in a galaxy far, far away…” but then there’s no opening crawl..I know this had been debated and I felt either way was fine after all we’ve had previous spin-off films like the Ewoks’ without one and spin-offs that do have them like The Clone Wars. But I really felt I needed it, especially following the a long time ago message. I felt like I was given blue balls after not getting my reward after being teased. Another annoyance is the music which is kind of Star Warsy but some scenes just needed the Star Wars music and I think it was only used in the Vader scene which oddly enough didn’t need it as much. Ok so this isn’t a “main” Star Wars movie but that doesn’t mean it can’t have the music, it’s part of what makes the franchise stand out. Sure you can have a majority of new music but some classic themes have to be there especially when your movie is basically a direct prequel to one of the main films so it shares a lot of visual content. And yet the end credits can have the classic Star Wars ending? Why break the rules there? And if they want to separate the spin-offs from the main series ones why did they not market The Force Awakens as Episode VII instead of just leaving it in the opening crawl? Think of all the Star Wars video games and would they really be the same without the music? It adds to the experience, even the opening crawl that you see in the games, it’s something Star Wars should continue to use even if it’s a spin-off.
I need to mention how the opening scene is so boring but to start a little positive I liked Director Krennic a lot, I think I read some scenes of him were cut and that would be a shame since he was one of the best characters. Jyn was an alright character and probably better motivated than Rey. The X-Wing fight was awesome and really enjoyed it. I think I’ve read a few people not like the CG but overall I thought it was really good, sure you can tell Tarkin/Leia are CG since they look a bit like wax figures but they still look more realistic than the random aliens they create for the movies so that’s my counter-argument the bug lady from The Force Awakens looks 100 times more fake than Tarkin or Leia as seen above.
I read a lot of things about how it made the original trilogy better or how much more complex the situation had become thanks to this movie but I don’t really see any of that, on the contrary it was not something we needed to see. The movie was a little long and boring for me, we have a lot of parts that just go on that should’ve been cut and made it a shorter but tighter movie. We have way too many characters..so many that I only remember Jyn’s and Krennic’s names the other guys I’m looking up them up to be able to mention them here. Cassian was a good supporting character even if we never really find out much about him and thought the whole end of almost kissing and then holding hands like out of the blue but I don’t care either way. Donnie Yen is awesome but his character here was lame, he did nothing besides knock out stormtroopers with a stick that felt more out of place than when ewoks did it; His friend Baze Malbus was alright. The Bodhi Rook was interesting, I wish we had gotten more on him instead of the others who also didn’t get much development. The droid K-2SO was good for the most part and Saw Guerrera who apparently appeared in the Clone Wars cartoon which I think is awesome didn’t have much reason to be in the movie and could’ve easily been cut but I really liked him and was sad to see him go out so early making his appearance pointless instead of really adding complexity to the plot.
I was afraid of how Darth Vader was going to be handled and out of his three scenes only the last one was appropriate and awesome. The other two didn’t need to be there and while it was cool to hear Vader (who sounded off in a few lines) he just didn’t need to be there and does take a bit form his character more than any “nooooooo” ever could. Tarkin was also used too much while I was a fan of the CG as I mentioned he took time from Krennic. I also realized that if Tarkin is such an awesome villain that we should get more movies with him so regardless of what I think the CG went they should’ve recasted so they had an actor who can play him in other movies. While the final fight was pretty cool it also felt too big for what it was, it was basically busier than the Death Star battle and yet this was supposed to be a smaller conflict.
Some parts maybe because of lack of music or different mood made it seem like a fan film. And yeah it’s a spin-off and it should do different things from Star Wars movies but it lacked a bit of the Star Wars magic and I don’t think it was because it was too dark but because the story itself is so connected to the original trilogy that it doesn’t fit well with them. The Force Awakens has that “Star Wars magic” even if I was not a big fan of that film on the other hand at least Rogue One is more original than Episode VII. So I’m unsure how I feel about it, it’s not a bad movie but it’s not great either and almost everything about the movie felt unnecessary as I’ve mentioned through out. I’m glad I watched it on theaters though but I feel after this one like other spin-off films can definitely be skipped like the young Han Solo film and be selective to what I watch on theaters or what can wait for me to watch at home.
When all is said and done I think a lot of people’s opinions are going to turn as most only praise the final battle and admit it’s not the best in the other parts. On a final note I really preferred the Anthology name and logo for the spin-offs, the “A Star Wars Story..” sounds ridiculous no matter how badly Anthology tested on focus groups.