There is something wonderful about knowing that we will be getting a new Star Wars movie every year. It takes a lot of the pressure of each individual movie, and also allows space for movies that are a bit different from the typical Star Wars saga movies. Rouge One went this route. It’s unequivocally a Star Wars movie, but the tone and story are a departure from the main saga movies. I really liked Rouge One, for its great story, the way it beautifully ties into the original movies and fleshes out some of their interactions, and for the incredible fan service that the movie was packed with.
I really want to avoid any spoilers at the moment, so this will be just a quick overview. I’ll go way more in-depth once the Blu-ray is out and everyone has had a chance to watch.
This was a movie firmly rooted in the Star Wars universe. Everything looks and feels gritty and real in a way that the original trilogy and the Force Awakens achieved (and the prequels really didn’t). The movie is also chock full of fan service, cameos and references to really drill home the fact. It was delightful picking out . The movie is also full of beautiful shots. From X-wings blasting through stormy canyons to the huge space and land battle that ends the movie, everything is gorgeous.
Story wise, Rogue One tells an important story that sets up for A New Hope and fleshes out some of the story in the original trilogy. Darth Vader in particular is a much more menacing figure aft the subtler references, especially the references to Rebels.
The story struggles a bit with the work it has to do in such a short time. There are a lot of characters in Rouge One, very few of which we have met before. That means there are a lot of rapid fire introductions while also establishing the story. It works, but it is hard work to follow and at times the first third of the movie feels likes its jumping around far too much. Happily, once we have the team together and introduced, the moves settles down and climaxes with a final third that goes down as one of the best Star Wars sequences to date. It’s awesome, awe inshrining, and makes a really complex set of events, with multiple groups doing different things its different places easy to follow and cohesive. You also get treated to Darth Vader reaching his potential.
If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you do. It’s a great movie in its own right, and if you are a Star Wars fan this is a worth addition to the universe and one you shouldn’t miss.