Yesterday, Chris and I went to see Star Wars: Rogue One. I’ve never really been a Star Wars fan (I don’t hate it, I just was never fussed) but I have seen all the movies. Last year I went with Chris to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens and really enjoyed it, but I wasn’t especially fussed about Rogue One. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised though.
When the movie first started, I wasn’t particularly sold on Jyn’s character. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her but I do worry if we’re just getting female leads (like Rey too) because we’ve tolerated male heroes for so long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all pro equal rights, but I just don’t want it to be a girl for token sake, rather than because they are genuinely the right person to be the lead. Anyway, Jyn just reminded me of Katniss Everdeen so I wasn’t really sold and in fact the first half of the movie didn’t really grab me. I cry at nearly every movie I ever watch and so when I tell you I didn’t cry when a certain person died on Eadu, you might be a little surprised.
However, when Jyn and Cassian go at each other on the way back to the council, and you’re kind of on both people’s side at the same time, it’s pretty obvious that Jyn is now going to start helping. Her speech at the council was actually quite emotional (despite being very typical of movies) and from then on, she was onboard and so was I. The gang getting together and becoming “Rogue One”, almost made me cry in itself but when it all really got going and everyone banded together, that definitely got me. I love a good villain and I’ve always been a champion of bad guys, but there is something about the Rebellion, that just gets me. The way that people fight, knowing there is a high chance they will die, is just very refreshing.
That said, and I don’t like to write these posts with spoilers, I was definitely surprised by many of the deaths on Scarif. I even leant over to Chris and said “its like Game of Thrones, no one is safe”. For the most part, I expected the storyline that happened and not just because you know what happens in the next movie. However there were several parts, especially deaths, that I didn’t. As I already mentioned, I loved the banding together of EVERYONE and the way they worked together to get the data out (and then even to safety in the big reveal last scene). I sobbed at the deaths, especially the (most?) surprising couple on the beach towards the end. It was completely devastating how it ended on Scarif to be honest, but somehow refreshing that it didn’t have a neatly tied up bow at the end too.
For me, the stand out performances were definitely Cassian and of course K-2S0 (he was amazing and hilarious and another sob!). The rest of the team making up Rogue One were pretty awesome too, the pilot, blind guy and his sidekick protector. I’ve never really followed the thread of who’s in charge when it comes to the Dark Side (it’s confused me through both the first trilogy and the second) so I can’t really comment on those (I don’t even know who is who) but Darth Vader was pretty cool. Watching 4-6 I never really understood how he was considered scary, because the movies always just seemed a bit outdated (I was in my twenties watching them) but I could definitely see it in this movie. However my biggest shoutout, has to be to a nostalgic feel. While the movie was made now, it didn’t feel too new. The pilots (fighting in and out of Scarif) all felt very much like they had in 4-6, as did Darth Vader. I loved that the filming just didn’t smack of better graphics, cgi etc all because it was made now and not then.
Overall I enjoyed the film a lot, though not as much as The Force Awakens (despite that feeling very NOW and modern and new by comparison to the other movies). I did like the way it fills the gap between 3 and 4, though honestly I still try and forget 1-3 exist.