Good morning, folks, and happy Memorial Day! If that is a thing you celebrate. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t exactly celebrate the holiday as much as I simply relish in having an extra-long weekend Plus, this day always means that the summer isn’t too far away. And while I also don’t exactly celebrate the summer, I do occasionally enjoy the sunshine if only because it make our vegetable garden blossom.
But I am neither here to wax upon the seasons nor vegetables. After an all too long delay, I finally saw Rogue One. And what of it? On with the bullet points!
- Bottom line: I really enjoyed it. And I kind of thought I might not because I had had the ended spoiled pretty much around the time the movie was first released. But no, it was still solid despite knowing everyone’s fates.
- Having seen the movie after reading about the whole Rogue One vs. The Force Awakens debate, the comparisons seem rather irrelevant. One is a continuation of a commanding vision many years in the making, and the other is a one-off imagining of what might have been. I see no reason for comparison as they both seem to fit nicely within their respective niches within Star Wars universe.
- That said, I’m not above saying that I enjoyed Rogue One’s tightly-knit story over The Force Awakens’ broad narrative.
- That also said, I didn’t find Rogue One’s cast to be as memorable individually, save for Chirrut and Baze. Their relationship was very compelling and had me hooked by the end. I also found myself quite taken by Felicity Jones’s fiery and determined take on Jyn Erso. I’d certainly follow her.
- To me this is simply proof that the cast of Rogue One worked beautifully as an ensemble…
- …with the possible exception of Saw. I believe he’s an integral figure in The Clone Wars, which I’ve not seen. But my hesitation with him has more to do with whatever Forest Whittaker was trying to do with the character itself, about which I’m still rather confused.
- It took me nearly half the movie to finally enjoy K-2SO. For the first part of the movie, I was totally distracted by his shape. I kept wondering how he was staying upright as he looked so top heavy. I really hate that I’m turning into a function-over-form person, sometimes.
- And what about Krennic’s Seal Team Six stormtroopers? I didn’t get was so special about him that he needed his own special forces. Tarkin was still the guy in charge, after all.
- And speaking of CGI Tarkin, yeah, he was weird but not unwatchable. “Realism” in CGI characters always comes down to the eyes. His were good but were still distant.
- Same thing with CGI Princess Leia. And damn if her skin wasn’t white. Like porcelain white. I mean, it literally looked like her face had no color at all.
- I did enjoy that new U-Wing fighter. Really sleek…almost too sleek.
- Can’t say the same about the TIE Striker. Looked like some kind of one-eyed bat.
- The final battle on Scarif was top-notch, but the tropical setting was truly too much. Star Wars in paradise!? I can accept that somewhere, out there, there are probably forest planets like Endor, desert planets like Tatooine, and chilly planets like Hoth. But I’m not sure that I can accept the existence of palm trees anywhere but Earth. As enthralling as the action was, this was the only time during the movie when I couldn’t suspend my disbelief.
- Ho boy, that ending. And I don’t mean the catastrophic-destruction-of-our-heroes part. I mean those final moments that lead directly into the beginning of A New Hope. That part was super cool and almost made me want to start up the A New Hope right then and there.
- As for the catastrophic destruction – YES. I enjoyed spending time with these characters but see no need to spend additional time with them in numerous sequels ad infinitum. This was their story. The end.
In sum, Rogue One is quite at home within the realm of Star Wars. However, even if you took away all the Star Wars-ian trappings, you’d still be left with a really compelling action/adventure tale. And that’s what Star Wars has always boiled down to: great storytelling.