Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
When will they make an end? How much more can you squeeze out of the original Star Wars stories? We already got three prequels, which mostly disappointed, and LucasFilm had thus intelligently decided to move forwards in time instead of backwards with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But now they have found material to make an unnecessary two-hour movie, which crams its story between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope.
Rogue One is the story of how the Rebel Alliance of Star Wars: A New Hope got the plans of the Death Star that would ultimately help them destroy this weapon at the end of that original 1977 film. The film follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) as she is recruited by the Rebels to get information from the Death Star’s architect: her own abducted father (Mads Mikkelsen).
I have to say that during the first half of the film I was surprised at how well written and paced the story was. I thought that director Gareth Edwards might actually pull off a quality film; it had good humor and played to expectations for audience-goers without falling into a generic mold. But as the film closed in on its final act, it was littered with unnecessary cameos and an overly long final battle sequence that just seems to go on… and on… and on. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching battles on screen, but there seemed to be no point to stretching out this finale to such lengths; one could have easily shaved off 30 minutes from the whole film.
Rogue One does bring a more diversified cast to the universe, even if they aren’t to appear in many future films, to see new representations from many ethnicities was welcome. The film relies on up-and-coming talent, which is an admirable bet that blockbusters tend to do less of in a time where budgets are billowing. And I was pleased with Felicity Jones, who pulled off a very grim and badass character that many people doubted she would be able to turn into.
The action is fun and the build up is well curated, but the final act is an absolute mess (surprising considering they did months of reshooting to “fix” this); it makes this hopeful extension of the Star Wars-verse little more than a B-movie.