SPOILER ALERT. Proceed with caution.
After years of anticipation, Rogue One has finally made its way to the big screen. The Star Wars spinoff film was one of this year’s most talked-about movies. There have been countless discussions, theories and doubts concerning the movie and this only escalated further until all of the questions were answered. The verdict? Rogue One is pretty darn good for fans, both new and old.
If one became familiar with Gareth Edwards due to his work on Godzilla, one would instantly know that Rogue One will have a much darker theme compared to previous Star Wars films. Considering that this is a war film, Edwards was able to convey a rather dark tale without sacrificing the humor and heart that the franchise is known for. He was able to present a film with fun exchanges, thrilling action and stunning visuals. Also, while everyone already knew how it all ends, the movie does offer a surprising amount of twists and turns that would live them stunned and awed.
If Star Wars fans are looking for familiar elements that will straight-on tell them that they’re watching a Star Wars flick, then they might leave slightly disappointed. The beauty of Rogue One is that it’s meant to stand on its own without straying too far from its source material. There’s no trademark opening crawl, but there are tons of other homages to compensate for the missing themes that one would look for in a Star Wars movie.
Similar to other Star Wars movies, Rogue One contains a deeper narrative that’s buried beneath a sea of aerial battles and exhilarating gunfights. Its main character, Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones) is separated from her father, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen), at a young age. While Jyn learns to survive in a galaxy torn apart by war, she becomes even more numb to the existing conflict. She ignores the flags of the Empire which you can’t notice “if you don’t look up.”
Jyn is later on accompanied by Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), both members of the Rebel Alliance. They are later joined by Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) during their search for Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) in Jedah. Saw Gerrera reveals a smuggled holographic footage of Galen Erso who discloses the Death Star’s vulnerabilities. Shortly after, the superweapon’s capabilities are tested on Jedah despite the fact that the Empire is currently mining the place for its Kyber crystals. The event claims the life of Saw Gerrera who elected to stay behind.
Rogue One is tragic but it’s that way for a reason. I had this notion that the movie would end up romanticizing the concept of a rebellion by using the word “hope” over and over again. But that wasn’t the case entirely. Instead it shows that in moments of despair, only hope will propel you forward. It’s that hope that will bring peace. Unfortunately, not all soldiers who are involved in war will live to see what they fought for. Lots of sacrifices have to be made and for Rogue One, this is the unfortunate, ballsy, ending. You’d want to hate it but the more you think about it, the more you’d realize that this is the right way to close the film. It’s so tearjerkingly good.
Rogue One is easily one of the best movies to come out this year. It’s satisfying and teeming with so much originality that you’d watch it again. Not only does it promise to expand the Star Wars universe, it also restores Darth Vader’s reputation as a villain. And in case you’re craving for a sequel, allow me to remind you that it already exists.
Would you watch Rogue One all over again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!