Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Review

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)


Directed by Gareth Edwards

Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker

Music by Michael Giacchino

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Rogue One follows a group of Rebel spies on a mission to steal design schematics for the Galactic Empire’s new superweapon, the Death Star.

My Opinion:

This is going to be really short because a) I have a headache & want to go to bed and b) I’ve realized that no one actually reads anything that I write anyway. Ha! πŸ˜‰ So I’m more interested in having a discussion about this movie with all of you in the comments instead of me rambling on about the movie for ages. So spoiler-free review but spoilerific in the comment section once you’ve all seen this. Here are my initial thoughts:

I might come back to this movie in a week and give some further thoughts on it here like I did a few days after my initial review of The Force Awakens (review HERE). With The Force Awakens, I wanted to re-visit it a few days after my excitement died down to see if I really DID like it as much as I seemed to (my initial reaction was right – I still love it). Rogue One is quite different in that I don’t instantly love it in the same way I did The Force Awakens. Not even close. I think it’s known by now that this is a very “different” Star Wars movie and I can confirm that that’s indeed an accurate statement. This one is going to take some getting used to. Will I like it more after some time has passed? I honestly have no idea. I hope so…

This isn’t your typical “family” Star Wars movie. This isn’t your straightforward black & white, good vs evil type of story. So many shades of gray to these characters, which is great & very grown-up. But that will also make for a much more divisive movie. And, no – your kids probably aren’t going to like this one very much. If at all. Do NOT let this one be their introduction to the Star Wars universe! FYI – the proper way to introduce kids is to show them in release-date order in my humble (and correct) opinion. If you don’t start with A New Hope, you’re doing it wrong! πŸ˜‰

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is another strong female lead, which I’ll never complain about. I’m loving this current movie trend! She’s no Leia or Rey, though. I didn’t have the instant connection with her like I did with Rey. With Rey, I was shocked to find by the end of the film that I cared about her just as much as I do the original trilogy characters. Same with Finn & BB-8 – these characters ARE Star Wars to me and I absolutely cannot wait to see them again in the next movie. Unfortunately, I can’t say I felt any connection like this with any of the Rogue One characters. I enjoyed watching the story unfold and lead up to A New Hope, my favorite of all the films. But I just felt a bit empty by the end. I didn’t really care about these people. Oh man… I don’t want to say that about a Star Wars movie!

Okay – I did like two characters a lot. Don’t get me wrong – I really did like Jyn Erso but she wasn’t my favorite character in the end. The two who really stole the show were Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe & Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus. Actually, I loved these guys! Great characters, but they didn’t feel like “Star Wars characters” (not that anyone really did). I’d happily watch a standalone movie with these two characters, though – they were fantastic. They kicked ass, were super cool, and had great chemistry. Without them, I’d probably rate this movie quite a bit lower to be honest. I was thankful they were in it as the movie seriously picked up once they showed up.

Sorry – I said this would be super short. I’m going to end here & see how I feel about Rogue One a week from now. I certainly didn’t hate it but I also know I don’t instantly love it the way I did with The Force Awakens. I’ve not read any reviews yet to avoid spoilers but the one thing I kept seeing on Twitter was that it “feels like Star Wars!”. I’m not sure I agree with that statement. Sorry….

My Initial Rating: 7.5/10

31 thoughts on “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Review

  1. loved this film. loved they way they blended the old with the new and how they added cameos by characters we all know from ANH.

    The problem with a film like this is that it has to end a certain way and they cant cop out on it which makes it feel like a Dirty Dozen kinda film instead of a pure SW film.

    The first half was stong expositionally and the second half was strong action wise.

    Thankfully, we finally got to see what a real battle would (and should) look like in a SW film.

    I cant wait to see this one again and I hope that it sinks in soon that u really DID love it πŸ™‚

    • Glad you loved this one, Rob. : ) I know that a lot of people did. I certainly didn’t hate it. But I’m not sure I’ll ever “love” it… :-/ Oh well. It did have some good characters. Still love Chirrut & Baze. : )

  2. I’m willing to wait for this to go to dvd before I watch it. I loved The Force Awakens, but I’m not excited for this film at all. I don’t even know why :).

    Great review.

    • Oh! Hi! I totally forgot that I saw this comment pop up at the time then fell behind on replying & forgot to come back and say…. “Um, what?”. Lol. Was hoping I’d have your cryptic message figured out by now. ; ) (Oh. Just Googled it. HA! ALL my shit is too long & I never read any of my rambling bullshit). Bwahaha! Still don’t think I love Rogue One. Was this reply too long?! 😳 Btw – I bought myself Road House on DVD for Xmas.

  3. “I’ve realized that no one actually reads anything that I write anyway. Ha!”

    Considering you get more likes and more comments per post than I get in a year…. 😦

    Anyway, I wasn’t sure about this film at first because Gareth Edwards made it as a Gareth Edwards film for the first act but the (amateur) filmmaker in me could see where he was coming from.

    Then things picked up and from the second act onwards it was a Star Wars film. Just like with Force Awakens, by the end I was a little kid seeing A New Hope for the first time again.

    So yeah, I loved it too and I’m sorry you don’t feel the same way, but maybe you’ll get it on a second viewing now you’e expectations are different? πŸ™‚

    • Ha! I don’t know about that… These blogs are very dead lately. : ( People really don’t like indie or obscure films, though. My modern & “mainstream” movie reviews get WAY more attention. I’d rather talk about older, obscure stuff! But as for Rogue One, I’m still not really sure how I feel. I know I should watch it again. But I certainly don’t instantly “love” it. I liked it. It was okay with some decent characters. Still love Chirrut & Baze. : )

  4. I’m with you on this one. I was really disappointed and I agree the characters were poorly developed. Hope you feel better and I do try and read the posts

    • I’m glad someone agrees – I seemed to be the only one not totally in love with Rogue One! I did like it okay. : ) But I LOVED The Force Awakens. Mainly, I just didn’t buy into many of the main characters in this.

  5. Well, I read the review πŸ˜‰ You make some really great points. This was a different kind of Star Wars flick. I still really enjoyed it, but like you, I found it hard to latch onto characters, as they were not that developed. This was a movie about plot, not people. It was about getting the plans to the rebels. That said, my fav character was K2SO, who I got surprisingly emotional over. Unfortunately, each character didn’t really get a highlight moment (even the main villain Krennic). Ultimately, the ‘final fight’ was amazing and is the stand out. Thanks for the honest review.

    • Thanks! And thanks for reading. ; ) Sorry for the late reply! I still feel the same about Rogue One, I think. I liked but certainly didn’t love it. I loved Chirrut & Baze & K-2SO but didn’t care much about anyone else. Or buy into the story, really. I don’t know… It was just “okay”. I know I really should probably watch it again but I’m in no rush, whereas I happily went to The Force Awakens a second time…

  6. I really loved it, even though it was a totally different experience than The Force Awakens. I really loved The Force Awakens (but you knew that) πŸ˜‰ but I think I loved Rogue One even more. I though the final third of the movie was so powerful, and that final scene with Darth Vader. Wow! This did feel very different from a traditional Star Wars movie, though. My husband isn’t really a Star Wars fan (he tolerates it because I love it so much, ha ha), and he said Rogue One was his favorite Star Wars film. He’s not as interested in the Force and the Jedi so he really liked how this felt more like a war film.

    • That’s great! I’m glad you loved this one so much. : ) I was really hoping to feel the same but, almost a month later, and I’m pretty sure my opinion won’t change much. I liked it. I didn’t LOVE it like the original trilogy or The Force Awakens, though. I can totally understand your hubby liking this, though – I think it’s a good one for non-Star Wars fans as it’s so different. : )

  7. I think part of the reason it is harder to generate enthusiasm about this film is that it seemed to be under advertised. But at this point, that is about all I can say. I was going to see this on the weekend but the weather didn’t cooperate and I stayed in. I play to try to see it this coming weekend and I’ll probably have more of an opinion then.

      • I did get to it. I meant to pop back on but I seemed to have gotten side tracked. I liked it but I think it is rather like Hamlet in that it is hard to generate a lot of enthusiasm for a movie in which all the main characters die in the end. And there seemed to be holes in her their story that were never filled in. So we couldn’t connect to the characters as fully as we were expected to.

      • Yep – I really didn’t connect to the characters at all, which is so unlike the characters from the original trilogy. It’s a shame. I just wanted to really love it…

  8. An absolute triumph! Better than Th Force Awakens, I reckon.
    Th characters r ALL so good – yeah, Chirrut & Base were a star pair, and Vader quite rightfully stole th show.
    Some viewers remarked that Rogue One did not engage their emotions(!), but I thot it was v moving, as well as powerful to watch
    “If you don’t start with A New Hope, you’re doing it wrong!”
    Hell yeah! I want THAT T-shirt for Xmas! (Along w Baze’s gun!)
    Th Force will b w U

    • Well, I’m glad you loved Rogue One! I really did WANT to. But I’m afraid I’m still a bit “meh” about it. : ( I really should give it another shot, though. I just don’t feel like going to it again… I’ll see if my mind changes once it’s on DVD. : )

      • No worries!
        I can understand how u wld feel meh about it – th main problem is: w know they’re not going to make it, so there is minimal character devt – th less w know about characters, th less w care
        Hope u enjoy it on DVD!

    • Hehe. I shouldn’t have said no one reads my stuff… I don’t read my stuff myself! Ugh. ; ) Sorry you (maybe) didn’t get a chance to see this one. : ( I’d be curious what you’d think of this one… I’m still not sure myself. I just wanted to LOVE it. But I didn’t.

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