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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Review: Rogue One

***WARNING: There might be spoilers ahead. I'm going to try to avoid them, but I can't promise. Proceed at your own risk.***

Rogue One is the latest installment to the Star Wars universe and one about which I'd been hearing a lot of good things, so I was eager to watch it. To recap the plot, the events in this movie take place before the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope. If you remember, that entire movie revolved around a droid with the plans to the Death Star and how there was a hole in the security that allowed Luke to blow it up at the end.

Rogue One shows how the rebels got hold of the plans to begin with and the movie explains why there was such a blatant flaw in the design of the Death Star. Our heroine is Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones). Her mother was murdered by the empire and her father forcibly impressed to design the Death Star. She's pushed the by the rebels to help them. Her partner is Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna).

The movie is very dark and very gritty from the start. We get to see the empire kill Jyn's mother and force her father to work for them. We see the little girl hiding after watching her mother die and the empire is looking for her because they want her as leverage. The movie never lightens up from this beginning.

I'll admit that I thought the beginning was slow and I was disappointed at first, but somewhere along the way--I'm not sure when it happened--it became super good and full of tension. I was knitting while I was watching it and shortly after the halfway point, I had to put it aside because the movie had grabbed me and was riveting me, preventing my attention from wandering, even to my yarn.

The ending was every bit as dark as the beginning and was pretty much the only downtime from the tension was the last couple minutes of the film.

That said, I'd probably watch it one more time immediately after watching the original Star Wars: A New Hope. It's been years since I've seen the movie that kicked off the franchise and I've forgotten things that I think were referenced in Rogue One. But on its own, I don't think this is a movie I'll rewatch after this reminder run because it was grim.

I'm glad I saw it, I'm glad the flaw in the Death Star was explained. I liked the characters of Jyn and Cassian, and it's a shame that they didn't take a little time for a romance to develop between the two characters. I wanted one and it would have relieved some of the stress!

Overall, I recommend it if you don't mind dark, gritty, and grim. This is not a feel-good film, but it fits nicely in the Star Wars universe and I think it was necessary that it have the tone it had.