Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Embrace The Hype – Review

Courtesy Disney

Courtesy Disney

Early on, I had a bad feeling about this, but hope saw me through to a solid movie with a thrilling ending.

Felicity Jones stars as Jyn Erso – a young lady whose father, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), was a brilliant scientist forced by the Empire to design plans for a humongous weapon of mass destruction (the one we call The Death Star).

The Rebellion has a vague understanding this weapon could give The Empire unmatched power to rule the galaxy, so they have assigned Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) to find Jyn and take her on a mission.

Jyn believes this is a rescue mission to reunite her with Daddy.

Cassian and the rebels have other plans.

Rogue One is a movie which fits directly into the spirit and universe of Star Wars, but also adds a bit of tragedy to appeal to the longtime fans who have grown into adults looking for a more complex story and mature emotions.

Two of the best writers in the business, Tony Gilroy and Chris Weitz, help achieve this outcome by delivering some of the sharpest dialogue in Star Wars movie history, along with a strong, determined hero who inspires the characters in the film and the people in the audience with a call to arms that elevates Rogue One from transparent money grab to valuable addition to the canon.

Oscar nominee Jones is the hero this movie needs as she takes us through Jyn’s growth from lost little girl to badass commander who won’t let anyone stand in her way.  She brings Jyn grit, anger, and hope to become a classic character in the spirit of Rey and Princess Leia.

Gilroy and Weitz also give us a perfect amount of comic relief in the form of K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) – a former droid of The Empire with a sassy mouth and sarcasm dripping from him like ice cream from a cone on an August day.  This is a droid with a bad attitude who fits in with some other familiar faces who pop up in cameo appearances.

However, you, me, them and everyone else who bought a ticket came looking for action, and director Gareth Edwards delivers in a final act full of blasters firing, ships cruising through space in death defying dogfights and some tragedy to add a poignancy to the events of Rogue One.

Also, Rogue One answers an age old question debated by nerds like me for years.

It’s not a perfect movie.  Rogue One is not a fast starter.  After a wonderful opening scene setting the tone and establishing the story, Edwards seems to wandering around trying to introduce too many characters who do not all have a critical role in the movie.

Worst of all, an obsession with technology and an effort to include a couple familiar faces proves how difficult it is to create computer generated characters to be human.

We’re not talking about the creation of those awesome Pixar characters we have seen throughout the years.  In a sense, we are talking about cloning humans as a computer generated Peter Cushing shows up and looks as fake as fake can be in every scene.

Rogue One should help keep Star Wars fans at a fever pitch as we close in on next year’s release of Star Wars Episode 8.

3waffles_sml3 Waffles (Out of 4)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action.