If you haven’t seen Rogue One, stop reading now. You can come back to this post after you’ve seen the movie.
Seriously, don’t go any further unless you want to see things and know things you really shouldn’t yet.
STOP READING: THERE BE SPOILERS HERE!
Okay, since you’re still with me, I assume you’ve seen the movie.
Three Things To Love
Thing One: Darth Vader is perfect in this film. His cryogenic/frozen bacta chamber is splendid. His choking pun is laugh-out-loud. Then, a the end, we finally see Darth Vader as Darth Vader doing Darth Vader Sith Lord stuff. The clinched fist while in battle was just simply marvelous.
Thing Two: The droid K-2SO was perhaps the best new character in the franchise. His passive-aggressive, cynical, sarcastic tone reminded me of Alan Richman’s turn as Marvin from A Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy. I didn’t really care if any of the humans survived, but his death was tragic.
Thing Three: I loved the battle scenes. The Mon Calamari cruisers in action against Star Destroyers was breathtaking. It was the kind of space combat we missed in The Force Awakens.
Some Random Things to Sorta Like
I sorta liked Jyn. She is no Rey, that is for sure. Her story–abandoned girl motif–felt like a rip off of the Rey story–or perhaps a hybrid mix of the Rey story and the Luke story.
I sorta liked the portrayal of the Empire as a military state. The IED ambush of the Empire’s squadron through the streets of Jedha City could have been set in Kabul.
I sorta liked the explanation of the weakness in the Death Star’s design. Sorta.
I sorta liked the use of Rogue One as the launch of Rogue Squadron, but, if I may, Rogue Squadron would have found a way to get off the planet mostly alive.
Two Things I Hated
I hated the CGI Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. They did a much better job on Moff Tarkin, but botched Leia completely. It wasn’t so much the effort as it was the choices. Her face is smiling, happy, and hopeful. That is not Princess Leia from the original Star Wars film. That Leia was furrow browed, scornful, sarcastic, and realistic. Plus, in the scene, they are barely escaping (indeed, they don’t escape because of ANH beginning, duh) so why she is so optimistic and smiley is troubling.
I hated the Death Star being used to blow up cities. That is not what the Death Star was built for. It was built for blowing up planets, and the understood original use of the Death Star was Alderaan. Star Destroyers can take out a city–that is what they were built for–orbital bombardment. Using the Death Star to blow up a city is like using Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum to kill a fly. Sure, it could do it, but it is just a little overkill.
The film is good popcorn fun, and it is very enjoyable. However, it has a significance in the Star Wars Universe somewhere between The Clone Wars cartoon and The Phantom Menace.