This beautifully filmed next installation sets audiences up for New Hope in an episodic, non-J.J. prequel, but sadly Rogue One feels like a visually stunning attempt at expensive fan fiction cosplay.
Young Jyn Erso must find the father she lost and with her band of raiders retrieve the plans for the original Death Star and return them to the Rebellion before the Empire can destroy any hope they have left. Erso, foster raised by rough and tumble marauder, (Forest Whitaker), begins her new life as she escapes from a prison transport. Despite her tough upbringing and current status, her character sways calm, soft-spoken, even tender with only a bit of street-smart fighter in her.She befriends the newest droid addition: a tall, almost Real Steel-esque bot who drops one-liners like parade candy. Erso’s small Rebel battalion also includes a repetitive blind ninja and his gruff and grubby sidekick protector, as well as an angsty Rebellion fighter called Cassian.
The episode was a consistent build to New Hope, especially the final ten minutes with Vader, claiming concept from all over the Star Wars…now universe. So much throwback, but sadly so little development. New locations and random characters litter the first act with only a few anchoring moments to enjoy the nods to original SW films. When costumes and even cinematography matter more than the relationships of the characters, the film suffers. They introduce too many borderline superfluous people and use CGI as a crutch rather than a tool to bring 1977 back to life with technology that will most likely be outdate in a year. The emotionless Polar Express faces look more Snoke than Vader.Meanwhile, the weak script sadly weighs the action down. Formula without mystery is story structure without voice. Characters announce each move, “I am going to go over there and then light it up.” Even heroic speeches felt like glib driving directions. “I will find out how to find them.” Audiences should get to play detective by engaging curiosity and problem solving before the film leads them to the destination. Even the final line was too much given in an already simple, dark, and scattered story.
Nice review! I like the mix of nostalgia and at the same time still have its own tone. I also liked the connections to A New Hope. The last Darth Vader scene is soooo good. I’m def. looking forward to more standalone Star War movies.