Star Wars: Rogue One Real Universe Building Review

Star Wars Rogue One ReviewRating:  9/10 – A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away – about ten minutes before the beginning of Star Wars:  A New HopeStar Wars Rogue One happened.  That just about sums it up, if you had to recap the movie in something resembling to a Tweet.  You could literally watch this movie and then Star War:  A New Hope and both blend into each other seamlessly.  That’s one of the reason this movie rocks.  This is not going to be a “let’s nitpick a really great movie to death” review.  If it sucked when it should not have sucked then I’d talk about that suck.  Star Wars Rogue One did not suck at all.  This movie was AWESOME – and deserves every capped letter of that word.   It did one thing even Star Wars:  The Force Awakens couldn’t manage to accomplish, it brought an end to the era of Star Wars that made “prequel” a dirty word.

Star Wars Rogue One is a prequel, but it’s a prequel that dared to do something different.   It showed us the down and dirty side of the war in Star Wars without including the major elements from Star Wars – Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, the Falcon, now Rey and Finn and all the rest.   The Rebels are always portrayed as the squeaky clean good-guys trying to end the fascist terror of the Empire.   The Empire is just the big ass monster stomping around the universe trying to get everyone in line.  War is not clean on any side.   There are a lot of moving pieces and lots of dead bodies.   Because it’s war and that’s how war works.   We’ve always enjoyed the simplistic good vs. evil of Star Wars.  We have the cool bad guy, Darth Vader.   The rogue, Hans Solo.  The cool robots and various aliens.  The kick-ass lady, Princess Leia.  We have the Empire and the dark side and the Rebels and the Force, but we’ve never had a story of the actual war.   Not just the various red shirts on either side protecting the heroes while they tried to get the thing, but the guys and girls and big furry things in the trenches trying to do some damage to the enemy.   Rogue One gives us the war in living color and puts it right in our faces.

Death Star Plans

Star Wars Rogue One Darth VaderYou do not have to be a die hard Star Wars fan to know how the first movie started.   A ship is being chased by a bigger ship.  It gets captured and Stormtrooper break in and off everyone they first see.  (I wish people would remember that scene when they constantly joke about how Stormtroopers can’t shoot straight.)  In walks Darth Vader looking for survivors to question them about stolen plans to the Empire’s mega weapon.   Princess Leia quickly puts the plans in a droid from a card and orders it to go to the surface of the planet and find the old soldier so he can help get the plans to her people.   Everyone knows this beginning.  It sets everything up.   And Star Wars:  Rogue One is about how those plans got to that ship.

The exhaust port thing was never a huge deal to me.   People keep asking “why did they build such an obvious flaw.”  That’s a stupid question.   It was not an “obvious flaw.    Lots of people were killed to get those plans from Tatooine to the Rebel Alliance.  And entire planet of people were murdered to get Leia to talk.   The Empire was not motivated to find the plans because they considered an exhaust port a flaw.  In fact just trying to get to it required the Rebels to fly ships that were no match for any of the fire power of the Death Star making trying to reach it a suicide run no matter how many squadrons they sent.   The point is the hero, being Luke, makes it and destroys the Death Star because that’s the whole point of the hero.

The only mention of how they got the plans were through a few lines of dialogue serving as exposition.  “Rebel spies transmitted the plans to this ship as we want them back.”   Who were the Rebel spies?  That was explain in extended universe stuff I’ve never read nor seen.   Where did Rogue One come from?  I couldn’t tell you and I’m writing this review about the movie, not Google searching every single book, short story or comic created around Star Wars.   Star Wars Rogue One explained who Rogue One was, why they were important and, for the sake of that dumbass exhaust port criticism, explains why the flaw existed in the first place.

And it worked.   Star Wars rogue One tied right in to the first Star Wars so tightly that you could watch Rogue One and then A New Hope and they tie right in with each other.   That is the main thing that solidifies this movie as AWESOME.

Star Wars Rogue One’s Cast and Crew

Star Wars: Rogue One CastMuch to the dismay of every sexist, anti-social justice, neanderthal moron on the planet (and there’s just too many of them) the lead character was another female who could take care of herself.   There was no love story in this movie.  Star Wars Rogue One is only about the characters who play the biggest part of getting those Death Star plans.   I’ve heard the online critics complain about how slow the first act was.   It wasn’t.  It did what any first act should do, set up the characters.   People also complained about the characters not having some kind of backstory.   These are the same people who complain movies tend to tell and not show.  This movie showed.   I did not need to know everyone’s backstory.   I didn’t care who Cassian Andor was, he told me when he offed his informant in the first ten minutes and when he accepted an assassination assignment from Rebel Alliance leaders without blinking.   I did not need to see K-2SO get reprogrammed, he was the best character in the movie and he was an Emperial droid.   I didn’t care how Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus got to where they got to, they were great characters and showed that through their reactions.  They excepted what they had to do and knew how it was going to end.

Darth Vader

Darth Vader was not in this movie a lot.  As I think about it now his appearances were leading up to one scene.  One scene that, if everything else about this movie sucked hard it would have completely saved it.  It was one scene that anyone who even remotely likes Star Wars will remember forever.

No, it wasn’t the fucking pun.

Everyone keeps making a big deal about Darth Vader’s pun.  I don’t know why but it seems to bug the living shit out of a lot of people.  I am right there with the rest of the world in calling Darth Vader one of Pop Culture’s greatest villains.  He’s got a great look, his backstory (in the first three movies, not the damn prequels) is interesting, and his arc is strong.   He always has displayed a level of cunning and ruthlessness you need in a good villain.   But what you have never seen in any Star Wars movies was what makes Vader a badass.   It’s hinted at.  You believe thanks to David Prowse and James Earl Jones, but you never actually seen it.  I’m not talking about choking people from across ships or blocking a laser pistol.   I’m talking about what makes soldiers suddenly turn to jelly when the red Light Saber comes on.   Rogue One pretty much gives you exactly that.   In a scene that completely surprised and delighted the living fuck out of me, Darth Vader marches through a battalion of Rebel soldiers and treats them like a brat treats their toys when they’re on a tear.   It wasn’t just done as a call back to the first movie or as fan service (though I’m sure fan service did play into it somehow) it had a reason and a point.   As the battle rages and the Rebel get what they came for they prepare to retreat.   In the Death Star a Empire soldier asks Moff Tarkin if they should go after the Rebel fleet, and he says, “No, destroy the base Vader will handle the fleet.”   And Vader does.   It’s one of the best scenes in a movie with a hell of a lot of best scenes.   It puts a piece to Vader that is just too awesome to behold, he solidifies why he’s the badass we always knew and believed him to be.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars: Rogue One K-2SOIf I had a real geek beef it’s with the Star Wars Rogue One title.   The CGI Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia did not bother me.  I got why they did it and I thought it was cool for them to try.   Not knowing everyone’s backstory did not bother me.  Star Wars Rogue One defined who everyone was through actions.  Isn’t that what a movie is supposed to do?   I did mind not having a crawl and the title.   The crawl is just a part of Star Wars, and Star Wars Rogue One is most certainly part of Star Wars.  But the title.   I get it, I honestly get it.  This movie was a huge gamble.   It wasn’t going to feature a Skywalker or Kanobi or Solo.   There were no Wookies or Falcon or Jedi.   This was a movie set in the Star Wars universe out to prove you could tell stories about other parts of the Star Wars universe.  Sure, there’s fan fiction and the games but Star Wars is about the movies.   And without a doubt there was fan service throughout this movie – but I don’t consider that a bad thing at all.  Star Wars is about the fans, which is something Lucas and too many online/YouTube film reviewers seem to forget.  The bottom line is Rogue One pulls off telling a compelling story outside the “Skywalker/Kanobi/Solo” storyline which continues in the regular franchise..   We now have the first movie telling a story in the Star Wars Universe outside of what everyone is used to.   There are not going to be sequels to Rogue One, the ending saw to that.   This is why it should have been called “Star Wars:  Rogue One.”   If Lucas could change “Star Wars” to “Star Wars:  A New Hope”, Disney could change this fantastic member of the Star Wars saga “Star Wars:  Rogue One.”   Despite that this is not just a good Star Wars movie, it’s a must see Star Wars movie.

 

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Dafixer

I'm from Brooklyn New York and this is my opinion on everything.

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