Having seen all Star Wars films, I find Rogue One among the best films from the Star War franchise, if not the best. The film expanded our knowledge of Star Wars universe by giving us the story behind the origin of the Death Star’s weakness, which is so critical in the first Star Wars movie; it also connected the plot back to the main Star Ward story through familiar characters. Remember the euphoria when we saw Luke Skywalker at the end of Force Awaken? Expect to see something like it at the end of Rogue One.
One character in the movie was played by Peter Cushing who has long passed away. The CGI replacement was so realistic my wife, who is not as fanatical of a fan, did not notice despite of me trying to tell her in a hush tone during the movie. Frankly I had only noticed it myself after recognizing the actor and realizing that he couldn’t have looked the same as in 1977.
The robot, K-2SO, provided comic relief. K-2SO highlighted the fact that robots with human like emotion is perceived more intelligent and accepted to coexist with humans–in my own research I found this rings true and has a sound scientific basis.
What made Rogue One stand out from other Star Wars films is not any new gadgets, but portrayal of struggles in the Star Wars universe and in ours. Star Wars is about a war; and in war, there are struggles and horrable suffering and death, such as we’ve seen in Aleppo, Syria. In the spiritual reams, the Force seemingly gave Jedi immorality in earlier episodes, and death almost seemed welcomed; but in Rogue One, Chirrut Imwe, a Jedi wannabe played by Donnie Yen, died even as he was praying to the Force. He did not resurrect as spirits like Yoda and Obi Wan to please the fans; he just died. Jyn and Cassian, the lead characters in Rogue One, also died, though rather poetically. All these deaths are weighty reminders of the human cost behind rebellion against injustice and fight for freedom. The final battle scene reminiscent of Normandy served as a reminder the hefty price paid for freedom in our own universe.
In Rogue One I got a glimpse of Star Wars as a dramatic film, not as a sci-fi. To me this is refreshing. I would love to see more Star Wars films shifting the balance towards drama. As much as I like gadgets, I had enough the familiar laser blasts and light sabers–I even dozed off a bit during a lengthy laser blaster fight. I want the director and story writers to know that it is okay to make me cry… I am a geek, but geeks have feelings too.
(The above article is not a paid promotion, but expressed opinion of the author, and it does not necessarily reflect the position of his current and past employers, churches or any other association)