My wife and I went to see Rogue One last Friday, just days after Carrie Fisher and her mom sadly passed. Star Wars is so popular that our theater had showtimes about every half-hour. We went in early to get good seats, and both thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
Rogue One is in some ways a stand-alone film, and in some ways, inescapably, a Star Wars episode. I had mocked the previews a bit as most of the new cast have British accents, and while I love the Brits, I find it odd when people (effectively) use this tactic to add a cultural zest to artistic endeavors like movies.
The Brits were great of course, as were the others. Rogue One fills in an unnoticeable gap between Episode 3 (Revenge of the Sith) and Episode 4 (A New Hope), the original 1977 Star Wars film. This new movie kind of does for Star Wars what Christopher Nolan did for Batman: lends a (sort-of) realistic patina and credibility to a fictional story.
The visuals are better than any Star Wars to date. While the original series’ was great for its time, and 4, 5, and 6 were overblown CGI exercises, Rogue One blends the best of technology with a James Bond worthy use of Earthly terrains; not unlike say, filming in the Sequoia’s in Return of the Jedi.
I have to say that I really liked Mads Mikkelson as the protagonists’ father. A conflicted character whose outcome I will leave for those who see the film. I also enjoyed the comic relief from funnyman Alan Tudyk (A Knight’s Tale) as droll, matter of fact droid K-2SO.
This movie left me wanting more of a heart and soul, don’t know why, but I chalked it up to a tough 2016. I really think that director Gareth Edwards did a great job, and that Felicity Jones as protagonist Jyn Erso, gave us another great female Star Wars heroine.
Take THAT, 2016, for taking Carrie Fisher from us! (although Hollywood is hard on many stars’ health, and we all face eternity) I hope you enjoy this most excellent Star Wars journey at least as much as I did.