Film Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Star Wars is getting their hands mixed in some prequels!-Oh. Wait a minute…
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is our first in the new age of Star Wars prequels, literally the story of the film being the opening crawl of the first Star Wars (1977). A band of rebels set out on a fatal mission to steal the plans to the most destructive weapon in the galaxy, The Death Star.
Lucasfilm has a bad history when it comes to Star Wars prequels, but don’t worry. Rogue One was the prequel we all wanted in 1999. Rogue One isn’t only a solid entry into the franchise of films, butting heads with the originals in terms of quality. But is a different kind of Star Wars film to what we’re used to.
STILL STAR WARS, STILL ROGUE
Director Gareth Edwards has set out to make the truest interpretation of the title here, this is a war movie. A sci-fi war movie. With clear inspiration taken from the Vietnam war and other aspects of war films, Edwards has provided an on the ground experience with what it takes to be a rebel and fight against the empire. Rogue One harkens back to that ‘backs against the wall’ feel that Empire Strikes Back fueled. ‘The odds are against us, but all we can do is try’ feeling. And that’s something we didn’t know we had been missing from the Star Wars saga recently. While the film does have a choppy 10-15 minutes after it’s prologue, Rogue One finds it’s feet in act two. New characters like Gyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) add some much-needed intrigue to the types of characters we can connect with, in the universe. An ethnically diverse cast lead by a female lead also means that currently, Disney (especially Star Wars) seem to be the only production company pioneering diversity on screen. This adds so much to our perception when it comes to the realism of the film.
IT’S A TRAP!
Rogue One isn’t all perfect, it does have it’s disappointing elements. One of these being music, Michael Giacchino had a month to score the film and it’s obvious, with the score teasing you with traditional Star Wars motifs but then leading onto something that just sounds ‘off’ or confusing. The scope was a bit ‘too large’ for my liking, tone down the destruction towards the climax of the film and you’ve got a more personal and desperate feeling to your ending, the last couple scenes of the film are so damn impactful it makes you wish that’s how the last act was, almost tricking you into liking the film more because that’s the last thing you remember.
Overall, Rogue One: A Star Wars story is a welcome addition, and doesn’t shy away from doing something different and pushing the boat out, even at the risk of not copying traditional star wars elements like music and so on. Sporting scenic cinematography, a diverse cast and a more violent ‘war film’ feel. Rogue One maybe the best place to start off your Star Wars experience, as well as being a lovable return for fans of the ever growing saga.
Words by Levi E. Aluede