Star Wars Rogue One expertly delivers the thrills and spills we’ve come to expect of a modern action sci-fi movie while at the same time providing believable, backable characters, an expansion of the Star Wars universe and great service to old and new fans alike.
by Peter Spann
Star Wars was only the second movie I saw in my life, the first being (amazingly and I kid you not), Peter Pan.
I went to the Atherton Drive In with my Father and my best friend and we talked about it, played it and lived it for weeks, if not months after. I still have my original plastic light sabre. So I’m a fan boy.
And I’ve obviously seen every film since as soon as I possibly could, with the last few at 12.01am.
I also need to state that I am a firm believer that you should watch the films in the following order: IV, V, II, III, VI and then, now VII. Notice something? Yes, the train wreck of Ep I is missing. No point in watching it. Seriously, it doesn’t add anything to your understanding or enjoyment of the Star Wars universe. But now, there’s a new member of the family, a cousin as it were, and I would watch it first!
Yup, it’s that good!
It beautifully links the new with the old. Production value is out of this world with some magic CGI that I challenge you to pick from the real. Like you know it’s not real, but is it?
So, the Rebels are all flying around in X Wings in their classic 1970’s style uniforms that actually look better now than they did then, and the good old Empire has their Tie Fighters and Death Star plus there some old favourites from the Empire without the ridiculous additions to the lexicon that seemed to come from every other party of the trinity. It’s recognisable but also fresh.
There’s lots and lots of nods to previous films without being the slavish remake that JJ managed (He could have and should have done SO much better with VII). The big thing that separates the two is STORY!
Rogue One actually has a plot! And the actors can act. Felicity Jones is a stand out and she is surrounded by a supporting cast that’s interesting, believable, and good, with a special shout out to Aussie Ben Mendelsohn who plays an excellent villain.
Director Gareth Edwards and screenwriters Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, working from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta, have done a great job in pulling it altogether, as Rogue One works amazingly well.
Rumours of endless reshoots and dramas on the set do not carry through to the film itself – it is seamless.
It really has its own vibe due mainly to it not persisting with many of the iconic features of the main Star Wars films (like Light Sabres and Jedi Knights), so it is able to tell its own story while staying firmly within the realm.
And best of all Darth is back, more kick arse than ever, with none of that crappy Anakin suck story. His time on screen is minimal but brilliant, adding to his story in a multitude of ways.
And finally, a funny robot again! One of the best elements of the early Star Wars films before they got booged down with endless world building was the humour and K-2SO provides plenty of it.
The plot builds and builds in an exciting way with the last act just delivering with a bang.
I loved it! 9/10
Peter Spann is a Film Maker, Writer and Star Wars Fan Boy