Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a fantastic movie. I loved it to the point where my first thought when the credits started to roll was “how am I going to articulate all my thoughts into a blog post because I have a lot to say”. If you know me, “I have a lot to say” could mean I either really enjoyed something or I have a million other ideas on what they could have done better because apparently I think being half way through getting both a communications and a theater degree makes me qualified to judge things on that level. Anyway…I really liked Rogue One. I thought it was a hundred times better than The Force Awakens. Here’s why:
(also if you couldn’t read the title…spoiler alert. But then again, if you can’t read the title then how are you going to read the rest of the post?)
1: It was it’s own movie
The minute the movie started I could tell it was going to be different from a regular Star Wars movie. There was no yellow text crawling across the screen giving the audience exposition like the other 7 movies, it just went straight into the action. This sets the tone and tells the audience: this is a story within the Star Wars universe, but it’s separate from the saga. While the whole point of the movie was to bridge Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, it operated as its own story. My problem with The Force Awakens was there were a lot of moments that were put into the movie not to move the plot forward but for nostalgic fans to get excited. Moments that were set up for fans to gasp from surprise like the appearances of old characters. Because if they saw Han Solo in the trailer, then they HAVE to go see it because they LOVED Han Solo in the old movies. Lets not forget to mention that the seventh movie’s plot was made very similar to the forth because NOSTALGIA! STAR WARS IS BACK! COME SEE OUR MOVIE! But Rogue One was treated like its own movie with new characters and references to past movies BUT only when relevant to the story. Rogue One focused on the problems and conflicts of the new characters not the how this story is fitting into the rest of the story. Like I said, this movie is a bridge between episodes 3 and 4 but that’s not the main focus.
2: The story was fresh
This movie revolves around new characters so the whole time you learning their personalities, how they can be helpful in the mission or objective they are driving toward, and what you think/hope will happen to them. After all, that’s what any story is supposed to do to their first time audience members. But on top of these characters being new and fresh, the story was some what of a relevant commentary. There were a lot of scenes that took place in war torn cities in the galaxy and their conflict (how the battle scenes actually play out, the atmosphere, the setting) looked very similar to conflicts in Syria and other middle eastern countries. On top of that, this movie had characters that believed in the rebel cause but were extremists and caused more harm than anything, another parallel to the recent global politics. The relevant commentary made Rogue One something more than being another new Star Wars movie.
Rogue One is very Shakespearean….
Let me explain.
Rogue One is a story where there is a decline in fortune and ends with everyone dead. There is a Hamlet vibe that the movie gives off when all the characters the audience has been following for two hours die. Additionally it adds to the idea that tragedy is consequence. And that’s what this whole movie is about. This whole movie is about what each of the main characters are willing to do for what they believe in and what those consequences are. The fact that the consequence for every character is death drives that point home and makes it a beautiful movie.