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Star Wars Rogue OneMini Review
Unexpected! A faster, more enjoyable Star Wars movie than the bombastic The Force Awakens. Director Gareth Edwards keeps the tale pushing forward and has less overhead baggage than the J.J. Abrams film from 2015, though Rogue One is also littered with references to the famous original Lucas films (which makes sense, of course, Rogue One is a true prequel to the 1977 Star Wars).
A technological innovation is a CGI Peter Cushing (as Grand Moff Tarkin) and this is both bizarre and amazing. It's also not completely successful, he's obviously not the real Cushing and isn't a genuine filmed human being. The same goes for the end section where Carrie Fisher is "re-youthed" by CGI, but her eyes sort of float on her face a bit in a way that just isn't real.
CGI complaints aside, once Rogue One sets up its objective, it pounds forward like a World War II commando film, and the main cast (Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, and Alan Tudyk as the robot K-2SO) are quite likeable and warm, though they're not on screen to build up their characters past a certain point, but rather to accomplish the plot goals that connects Rogue One to the 1977 Star Wars and then to die in a blaze of glory, and they certainly accomplish that. If someone had predicted the ossified Star Wars franchise could produce a fast-moving war film as part of it's offerings, I would've thought that was a bridge too far.
I wish the coming batches of Star Wars films could all be this slightly shlocky and with this verve.
- Erik Weems
Star Wars Rogue One contains comic book movie style violence, sci-fi action tension, and possibly an unexpected ending that might shock young kids.
Would watch again? Certainly.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Released December 16, 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards
Original Page April 2017