Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Plot: Jyn Erso's (Felicity Jones) father was pressed into service building the Death Star, and he had Jyn raised by a friend, Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker). When she grows up,  her father wants to see her, and the rebels try to take her to him. On the way, she makes friends with the rebels especially Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and robot K-2SO (Alan Tudyk). Because this is a prequel to "A New Hope," it is not a spoiler to say that the team steals the plans, and transmits them to Princess Leah's ship.  [imdb]    [photos]

Review: I liked it. It is a fresh story but it has all the familiar elements from the original Star Wars movies. The characters are clearly motivated, and the bad guys are characters we know already. When the battles come, they are grittier and smarter versions of the battles in the original movies. The special effects are non-stop perfect, and the art direction is inspired and detailed.

Rogue One is dark. No jokes or funny robots. Very little smiling. It is a tragedy and that means a sad ending. The worst part of the movie is the sad ending.

I liked the performances by Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker and Diego Luna. They were much more concerned about people than about their technology, and I liked that. The humanity of the characters made the story better.

 I also liked Donnie Yen who played a blind monk who kept chanting "I am one with the force and the force is with me." I am sure he will inspire of a generation of Force-oriented mystics.

The battle scenes at the end seemed long, and while I could follow it all, the fighting not the most interesting part. 

Cast: Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk

Directed by:
Gareth Edwards

Written by:
Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy, John Knoll, Gary Whitta

The Music:
Orchestral music with a nice majestic feeling like John Williams'

The Visuals:
All top notch

3.5 stars: A good movie; fun to watch, but dark and with a sad ending. I want to see it again. 

More: Director Edwards as a young man made a trip to Tunisia (where the Tatooine scenes were filmed) with food coloring so he could drink blue milk like Luke Skyworker. He was and probably still is a real fan.

Even More: Jyn Erso: We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope!


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