A Star Wars Story
Early on, I had a bad feeling about this, but hope saw me through to a solid movie with a thrilling ending.
Felicity Jones stars as Jyn Erso – a young lady whose father,
Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), was a brilliant scientist forced by the
Empire to design plans for a humongous weapon of mass destruction (the
one we call The Death Star).
The Rebellion has a vague understanding this weapon could give The
Empire unmatched power to rule the galaxy, so they have assigned
Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) to find Jyn and take her on a mission.
Jyn believes this is a rescue mission to reunite her with Daddy.
Cassian and the rebels have other plans.
Rogue One is a movie which fits directly into the spirit and universe of Star Wars,
but also adds a bit of tragedy to appeal to the longtime fans who have
grown into adults looking for a more complex story and mature emotions.
Two of the best writers in the business, Tony Gilroy and Chris Weitz,
help achieve this outcome by delivering some of the sharpest dialogue
in Star Wars
movie history, along with a strong, determined hero who inspires the
characters in the film and the people in the audience with a call to
arms that elevates Rogue One from transparent money grab to valuable addition to the canon.
Oscar nominee Jones is the hero this movie needs as she takes us
through Jyn’s growth from lost little girl to badass commander
who won’t let anyone stand in her way. She brings Jyn grit,
anger, and hope to become a classic character in the spirit of Rey and
Gilroy and Weitz also give us a perfect amount of comic relief in the
form of K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) – a former droid of The Empire with a
sassy mouth and sarcasm dripping from him like ice cream from a cone on
an August day. This is a droid with a bad attitude who fits in with
some other familiar faces who pop up in cameo appearances.
However, you, me, them and everyone else who bought a ticket came
looking for action, and director Gareth Edwards delivers in a final act
full of blasters firing, ships cruising through space in death defying
dogfights and some tragedy to add a poignancy to the events of Rogue One.
Also, Rogue One answers an age old question debated by nerds like me for years.
It’s not a perfect movie. Rogue One is not a fast
starter. After a wonderful opening scene setting the tone and
establishing the story, Edwards seems to wandering around trying to
introduce too many characters who do not all have a critical role in
Worst of all, an obsession with technology and an effort to include a
couple familiar faces proves how difficult it is to create computer
generated characters to be human.
We’re not talking about the creation of those awesome Pixar
characters we have seen throughout the years. In a sense, we are
talking about cloning humans as a computer generated Peter Cushing
shows up and looks as fake as fake can be in every scene.
Rogue One should help keep Star Wars fans at a fever pitch as we close in on next year’s release of Star Wars Episode 8.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is
rated PG-13 for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action.