2016 | 2 hours 13 minutes | Dir. Gareth Edwards | Disney
Usually, you expect a franchise to leave at least one new character around. Not Rogue One. Rogue One killed everyone.
Even though it calls itself a Star Wars “story”, Rogue One felt far lass original than every other Star Wars film. Possibly because it obliterated every possibility for plot development. Intriguing Rebel extremist? Killed. Brilliant hostage scientist? Killed. Blind warrior with possible Jedi ties and his rugged companion? Killed, without more than one sentence of backstory. Maybe the story team didn’t feel the need to develop characters they were just going to kill. They even killed the droid. THE DROID. You have to try really hard to kill one of those. He was a good one, too.
I don’t think killing characters makes a “good” story. I blame T.V.
Rogue One used almost the exact same plot as the movie Man from U.N.C.L.E.: good guys kidnap scrappy heroine and use her to contact estranged father, who has been forced to build a doomsday device for the bad guys.
I usually don’t feel like this at the movies, but I felt like I was watching a video game. The filmmakers replaced story with long, relentless battles. Even the character’s costumes look gamey: bulky tanks, slender monks with sticks. Also, I know storm troopers are bad guys and all, but they’re still human, and this movie mowed them down like ants. In one particularly disturbing scene, Darth Vader slays dozens of Rebels. You know they one made that scene for the Vader nerds. I left feeling like I’d watched a massacre, not a movie. All to get a disc. A DISC. They destroy the ACTUAL Death Star with less violence.
What did Rogue One do well? The producers championed diversity, and they deliver. Asians, blacks, women, Middle Easterners, and Hispanics all have hero roles. The film has some white men. They all play Nazis (Imperialists).
I guess The Force Awakens over- elevated my Star Wars standards. Rogue One suggests Star Wars cares more about its franchise than its source material. For me, Rogue One lights the path to Star Wars burnout.