Movie Review—Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Carey Appling comments
| Entertainment

This movie is rated PG-13 by the MPAA. Click here for the parental guide from IMDb.

The Clone Wars are over, Emperor Palpatine reigns the galaxy, the mysterious Darth Vader has emerged and a terrible machine is near completion. The Empire’s tyrannical shadow looms over the common populace with stormtroopers in every street, patrolling and keeping the galaxy “safe” from those who wish to disrupt the emperor's “peaceful” rule. This is how Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sets the scene for it’s upcoming film.

As a long time Star Wars fan, as most Americans would claim as well, I stood in line at the 7:00 pm first showing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with my wife. We were excited and waited in a bustling line for an hour and a half. Everyone was eager and most show it by talking too loud or even often spoiling what little information they managed to get off the internet. We finally were given over to the theater, we sat down and waited.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a great movie. It is very different than any other Star Wars movies, first off, because it does not revolve around a Skywalker centered storyline. In fact, this film tells us a very different story, a story about the everyday common man (or woman) trying to attempt a life in a heavily tyrannical government. This movie is also a war movie, it takes conflict to a closer and more realistic approach than any other Star Wars film has done. At times you are even reminded, though briefly, of World War II. Other times, images of middle eastern occupation forces showing their presence to maintain “stability” in a region. This Star Wars film is gritty. It’s not just about consequenceless decisions in battles that explode and look nice. It’s a place where tough decisions are made by even the Alliance that seem to even tarnish it’s squeaky clean reputation.

Enter Jyn Erso, a girl who has grown up as an orphan and wants little or nothing to do with either the Rebellion or the Empire. As well as Captain Cassian and his droid K-2SO who work for the rebellion as intelligence gatherers (Spy’s). While his droid constantly makes snarky comments and asks if you wish to know the calculable odds of a given thing happening. K-2SO has you laughing through much of the film with his detachment to humanity clearly showing. The cast in this film largely does a good job and the script is well written. Also, a character from the Clone Wars Animated Series even shows up. This is a new story yet it doesn’t shy away from the vast canon of characters that are made available through the movie franchise, in fact you will be surprised with some of the decisions made in this film pertaining to those characters from previous movies.

K-2SO played by Alan Tudyk

This is also, mostly, an action film. Yes, it has drama but largely this is a movie about action. The Alliance is faced with a terrifying machine on the verge of completion and it’s up to a band of rebels to see that the machine’s fatal flaw is exploited through plans they intend to steal. This film is about loss, it's about sacrifice and what you are willing to sacrifice for. Whether you are an Imperial Officer or a Rebel Spy. It’s also about Hope. Not about the chances of something being successful but the choices you have, regardless of the chances. Ultimately, Its about refusing to compromise your principles according to the probability of victory.

I will also say this, Darth Vader is in this movie, but it is minimal. Apart from the end of this film, if Vader were not present it would not be that big of a deal. Yet, there is a scene with Vader that should satisfy any Star Wars fan, as it pertains to just how monstrous he truly is as a character. I also desperately wanted to see Vader live up to his mythical reputation of ruthless aggression and indifference towards those who stand in his way, or "the greater good" of the galaxy. This film does not fail in that aspect.

If you are a Star Wars fan, go see this film, don’t have unrealistic expectations that cannot be met. If you do, this film will not let you down, undertaking such a momentous cultural icon as Star Wars can’t be easy yet this movie does a fantastic job. I liked the characters, I liked the story and most of all I am ready to see more Star Wars films if this is what they are going to look like.


Carey Appling

Carey is 32, married for 12 years to his beautiful wife Sara and has 3 children. He is also an Abolitionist out of Houston, Tx.