Whoo, haaaaaaa, boy howdy, let me tell you, do I have a lot of THOUGHTS about Rogue One.
I know you saw this coming. Maybe, I don’t know. I had a lot of opinions about The Force Awakens, which was mostly a series of thoughts of me being overwhelmed, but listen. We saw Rogue One last night. And when I say I have thoughts, I have thoughts.
This may have some things some people consider spoilers. If you care about those, please go read some other posts. Here’s a great list of fantastic holiday songs to keep you busy, if you’re into that kind of thing. Or if you’re not, actually, that one could go either way. Anyway. I’m rambling.
So, I kind of spoiler-proofed myself. I watched maybe… ehhhh… one trailer for this movie? At best? I didn’t want to know too much about it, I didn’t want to go in having seen literally the entire movie in the trailer, so I just kind of went in with blasters ready and wow I should have prepared a little better for this movie. I knew, roughly, that it took place prior to A New Hope. What I did not know until I got like 30 minutes into the movie was that it was about the crew that stole the Death Star plans which IS SO FUCKING AWESOME but also, had I known this, I maybe would have been prepared for the last hour of the film that I would spend crying like a baby because I got too attached to a bunch of characters that, had I read literally anything about this movie beforehand, I would have been more prepared to let go of.
It all happened too soon, man. Too soon. I was not prepared emotionally for any of this.
Also, I tend to forget the plots of movies really quickly after watching them so I’m not sure what I thought I’d gain by avoiding the trailers in the first place? Not sure I’ll be repeating that again for the next film. Films. We are in a post-Disney acquisition world, which means we can all expect a new Star Wars film every year for either the rest of our lives or as long as people are willing to keep paying for them… which could outlast the known universe, honestly. Which is perhaps the thing that I felt Rogue One needed to live up to the most: Disney needed to convince me that every single film would be worth watching, in a way that they’ve recently been letting me down with the seemingly endless Marvel franchise.
Right. On to the meat and potatoes.
In general, I loved this movie.
It was incredible, well shot, well written, the cast was perfect. I thought the crew was really well put together, in a sort of Guardians of the Galaxy kind of way. I enjoyed how they were all thrown together by circumstance, and I really loved every single member of the team and thought they brought a lot to the table. As I said before, I also got a little too attached—every single time someone died I was like “WHAT?! NO?!” and was completely emotionally distraught, so much so that by the end I was like “I hate this movie!” (I didn’t.) “Why did we watch this???” (I was the one who suggested it.)
K2 might be my favorite droid ever, and that is saying a lot. I love droids, I especially loved BB-8 in the last film, but K-2SO, oh gosh. His demise may have hit me hardest of all, and I loved everything about both his design and his mis-programmed attitude. I especially liked the way that he helped us explore Cassian’s character; I loved Cassian, but I especially loved the sides of him we didn’t actually get to see. He’s quiet, reserved, and doesn’t seem to talk too much… except to the world’s most talkative, most honest droid. It created a really interesting dynamic and a new way of exploring an iconic character.
I liked Jyn well enough, but I think the thing I liked most about her was really minor: she’s the first Star Wars leading lady to not have her hair perfectly done in every shot, and it was so noticeable and so cool. This is a war movie, it’s a story about people getting thrown into the middle of unfortunate circumstances and here’s Jyn with her hair an absolute mess and in her face and she looks like she’s been fighting for the rebellion. I love the original trilogy, I love The Force Awakens, but Rey and Leia both constantly look so well put together in the hair department even when they aren’t. (The exception being, maybe, while Rey’s hair is covered while in her scavenger gear.)
Conversely, even when Jyn looks well put together and like a badass, she still can’t fit all her hair in her bun and it’s in her face and, listen. The struggle is real with us ladies who don’t have Leia-worthy hair, and Jyn represents a very real demographic here. This is important, and more than just because of her hair: Jyn shows us that the people who get swept into war are not the ones you expect. She represents any ordinary girl who is the victim of her circumstances, which is very real.
Like with any film, there was some stuff I didn’t like.
Most notably, the beginning of the film felt choppy, strangely paced, and difficult to follow once we left childhood!Jyn and moved onward. I wanted to see more of the prison she was in, but beyond that there were so many scene changes so quickly that I looked over at my boyfriend and was like “Yo, this is too many planets.” And he agreed. It was too many planets. Once the story got into the swing of things it became very good, though; I think perhaps they spent a little too much time setting up the story for us when previous Star Wars films have done well to just throw us smack dab in the middle of it. This was obviously a very different style of movie, but I think ultimately the set-up hurt us, especially since it was so jarring at times.
Other than the slow start, the only thing about the movie that I very quickly realized I didn’t like was the costuming choices for Saw Gerrera’s terrorists. I realize they were on a sand planet and that type of attire isn’t unheard of in the Star Wars universe, but dressing extremists like… well, how people picture real life extremists just seemed both a little too on point and a little too much like they were trying to paint a certain picture. Ultimately I know that we’re supposed to understand that these rebels were among the “good guys,” but I still feel like in the wide world of creative costuming choices they could have made this one fell a little flat.
Ultimately, I’m so glad that they’ve decided to embark on these one-off stories.
I had so much fun, I was entirely invested in the whole film from nearly start to finish, and many of the characters became instant favorites. I might have been mad at how many characters I loved met an untimely end, but that’s a testament to the beauty of the storytelling: I felt genuinely attached to everyone who was a part of the Rogue One squadron, and was incredibly sad to see them go. I think it also did an absolutely phenomenal job of filling in an interesting gap in the overall story of the Star Wars universe.
This was a movie that I wasn’t sure about at the end (mostly due to being in emotional distress) but after I left the theater I found myself wanting to go back and watch it again. If nothing else, I love all the new additions to the Star Wars canon.
Whether or not Disney can keep up the magic with a new film literally every year remains to be seen, but they definitely showed that they were capable of pulling it off with this movie. In my mind, it will be not so much this one but the next “one off” film and whether or not they can keep up the magic will be the real telling.
Did you see Rogue One? Did you love it? Hate it?
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments, because I could probably keep talking about this FOREVER.
…or at least until the next Star Wars film comes out.