By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, USA)

 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story That Serves Best As A Prequel

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn, and Riz Ahmed. This is a giant cast that tells the story of Jyn Erso’s journey to helping the rebels get the Death Star plans. She does this by meeting tons of new people along the way to help, but also relying on familiar faces for assistance. This is really well-done Star Wars film that involves good direction and brilliant cinematography to encompass brand new visual aspects. Yet it lacks tonally due to some rapid editing, very loose plot structure, and lack of development for some characters.

Overall I liked Rogue One. I am a giant Star Wars fan. I actually cried when I learned of Carrie Fishers passing, and I will cry even harder when Harrison Ford or Mark Hamill pass away. But, they won’t cause they’ll live forever because the force is strong in them. Nonetheless I went in to this film with very high anticipations and expectations. For the most part I wasn’t disappointed necessarily, but something felt like it was missing from this film. I couldn’t put my finger on it, because overall this film has a lot of good things. The direction is well-done. Gareth Edwards really did a good job at creating large encompassing shot structure, and created some very interesting visuals that we’ve never seen before. Like storm troopers on a beach which was awesome to see.

The action was also really well filmed. Relying on wide takes to create a full view of the encompassing action. The film has very well designed cinematography as well, with a really interesting color scheme and an intriguing use film filters. It did an excellent job of creating this isolation look, that really looks like it is completely opposite of the rest of the Star Wars saga. The performances are pretty good. Felicity Jones did an excellent job of bringing this rebel character to life. Alan Tudyk killed it and was the greatest robot ever in a Star Wars film, minus R2-D2 and BB-8. He also was so opposite of C-3PO character, which was really fun to watch.

Of course Darth Vader was freaking epic to see. I felt like my heart was going to explode when I saw him on the screen. After I heard his voice, goosebumps ran up and down my body. I felt this amazing rush of emotions for about 5 minutes, because he’s only in the film for 5 minutes. I understand that they’re trying not to rely on the character but I would have loved to see more. Which leads me to how this film looks like a Star Wars film, but doesn’t feel like a Star Wars film. Let me explain, first of all this film has a lot of problems with its tone and editing. The tone is lost multiple times in the film due to drastic transitions between settings and character development.

The original saga’s strong suit was character development. You cared for all of those characters, and in Rogue One you care for one character. It was so confusing to watch, because it’s a Star Wars film. I expect great characters, that’s what makes the prequels so terrible among many other things. But, these characters are just never fully realized. I understand they’re one off characters, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t invest in them to make them beloved by the audience. Make the audience feel emotionally attached, so when characters go through tough times the audience feels it. But, the editing does not follow original Star Wars editing techniques by cutting out the transition techniques used in the original saga. As well as the opening introduction with the rolling of exposition to prepare the story for the audience.

The film also ended up digitally capturing a certain character’s face, which I found heavily distracting throughout the film. And, I really wished that character was replaced by Darth Vader because it would’ve been so epic to watch. As compared to watching an obvious digitally animated character complain with our main villain about a problem no one cares about. These flaws are not expected for good Star Wars movies. I didn’t expect to have these flaws with the film. I left this theatre confused, happy, disappointed, and filled with multiple other emotions.

Overall I enjoyed Rogue One. But, I was disappointed with the narrative. It’s not a bad film, but in comparison to other Star Wars film it’s a letdown. This film has good performances, great directing, and a decent narrative that suffers from structure, tone, and rapid editing. I liked Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and I’m going to give it a B. What did you think of Rogue One? What’s your favorite Star Wars movie? Which actor will you miss the most when they’re gone? Let me know down below and as always have a blessed day.

Rating: 4/5

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