Sunday, December 25, 2016

Be One with the Force: My Review of Rogue One

It's a good time for Star Wars fans to be alive.

Our favorite saga that we thought had ended had been resurrected and we can expect at least one Star Wars film every year now! How cool is that? Last year we were introduced to the new generation of Star Wars in The Force Awakens. This year, we're getting the first standalone film in the saga entitled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or simply Rogue One

For the first time, we're having a Star Wars movie that doesn't center on the Skywalker family. Rogue One tells a heroic story that takes place right before the events in A New Hope. As we all know, Luke Skywalker and his friends from the Rebel Alliance famously destroy Death Star at the end of that movie. Rogue One will let us know how the Rebel Alliance gets a map of Death Star which helps them destroy the superweapon. A team that names itself Rogue One runs the highly important yet dangerous mission. The Rogue One squad consists of new characters that we've never met before such as Jyn Erso, the daughter of the architect of Death Star, and Cassian Andor, a member of the Rebel Alliance. Gareth Edwards, whose previous projects include the 2014 remake of Godzilla, directed this film while Academy Award nominee Felicity Jones leads an international cast which includes Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed etc.

The Rogue One squad (Source:
Before the film was released, there were rumors that reshoots were done for the movie because Disney was not happy with it. The news made me, and lots of other fans as well, really nervous. Last minute changes and problems with the studio are never a good sign, eh? But, after seeing the movie, I realized that we shouldn't have been worried because the film is awesome!

What I love the most about the new generation of Star Wars films is how they trust young, talented and visionary filmmakers and let them helm the projects. J.J. Abrams has proven that he's the right man for the film when he successfully brought Star Wars back to life last year. Rian Johnson is currently working on Episode VIII  and I'm very happy that they choose him as the film's director. One of his previous films, Looper (starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis), is one of the coolest films I've ever seen. For Rogue One, the studio entrusts British director Gareth Edwards, and I approve this as well. He did a remake of Godzilla with Aaron Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen a few years ago and I love the film very much. I think the movie makes a monster attack, which is so otherwordly, feel realistic and plausible. I can say the same thing about Rogue One. This film's tone is a bit different from other Star Wars films. As you know, the other Star Wars films are always kept "light" and child-friendly (but still cool and awesome, of course!), but Rogue One plays with a darker tone. Edwards once said that he was going to make this film a war movie because the saga has the word "war" in its title haha, and he kept his promise. I think Rogue One really captures the roughness of wars. It shows how a war can force good people to do bad things like killing and deceiving. It also shows that not everyone can make it out alive by surprisingly (SPOILER ALERT) killing all of the main characters. This reminds me of Clone Wars. Oh yes I'm still not over Clone Wars haha.

Rogue One is a war movie
Introducing new characters in a saga that has such iconic and beloved characters is clearly a challenge. I was a little skeptical about this at first, but Rogue One is surprisingly successful with its new characters. The characters have strong personalities and are definitely memorable. My favorites are Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, Chirrut Imwe and K2SO. I'm so proud of Felicity Jones's Jyn because she's a woman and she's the leader! I'm so glad they put more women in this saga! Diego Luna has officially become my new celebrity crush and favorite actor haha. His character Cassian is so heroic. And I love his accent very much (I think I have a thing for men with accents hahaha). Donnie Yen's performance as Chirrut Imwe is just so iconic! He even gives us a new quote ("I am one with the Force, the Force is with me.") and makes sure we don't forget it haha. K2SO the droid, played by Alan Tudyk, definitely steals the show with his surprisingly sarcastic personality. Oh I have to mention Forest Whitaker's character, Saw Gerrera, as well. Saw is a character that was first introduced in Clone Wars, which gives me all the Clone Wars feels. He worked with Anakin, Obi-wan, Ahsoka (Tano, Anakin's young Padawan), Lux (Bonteri, son of a senator who used to work with the Separatists but then joined the Republic) and his own sister Steela during the Clone Wars. If Saw can have a part in this movie, can we expect to see other characters from Clone Wars like Ahsoka and Lux in the future films? I told you, I'm still not over Clone Wars.

Image result for chirrut imwe .gif
"I am one with the Force, the Force is with me."
(Source: Tumblr)
Similar to Fantastic Beasts (click here to read my review of it), Rogue One relates itself to the main story of Star Wars without trying too hard. It features tons of easter eggs that I won't mention one by one because someone has already done that here, but it has its own story and its own characters. I hope the upcoming standalone films can do the same thing. Oh yes, there will be more standalone films. I think they're working on that Han Solo film right now. I heard about a Boba Fett movie as well but I don't know whether it's confirmed or not. Those projects are exciting but I will be even more thrilled if they make an Obi-wan movie. Yes, we want Obi-wan!

So, I'm giving another five-out-of-five rating hahahaha. I just can't contain my love when it comes to Star Wars and Harry Potter, you know. Enjoy your holiday and go see Rogue One, everybody!

Rating: 5/5

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