Rogue One is more so an exploitation of your nostalgia, and the franchise’s re-awakening, than keeping the momentum of Episode 7 going.
Jyn (Felicity Jones) | Darth Vader (James Earl Jones)
Like the majority of Star Wars films, it all begins with a child losing their parents. In this case, it is Jyn (Felicity Jones) losing her mother, and hiding as her father goes to help make what shall become the Death Star. Leading her to believe, growing up, this was her father’s choice. He wanted to be part of the evil empire. However, it is revealed this isn’t true. He joined them, helped them, to input a flaw. Leading to a journey to not only know the truth but spread it to the world.
James Earl Jones Returns To Voice Darth Vader
Honestly, for me anyway, the praise is in short supply but I must admit on top of it being nice to see Darth Vader in the suit again, it was especially cool that James Earl Jones returned to voice the character.
Forgettable and Expendable Characters
As I’m sure many of you know, after Disney had hits with The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and more, they released a bunch of straight to VHS releases to try to capitalize on the success of the first film. To me, Rogue One is similar to those movies. The only difference is this was given a far larger budget than past unnecessary editions so that it could have the usual special effects and decent fight scenes.
But while any Star Wars picture is certainly worth noting for its special effects, at the end of the day it is the story and characters which should matter. Problem is, for this film, they don’t. We are, with the exception of Vader, introduced to characters not in the original films. Making it so they all have a chance to try to make this film their own. Perhaps present this film as more than a simple cash grab using that tired Star Wars formula of the orphaned child turned hero. Yet, they don’t.
From our lead to the men who fight with her, it is like they utterly lack personality. I mean, this is like a generic action movie within the Star Wars universe. Not as bad as episode 1 – 3, but at least with those prequels there was some attempt at trying to give the characters admirable traits or at least plant something so that their lives mattered to you. With this film, however, it relies too heavily on the basic principle that this person is the hero so you should root for them. This person is the bad guy so you should hate them and it adds 0 complexity to it. And I know, “What about Jyn’s dad?” Well, he is barely in the movie and honestly by the time the ending is revealed, it is a relief that we shouldn’t have to worry about any of these characters’ story continuing.
Overall: Negative (Skip It)
I have never been so tempted to fall asleep during a movie and I watch movies which are purely Oscar bait. But what makes me not say this is just another “Home Viewing” movie is because this is a blemish on the brand. This film leads you to believe Disney is trying to recoup how much they paid for this brand as quickly as possible. So even if they just make some rinky dink story, connect it to the main series at the end, and you are left with nothing to praise but the special effects, they are fine with that. After all, they aren’t invested in the characters so why should you? Making it so, overall, this movie seems solely about keeping the Star Wars franchise in your thoughts and perhaps making Star Wars a perennial money maker for the house of mouse.