Benz Eye View: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

It has been a while, but we are back with the Star Wars Marathon.  The first Star Wars Anthology film has finally been released.  Will it be a huge success, or will it be a wasted side story that no one will care?  Let’s begin…

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Pros:

1.) I remember seeing a title of an article a couple days ago that says that this film shows the meaning of war…Um, yeah.  That’s because it is called Star Wars.  All of the films shown this.  I think what the article meant is that this film shows a darker side of war in this series, which this film succeeds in.  The closest that the two Star Wars trilogies show that is in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.  Rogue One goes a little deeper into that, and shows a different perspective of the series.  They show many Rebels committing dark actions, extreme factions of the Rebels fighting in a way that the Rebel Alliance would never do, and a few others that you should see yourself.  It is different than any of the Star Wars films we have seen, and it gives us a breath of fresh air.

2.) The practical and CG effects are utilized well just like The Force Awakens.  It is nice to see that they want to make the film alive by using practical effects and makeup.  The CG is done well…for the most part.  There are a few CG moments that look fake, and two characters with CG faces look…wrong.  Still, I appreciate their dedication in making this film look real.

3.) This film actually fixed a few plot holes from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.  I will not spoil what they are, but I bet if you watched Episode IV after watching Rogue One, you may find moments in Episode IV have more meaning than you thought.  They even give some minor winks and explanations that have some impact for Episode IV (i.e. what happened to the original Red 5 before Luke Skywalker became Red 5).  It is a good touch and nod to the Original Trilogy.

 

Cons: 

1.) Rogue One is a group of people that contains Jyn Erso (daughter of the creator of the Death Star), Cassian Andor (a Rebel Intelligence Officer), Chirrut Îmwe (a blind Donnie Yen), K-2SO (an Imperial droid serving the Rebels), Bodhi Rook (a former Imperial defecting to the Rebels), and Baze Malbus (a Rebel mercenary).  All these characters are functional, but I did not feel the group dynamic with all of them.  Meaning, the characters do not interact with each other.  They only interact with some people, and acknowledge the others (i.e. Jyn interacts with Cassian, Chirrut interacts with Baze, K-2SO interacts with Jyn and Cassian, and Bodhi interacts with no one).  A good example of a group dynamic is the Guardians of the Galaxy.  All the characters (from Star-Lord to Groot) interacted with each other.  Rogue One has little interaction with their teammates, making their group dynamic weak at best.  Also, they are not very interesting characters.  Other than what I just put in and the very few character moments, there is nothing special about these people.  It is hard for me to care for these characters if they are only two-dimensional.

2.) There is some comedy in the film.  While they are funny, I find it to be distracting considering the tone of the film is dark.  Comedy has its place, but unless it is dark comedy, it does not work on a serious film.  I understand that they do not want it to be so depressing, but it feels out of place.

3.) The music in Star Wars is iconic.  It is one of my favorite soundtracks of all time, and John Williams is such a masterful music artist.  It saddens me that the music in this film is mostly unmemorable.  There are few musical moments that are memorable, but it is usually the original Star Wars music, and rarely something new.  Ironically, the musical composer for this film is Michael Giacchino, who composed Doctor Strange and the rebooted Star Trek films.  Think about it.  J.J. Abrams is not the only person who is involved with Star Trek and Star Wars.  Anyway, the music is a downgrade, and I hope the next anthology film has better music.

 

Overall: 

When Disney bought Star Wars, they also announced that the series will have their own anthology series.  The anthology films will have nothing to do with the Sequel Trilogy, will be their own films, and will not expand with their own sequels.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released on Dec. 16, 2016.  Does this side story have its own story to tell?  I’d describe this film with two words: different and dark.  This is not your typical Star Wars film.  It feels like a film meant for older audiences instead for everyone.  It is a film that takes a closer look what war really feels like for some people in the Star Wars universe.  It has its own story tell, and it is told well.  It does suck that the original Expanded Universe has been declared non-canon as result.

kyle_katarn
Kyle Katarn: a smuggler turned Jedi Master was the one who stole the plans of the Death Star for the Rebel Alliance in the original Expanded Universe INSTEAD of Jyn Erso.

However, if they plan to make good films, I will let it pass despite how much I am going to miss the Expanded Universe.

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To be fair, not all is lost.  Some EU Characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn appear in the new Star Wars universe.  (In this case, Star Wars Rebels)

Go and watch this film, and you will appreciate the Original Trilogy more than you thought.

8/10

I look forward for more Star Wars Anthology films in the future.

secretapprentice_black
Personally, I would LOVE it if they decide to make a Star Wars Anthology film about Galen Marek, Darth Vader’s secret apprentice.

For now, the next chapter of Star Wars will be in the form of Episode VIII.  Here is a fan trailer to prepare you:

 

 

 

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