It’s really different and really good. Gareth Edwards brought something new to the universe and it paid off. It’s probably my second favorite Star Wars film of all time—losing out to Empire Strikes Back only because of nostalgia.
The first half of Rogue One is a bit of a slow build and you may start to question everything you ever believed in. As you see more and more friendly faces and inside references, you learn how true to the universe the film is and it eases some of that. By the second half, you’re invested enough to receive the very big and boomy action that comes next.
The CGI is absolutely unbelievable—by which I mean it’s 100% believable! It really makes you think about what the movie industry will be like in 10 years.
The world is dirty and the scenes are detailed. It’s dystopian and cluttered.
I will say that you really need to understand the Star Wars saga to appreciate the film. That might be a bad thing if this is supposed to be a true standalone. Watching A New Hope first is probably enough if you want to get by. If you really otherwise don’t enjoy Star Wars, then just read the opening crawl and watch the first scene of Episode IV before seeing Rogue One.
Afterwards, you’ll surely want to see how it all turns out with those Death Star plans.
I give it 4 stars and Travis’ new Star Wars ranking of awesome:
- The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- Rogue One (2016)
- Return of the Jedi (1983)
- The Force Awakens (2015)
- A New Hope (1977)
- Revenge of the Sith (2005)
- Attack of the Clones (2002)
- The Phantom Menace (1999)
Where will Episode VIII (2017) fit?