MOVIE REVIEW: Rogue One – A Star Wars Story
By Christine Ling
If you enjoyed The Force Awakens, then boy oh boy, does Rogue One have a treat for you! With a new, POC-friendly cast and some really great lines (especially from K-2SO, the latest addition to Star Wars’ lovable droids), it is such an enjoyable film.
[WARNING! MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD]
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is first and foremost, a war story. And it is a very, very good war story.
No longer making the dichotomies between good and evil so clear-cut as is portrayed in the previous Star Wars tales, this story shows the reality of the choices people have had to make, and especially the darker decisions rebels were forced to take.
In a story where no Jedi takes centre stage at all, it plays with a completely new set of characters, showcasing the rebel force that defied all odds in stealing the Death Star plans that we see in A New Hope.
In fact, their almost entirely POC-cast did such an amazing job at enriching the diversity of the world, it made the Star Wars universe so much more believable and authentic to me.
I mean, there’s actually a character I can now cosplay as if I ever feel the need to be a really cool, Force-sensitive, blind, Asian man—spoiler alert: he kicks some serious butt—and it’s nice to have a character I can identify with within the Star Wars world, though I may be but a small Asian girl.
The most important question I feel when it comes to having spin-off stories of an already established franchise is whether or not it contributes and adds to the world, and for me, Rogue One does just this.
After the movie ended, I was so pumped I went and rewatched A New Hope as soon as I got home, and not only did its end blend so seamlessly into A New Hope, but I found that Rogue One actually added to and tied up the biggest flaw the original trilogy had for me—that the reason the Death Star, a super-weapon of mass (planet-sized) destruction could be destroyed so easily was in fact, intentional.
It was very, very clever.
While definitely a tribute to the originals—from a glimpse of our beloved droids C-P30 and R2-D2 to the dedication it took for a fully CGI-ed Grand Moff Tarkin—this story doesn’t rely on just fan service (where even Darth Vader is used sparingly!).
Rogue One has its own story to tell, and it places us neatly and securely between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
By telling us the story of what came after and what came before, the story of Star Wars’ unsung heroes, and the story of what it takes to bring balance back to the universe—oh wait, no, that’s still ongoing (Episode VIII, come at me!)… Rogue One has done its job.
The universe of Star Wars has just gained a whole new depth and level of meaning for me, and it definitely makes me very excited to marathon the entire series once more while I wait in eager anticipation for the next film.
Have you watched the movie? Let us know what you thought of it! And if you haven’t, well here’s its trailer to remind you of what you could be doing instead of reading this!
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker
Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Running time: 2 hours 13 minutes