Rogue One is a movie of two halves.
What begins as a frantic and choppy spacefaring adventure to introduce a cast of unlikely heroes ends with one of the loveliest ground-based space battles ever to grace the big screens.
I won’t be discussing much about Rogue One’s plot (which is all over the Internet) and actors (who did absolutely fine) but more on its overarching role in the Star Wars galaxy and its overall feel.
Rogue One is gorgeous from teaser trailer to end credits. Almost every wide shot looks like its meant to be a wallpaper. From the tiniest details on the characters’ outfits to its larger grander scaled set pieces. It oozes the best of what Star Wars fans love about the franchise. But at the same time, it isn’t exactly a Star Wars film per se as it lacks many tropes you’ll find in the other films like Jedis and lightsabers.
But this proved to be a good thing.
Because of its lack of the mystical – Jedi and Sith – Rogue One offers us a more ‘realistic’ take on the Star Wars galaxy. We get a glimpse of how battles take place on the street. How the Rebellion scraps for every inch to halt the Empire’s superior technological advantage. And the deaths and moral dilemmas which inevitably come with war, even if its for good.
The film itself isn’t the best thing you’ll watch. It’s rushed from the get-go with snappy dialogues to introduce the Rogue One casts and their motivations. The Empire also has a suprising amount of screentime, revealing more of their political viciousness than we ever got to see previously.
But the moment everyone is onboard at the halfway point of the film, holy crap you better be prepared. The last battle scene HAS TO BE one of THE BEST space-themed battles we’ve ever seen. Individual feats of heroism. Improvisation trumping mighty machines. Spaceships trading flanking blows with one another. AT-ATs!!!
Imagine your favourite war movie, replace its guns with lasers and aircraft carriers with Star Destroyers, and you’ll have Rogue One’s last battle scene.
It is abso-ridiculously one heck of a ride.
The ending fits beyond perfectly into where it belongs in the Star Wars storyline and we’re treated with the most vicious, ruthless, bloodthirsty portrayal of Darth Vader yet.
Ultimately, Rogue One is without a doubt the best Star Wars movie we’ve ever had, just without lightsabers.
A wide Star Wars fanboy smile with Force sensitive dimples.