Friday turned into Saturday, then turned into Sunday, and eventually into Tuesday but I finally saw Rogue One. My first rendezvous with the Star Wars franchise, well, excluding the one time I did not pay attention to episode four and those Family Guy versions.
My mission, which I didn't get to choose to accept, was to watch Rogue One and see (1) does it stand alone without seeing the rest of the franchise first and (2) if it is a good movie absent a bias towards the films. The answers, for the most part, are yes.
Most of Rogue One explains itself. While at the start you have no idea who Erso is, his daughter, the commander trying to take him, or anyone else it does not matter since it is all answered. Only a handful of things would be confusing if you lived your life under a rock and didn't get a single reference.
- Jedi: When walking through the flea market it is said all the Jedi’s from there are gone. Jedi is never explained. I mean you get it's a thing and means something powerful but likely it is confusing for the next hour.
- The Force: “I am the force, the force is with me.” Or whatever that line is... I get the force is nothing, it's everything, it's visible and invisible. Blah, blah, blah. Again something confusing that is muttered a lot. If someone just made their own conclusions, it likely means that it allows the blind to see without sight.
- Who is fighting who: It’s pretty obvious that the teams are Rebels vs Empire but anything more to that is missing. Like a tiny understanding that all planets are pretty much against this floating ship of death as opposed to thinking it's less all vs one than that. Maybe I'm reading too much into this one...
As a film removed from the general pro-Star Wars bias it has been reviewed in, it is still a fairly good stand alone movie. Will I watch it again? No. In fact I probably never see it again. If it is on TV, I'll keep looking for something else. But at the same time, did I feel like I wasted money going? Not really and it wasn't even matinee pricing. If it was watch this or Titanic, I'll watch Rogue One. Take that all for what's it worth since if I had to pick a movie right now to watch it would be a Few Good Men, Accepted, Simpsons Movie, Moneyball, Draft Day, Blues Brothers, or the American President.
I thought the film had plenty of holes and while that is not why I won't watch it again, I want to talk about it because it likely makes Internet Mads.
- Boring plot line: I honestly think it’s just basic and a bit bleh as a plot. It really should be more exciting since in the abstract it is; save the entire galaxy by being the underdog and going all James Bond to steal intelligence and stop an evil murderous dictator. It sounds more exciting reading that than watching the film.
- Too Long: In reality I could've shortened this movie to a 30 minute short and had all the same major moments and fight scenes. It just does not have enough excitement for two hours. (I know episode one will be worse so...)
- How big is the empire? Come on, every other planet jn the galaxy couldn't stop them? That’s just really really poor planning. Also it is space...half the people die if the ship has a hole in it...
- Erso’s Trap: Yes I understand if he did what I’m about to say it would end the franchise but I will anyway. So, what if Erso had just taken it upon himself to cause the explosion near the reactor. It would’ve destroyed the death star and likely enough top people and engineers to weaken the empire for a century. Just saying, he could have acted on his design flaw.
That’s my take on Rogue One. Also the ending does leave it where a sequel would be needed, so at least they got that right. I’ll likely be watching movies 1-6 (in release order) starting this weekend. Since I will be in the comfort of my own home and not a theater, I’ll live-tweet my experience. Be sure to follow along.