So, I literally just got back from the cinema after watching Rogue One, and and I could not contain my thought. Here they are:
Things I didn't like:
* The lack of an opening crawl was quite jarring, especially after the film started with "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."
* Shoddy directing during the first quarter of the movie, with the camera focusing on and off of the characters for no clear reason, a low frame rate at some points, and low contrast, poor white-balance shots which were poorly lit and too dark to see properly (I hope that some of these issues can be fixed before the DVD/Blu-Ray release).
* Criminal underuse of Mads Mikkelson and especially of Francis Magee, a brilliant actor who just gets two lines in the entire film (both of which are "Get in!"), and would have been a much better choice to play Jennec than the guy they actually got to play him, whose performance was bland at best and awkward at worst.
* You had a Mon Calamari Admiral in the movie and it wasn't Ackbar?!? Wasted opportunity, I tell you!
* The ending, which I won't spoil, removed the possibility for potentially expanding some of the film's more interesting characters in some of the other Star Wars anthology and spin-off movies Disney has planned.
* The design of the Imperial shuttles wasn't consistent with their design in the original trilogy, despite the movie taking place immediately before Episode IV.
* Jin's speech to the Rebel Alliance came across as overly dramatic and unconvincing.
* The Rebel Base was dirtier than in Episode IV, despite being newer than it was in that movie.
Things I liked:
* The film, despite its ending, wasn't as dark as I had been led to believe, having many very entertaining moments with the droid K-2SO, and the blind force monk played by Donnie Yen, whose fight choreoraphy was amazing as always.
* Jin's character was very well fleshed out and Felicity Jones's performance, speech aside, was brilliant, as were most of the other actors.
* Darth Vader, while sounding a little off, was truly freaking awesome in this film, being even more brutal in some scenes than we had ever seen him before, and my goodness do I want a Vader movie written by these guys.
* The effects, while a little CGI-heavy, were astonishing for the most part, and the framing of every space battle shot was perfect.
* The facial reconstruction were done very well, and the voice actors they had replace the original cast were spot-on. I also liked the way that they re-created Red Leader's face and used the original actor to bring an otherwise quite forgotten character back to life, in what was a very nice touch that I doubt very many people noticed.
* The lack of "plot armour" gave the film a sense of harsh realism in spite of its more comedic moments, which overall made it the most convincing of the Star Wars films in terms of immersing the viewer (as in, myself) into the story.
* The movie went out of its way to explain a plot hole, and connect the original series to the prequels, thus again both furthering the viewer's immersion into the story and better connecting the overall fictional universe.
Rogue One is good. Not as good as Force Awakens, but good. I'd say it's closest in terms of quality to Revenge of the Sith, and overall give it a 7 out of 10.