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I'm that one guy you get annoyed with because he talks about movies too much, but I'm also the one guy you love to talk movies with.

or ? This is a question that has lingered among millions of fans since the former burst into theaters last week. Both are great movies, but they also both have their fair share of problems, some more obvious than others. How does Jyn and her band of rebels fare against the new generation of saga protagonists? First we have to ask what makes a great movie:

If the film does better in a specific category, they will win the number of points shown below. Whoever leads remains the better film.

  • Characters (3)/ Performances (3)
  • Direction (5)
  • Story (3)/ Writing (3)
  • Technical Categories - Immersion (1), Score (1), Editing (1), Cinematography (1)

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Characters And Performances

Whether you like them or not, there is no denying that Star Wars is based on its characters. If it wasn't for Luke, Leia and Han, we would not have the empire we have today. Star Wars lives on in its characters, that's why Rogue One's opening was far below The Force Awakens' and why fans keep coming back to the originals. One would expect The Force Awakens' reused plot would have damaged the film as a whole, but it was the characters that made it great. Rey, Finn, and especially Kylo Ren are bound to be iconic, unless Rian Johnson somehow screws up during Episode VIII. It is no denying that it's characters are far better than Rogue One, but the latter's performances are better. Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and the whole cast did great, but there were some noticeable rough spots, specifically Carrie Fisher's return as Princess Leia. Though its cast did fantastic, Rogue One did better as an ensemble but when your best character is a secondary droid, you have to rethink where your priorities are at.

  • Rogue One - (+3 Performances)
  • Total: 3
  • The Force Awakens - (+3 Characters)
  • Total: 3

Direction

Both Rogue One's Gareth Edward and The Force Awakens' J.J. Abrams are great directors. Gareth Edwards' found the perfect tone for a Star Wars war movie, one that transcends into a whole new genre without throwing away everything fans love about Star Wars. The way he moves the camera during the space battles and the events on the ground during the climactic action sequences were tremendous. Edwards did an awesome job, but J.J. did better. Making The Force Awakens was pretty much an impossible task and no one had ever been more pressured to make a great movie than he was. He had to please fans who missed the original trilogy, those who grew up on the prequels, and most importantly, a new generation of Star Wars fanatics. When it released The Force Awakens was met with universal acclaim no matter what demographic it was. Though it was criticized for being a "re-tread" of A New Hope, it was necessary. This movie was for everyone, but its focus was for new Star Wars fans. It was the only way that he could get enjoyment out of all fans. Abrams delivered great performances and characters, with a script he helped write himself. Everything flowed, and everything made the film a creation of full joy, succeeding in an impossible task.

  • Rogue One -
  • Total: 3
  • The Force Awakens - (+5 Direction)
  • Total: 8

Story And Writing

While fans went to The Force Awakens for its characters, the same fans went to Rogue One for its story. The rebels stealing the plans of the Death Star was always the foremost vocal marketing point throughout the film. The story ended up delivering on twists and turns, providing very solid character arcs and a satisfying, ballsy conclusion. The film did a great job establishing character motives and the more grounded gray area of the Star Wars universe. The film's more complex themes and layers is what gives the film a better story as well as a more realistic nature. On the other hand The Force Awakens tells a plot that has been done many times before in Star Wars media, stretching from the games to films. Both its script and plot both contradict itself and lose focus at times, but in The Force Awakens' defense it chose to give more attention to characterization opposed to overarching narrative. For example, the search for Luke is ignored for a large portion of the film, only being brought up in its first and final acts. A way it contradicts itself includes an event in the film in which BB-8 is saved from a scavenger by Rey. Directly after her selfless act she then tells the droid to go straight to Niima Outpost, a place full of scavengers. Overall, when comes to story and script, Rogue One has the advantage overall.

  • Rogue One - (+3 Story, +3 Writing)
  • Total: 9
  • The Force Awakens -
  • Total: 8

Technical Categories

Immersion

The Force Awakens did a great job bringing audiences back into the Star Wars universe, but we have already seen most of it before. A forest planet, desert planet and snow landscape? We have already seen all of these in the original trilogy. Sure, The Force Awakens had amazing practical effects, but so did Rogue One. Where it succeeds is how it continues Star Wars tradition by pushing the boundaries of visual effects, giving some of the most advanced ever created. It did a fantastic job when it came to costumes, brand new locations and landscapes we have never seen before. It also expanded on what we knew about the inner workings of the Empire and the Rebellion, doing whatever it takes to win.

  • Rogue One - (+1 Immersion)
  • Total: 10
  • The Force Awakens -
  • Total: 8

Original Music And Score

Giacchino did a very solid job scoring Rogue One considering the fact that he had only four weeks to write music for the film, but it is far from his best work. Some of the film's music cues felt misplaced and most of the themes in general just felt like variations on Williams' work. His score for The Force Awakens is far greater than Giacchino's in terms of originality and in enhancing the film as a whole. Rey's Theme, March of the Resistance, and Jedi Steps all stand right beside the series' best. One thing is clear, no one can replace the master.

  • Rogue One -
  • Total: 10
  • The Force Awakens - (+1 Original Music and Score)
  • Total: 9

Editing

Editing is what makes a movie flow, it is what makes every scene interconnect fluently, keeping the scenes tight and relevant without making them feel jarring and spontaneous. Editing binds a film together. In this case, the choice is easy. Rogue One's first act is one of the standout flaws of the film. It kept jumping to different characters and planets so much that they had to provide location cards to the film, which has never been done in Star Wars before. It was often distracting, making it hard for viewers to catch up and process what was happening, but once it found its footing in Jedha it did just fine. The Force Awakens takes this one because every scene feels necessary. The way it cuts and flows remains as one of the best parts on the film.

  • Rogue One -
  • Total: 10
  • The Force Awakens - (+1 Editing)
  • Total: 10

Cinematography

It all comes down to the last question, but no matter what wins in these categories or this article, remember that the best critic is yourself.

Rogue One has striking cinematography, portraying the large looming Death Star as an actual terror. The space station looks menacing, scary and threatening. Gareth Edwards' gritty modern sensibilities created shots straight from a war movie which makes it stands out from many in the contemporary blockbuster platform. But The Force Awakens did it better. It's more traditional and old fashioned cinematography gives a unique vibrant energy is something that Rogue One lacks. The way it portrays the landscapes of Jakku, Takodana, and Ach'to are all absolutely stunning. The only part of Rogue One's compositions worth putting on your wall are the ones involving the Death Star, but overall The Force Awakens remains to be one of the most beautiful films of 2015.

  • Rogue One -
  • Total: 10
  • The Force Awakens - (+1 Cinematography)
  • Total: 11

Winner - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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