Let me start off by saying, I left Rogue One: A Star Wars Story feeling pretty good. I was transported back to a world I love being in and had some fun along the way. But overall, I wasn't impressed by it. Although the missteps are few and far between, they were big enough for me to give Rogue One second thoughts. From stealing the Death Star plans to bringing men back from the dead, these are my five reasons I wasn't exactly thrilled with Rogue One.
Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead.
1. The Pacing
Look, as much as people want to believe that this isn't apart of the main Star Wars saga, it is still apart of their anthology. Star Wars comes with a certain standard and at times, this dragged like Attack of the Clones. After seeing The Force Awakens numerous times, I was hoping that this one would have the same kind of vibe and tone of that film. However, I was dead wrong. After the opening scene we see a young Jyn Erso get into the shelter only later to be found by Saw Gerrera. After this revelation, I thought I would be more interested to see what the Empire's plans were and how they tied in with Saw. Unfortunately, I felt like the accompanying 20 to 30 minutes were just plain boring. I didn't care enough about Saw as a character to see where his story went. I found him boring and annoying. I was actually perplexed if Forest Whitaker is a good actor or not because of these scenes. Finally though, after the destruction of Saw's home planet and the eventual killing of Galen Erso, I felt the movie got right on track and had some pretty fun scenes afterwards.
2. The Characters
Like I said before, I'm coming off the most recent Star Wars film and that film had great characters. This movie, I feel had the weaker roster of the two. Rogue One has five main characters, all of which have no real backstory or one that we should care about. To start, I really didn't like Chirrut Îmwe. I think if he had a more serious demeanor and had a little bit more impressive skill set, he could've had some real special scenes. Unfortunately, the script has him do some really over all dumb things. Instead of him having some kind of significance to the overall team. He's really there just to create conversation with our next disenchanted character. Baze Malbus was an absolute waste. The death of Chirrut Imwe gives him at least one emotional beat, going out in a blaze of glory before being gun down by Krennic's Death Troopers. The next two characters Cassian and Jyn Urso certainly are given the most to do, but they just felt wooden and weak. Jyn steps head and shoulders above Cassian, but they eventually go out in the same fashion thus evening out their mediocrity. Unfortunately, the best character in the film just based on charisma alone is K-2SO. His charming yet dry demeanor makes for some great laughs and allowed me to have some fun. To top it all off, I actually felt something when he died. K-2's sacrifice meant something to the overall progression of the story, while adding emotional depth to it.
The only other two characters worth mentioning are Orsen Krennic and Darth Vader. Frankly, I think Krennic was a weak villain in general. At least when Kylo Ren was whining about not getting his way, he could hold his own in a fight. I feel Krennic is just a suit that has no back bone and when offered a challenge doesn't rise to the occasion. Vader on the other hand is a force to be reckoned with in this film. First of all, we see what I like to call "Vader's Summer Home". It is his personal sanctuary built on the place of his true transformation, Mustafar. We see Vader in the bacta tank,and then we see him choke out Krennic seconds after. This shows a true dynamic to Vader's character; vulnerability and ruthlessness; all in one. I get that we already know Vader very well, but that doesn't mean I should be focusing on the guy with four minutes of screen time versus the new girl who "rebels." GIVE ME SOMETHING TO LATCH ONTO.
3. The Plot
Um, what? Really, this was their way of fixing what wasn't broken about A New Hope? I didn't care about a convenient location to launch two torpedoes. That didn't need to be significant to me at all to make this movie work more for me. Honestly, stealing the Death Star plans was ballsy enough for me, I didn't think they needed to explain that any further. I think it would've made for a better story if Galen Erso willingly worked for the empire, was rewarded for his achievements and Jyn rebelled from that. Speaking of which, at what point does Jyn make it clear to the audience that she has changed her mind? I didn't catch that. I think it was supposed to be between when Saw dies and they go back to the rebellion fleet. Either way, I didn't get that moment of triumph where she overcomes here fears and starts to fight the good fight. I honestly felt like Jyn was just going through the motions with having no real motivation.
4. The Marketing Campaign
If you didn't know already, Rogue One went through extensive reshoots. That isn't to say that's what made the movie lackluster. Plenty of great blockbusters go through reshoots. The significance here is the film's trailers depicted a much different scenario. For instance, in this trailer here: we see a tie fighter in front of Jyn that wasn't in the movie. I was waiting for this scene the entire time and it didn't plan out the way I thought it would. The same thing could be said for a lot of scenes that were used throughout the marketing and just didn't show up. The same thing could be said for Vader standing in front of what I assume is some kind of space map. It just really threw me for a loop as a whole.
5. Bringing Back Peter Cushing
I know I can't be the only one who wasn't completely bugged out out by this. Now don't get me wrong, I know Peter Cushing has been dead since 1994. But, what I didn't know was that Disney had the ability to bring a man back from the dead. In essence, that is truly what they did. I even leaned over to my friend at one point and asked if that was actually Peter Cushing I was so caught off guard by it. That being said, I think the effect was done really, really well. However, I think he was on screen for much too long. It really felt like I couldn't believe what I was seeing cause I knew otherwise. Why couldn't they just re-cast him? Or have a different person in command of this particular operation? Like I said though, the effect while being great, scared the living shit out of me.
At the end of the day, I know I sound like I'm really lacing into this movie and I'm giving it way more shit then it deserves. But honestly, I still had fun during the run time of this movie. I thought the action on display was top notch, the sense of size and scale you got from the battles was absolutely amazing to look at and the ILM team really out did themselves this time. I think at the end of the day, you'll still have a great time. But for me, these are the five reasons I wasn't exactly thrilled with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Did you like this article and want to read more like it? Check out my other article on why I think Ben Affleck will be a great Batman, here. If you like these articles, subscribe to my page and let me know what you think in the comments below!