I have seen all Gareth Edwards’ movies. All 3 of them.
I’m always a little surprised when they hand of big franchises to directors who don’t have experiences with big franchises. Before this he did ‘Godzilla‘ 2014 which I was extremely underwhelmed by so I wasn’t overly enthusiastic for ‘Rogue One’ coupled with the fact that this isn’t the movie I was interested in seeing after coming out of Episode 7 and because there’s the whole “does this story really need to be told?” thing. There’s a lot that went on during the making of this movie, along with re-hoots and changes in the story. There is obviously a lot riding on the first Star Wars spin off movie.
Between the reviews of “This is one of the best Star Wars movies ever” and “This is a film for fanboys” I fall somewhere in between. I did geek out in parts, keeping it to a smile and a giggle and I think the last part of the movie is so well made (and reshot?). It does make you want to have ‘A New Hope’ keyed up and ready to go when you get home.
There are tons of original Trilogy characters in this. Some with just cameos, some with meatier roles. My favorites were those “You better watch yourself!” assholes, Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader. Specifically Vader’s castle and his on screen entrance. Not only do we get to see the expanded Universe Bast castle onscreen for the first time but we see it’s on a Lava planet and it’s been confirmed this is Mustafar. Eat your heart out Sauron. This is a heavenly dark and epic scene where we see Vader out of his suit at home. I loved this scene to bits. I really did.
People say it’s brave that Disney made this kind of movie. I’m somewhat it agreement yet I feel it’s not something that should be praised because it was allowed. At the same time, killing off all your main characters doesn’t make this a movie accessible for all generations. I know I wouldn’t show this to my Nephew. I’d probably show ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ before showing him this. This is something for when he is a little older, to get him ready for ‘The Dirty Dozen’, ‘Kelly’s Heroes’ and ‘The Great Escape’. In that regard this is a Star Wars movie following the tradition of being a great War movie that takes inspiration from these films in the way ‘A New Hope’ took inspiration from ‘The Dam Busters’.
Unfortunately the biggest problem is that non-fans, non-regular movie goers who just want to see a Star Wars movie or are expecting something along the lines of episode 1–7 are going to be confused. The person I went to see it with had seen the previous Star Wars movies but was a little confused about where this movie actually fits it. Now this isn’t a problem for me or anyone else who finds popcorn in their underwear when they get home but I think the little winks and all the things that I and others liked about it are going to fly right over the heads of a lot of people.
There’s a ton more I could write about this. At the end of the day it is worth watching but it will be far more satisfying to watch if you have a little bit more than a faded memory of ‘A New Hope’ and the original Trilogy in general. As for taking kids that’s up to your own discretion but me I might wait until they are a bit older because it’s not the type of fun we can all enjoy. That movie will probably be next year’s episode 8 and the forthcoming ‘Han Solo’ movie the year after.
Favorite Quote: “Be Careful Not To Choke On Your Convictions.” – Mutha Fukin Vada!!!!!!!!