Hey guys, I’ve decided to post my first movie review and I’ve chosen ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ as my first, seeing that it’s still fresh in my mind after a second viewing, and also because the Star Wars franchise is one of my all time favourites. Right, let’s get to it.
*Spoilers for Rogue One ahead*
Rogue One takes place at “During the battle…” which is in Epsiode IV: A New Hope’s opening crawl:
Rogue One might have beaten ‘The Force Awakens’ as one of my favourite Star Wars movies (but still doesn’t top ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of course). Wait what? The Force Awakens was one of my favourite Star Wars movie alongside Empire Strikes Back, that is, before Rogue One came along and ruined my life (haha). I’ll tell you why.
Rogue One is the first Star Wars movie to truly delve into war. This movie is very war-ridden, which means that the main theme of this story is sacrifice. Unlike your typical Star Wars movie, which centres around war, but never dives straight into it, this movie doesn’t take the audience on a happy ride, with the promise of a fairytale ending, a ‘everyone’s going to be fine, despite their losses, they’re going to live happily ever after’ story. Nope.
The movie started with the introduction of the main lead, Jyn Erso, daughter of one of the Imperial officers of the Galactic Empire and her background story was told. After being rescued from an Imperial labour camp, Jyn was taken to a Rebel Alliance base. From that point onwards, we were introduced to Cassian Andor, a rebel pilot fighting for the Rebel Alliance since he was six. Later on, others were introduced, the resident’s droid K-2SO, Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus and Bodhi Rook. Following the plot of this story, Jyn, Cassian, K-2SO, Chirrut, Baze and Bodhi were responsible for the stolen Death Star plans, the reason why the Death Star was destroyed in ‘A New Hope’. After doing so, they went home, everyone survived, and lived happily ever after amidst celebrations upon their return to base. Right?
Sacrifice. The main theme of this movie. Remember? Which basically means some of those characters actually sacrificed themselves for the cause. But who? All of them? Well, uh, yeah. Hold on, I’ll get there.
Jyn, Cassian, K-2SO, Chirrut, Baze and Bodhi, the ‘Rogue One’ team, infiltrated Scarif, the planet where the Death Star plans were held. Long story short, the Rogue One team managed to transmit the plans to rebels before the Imperial forces took it upon themselves to destroy Scarif while the team were still trapped there.
Honestly, I saw this sad, gut-wrenching ending coming but nothing prepared me for the actual ending of this story. This movie truly felt dark, realistic and draws the audience into the real consequences and sacrifices made during war, it doesn’t beat around the bush, like Episodes 1-7 do and these are one of the reasons why I love this movie so much. The storytelling of these characters; the Rogue One team, was enjoyable and made me immediately drawn to them, epescially Jyn and Cassian (anyone here ship them? lol). Chirrut and Baze had that brotherly relationship going on, Bodhi was plain adorable and K-2SO was full of sass. Getting to know them better during this movie, down to their quirks and flaws just made the ending more painful. As the story went along, one by one, they were sacrificed in the midst of battle on Scarif, with Jyn and Cassian being the last ones standing, but ultimately died when the Death Star blew up Scarif. That last scene with Cassian and Jyn on the beach had me bawling as it was such a beautiful, but sad scene.
Plus, this is one of the most diverse Star Wars movie that I’ve seen. Nearly every person of colour were represented, Mexican, Pakistani, Chinese, you name it. This too ties into the theme of this story. That is, war is fought and won on the backs of minorities and women. That itself sent a strong message to the audience, that history was not exclusively about the sacrifice of only white men, which is not the case here.
To conclude, ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is better than ‘The Force Awakens’ for me because of its realistic, dark tone and the price of war.
Remember, rebellions are built on hope.