credit: Wikimedia Commons
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is, much to my chagrin, an incomplete mess of a movie. Gareth Edwards (director of “Rogue One” and 2014’s “Godzilla”) manages to continue his tradition of creating impressive action set pieces broken up with the most cookie-cutter plot, filled with underdeveloped characters and rampant fan service.
One is made immediately aware of the narrative shortcomings present within “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” when the movie begins with a series of unrelated scenes strung together in order to introduce the movie’s various characters. In fact, the movie spends a great deal of time within the first forty-minutes or so introducing characters and concepts that factor very little into the overall story.
This frivolity is incredibly jarring, and, considering some of these introductions are flashbacks, lead to a confusing timeline for the first act. However, in previous “Star Wars” titles, the use of an opening title crawl was implemented in order to quickly offload this mass exposition onto the audience within the first five minutes, not forty. If the first act of the movie had at least provided the foundation to a deeply original story than this review would be much more positive; unfortunately, the plot of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” consists of serendipitous happenstances that only serve to drive the characters to the next big action scene without any depth or reflection.
As far as the characters go, one should never wonder while watching a movie if they’re witnessing an untalented actor butcher a scene or a terrible director butcher an actor; that is the line “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” dances upon throughout it’s entire two hour run-time.Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, the movie’s protagonist, is the most notable instance of the aforementioned phenomena.
Jones would frequently act aloof and disinterested in scenes that dealt with loss and should have had her tear up, at the very least. At first, one gets the impression that this character may just be completely stone cold and callous, but when Jones later talks about how those times of loss hurt her she displays more emotion than in the actual moment.
However, the most appalling character in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” has to be K-2SO, the robot played by Alan Tudyk. This robot is the most annoyingly misplaced attempt at a comedic character and managed to ruin any emotional depth the movie might have had without making me even smirk once.
The one actor that manages to turn in a passable performance is Donnie Yen as the blind warrior, Chirrut Imwe. Yen does a great job playing the character and is the only interesting fighter in the whole movie.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is the perfect example of why fans of a property are not necessarily the best people to be in charge of them. At various parts in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” characters from other “Star Wars” properties would pop up and only cause continuity problems. One of these cameos is so poorly handled that it implies that those particular characters died, but they are still in the next movies, miraculously. This shoddy continuity is the exact wrong thing to do when making a prequel to a famed series of movies.
The action set-pieces are about the only reason to see “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Are they original? Nope. Do they make up for the poor continuity? No. Do they remove the robot Jar Jar Binks? Nope. Do they make the characters more interesting in any way? Not at all. Are they entertaining? Absolutely.
If your favorite parts of “Star Wars” are the laser guns and space ships, then “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is your cup of tea; however, if your favorite parts of “Star Wars” are the well developed characters, thoughtful story, superior acting, and refreshing originality, then this is not the movie your looking for.