Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

In this history of all movies and movie franchises, there is no doubt that the most prolific and lucrative of all time, is the Star Wars franchise, that is now almost 40 years old.  One can only imagine the hundreds of billions of dollars in total profits these movies have generated when you consider the profits from the many Star Wars movies, peripheral movies,  TV shows, cartoons, toys and games over so many years.  I remember the first movie when it came out seemed at first almost like a B-movie, but when you saw it for the first time, the quality of the special effects, the story and the overall production was great enough to break box office records and change science fiction films forever. It is impossible to imagine that Star Wars will ever become unpopular because the stories and the characters have always been so compelling. You can even argue that maybe 100 or 200 years from now, they will still be making new Star Wars movies.

The idea for the new Star Wars Movie is a great one and film is a prequel to the first movie in the franchise Star Wars A New Hope that was released almost 40 years ago in 1977.  The story behind this new film is about obtaining the plans to the Death Star in which a weakness was built into it by the father of the main character, Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. The Death Star plans were obtained at the beginning of the first movie in 1977 by Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fischer so I thought this prequel idea connecting these two films was a very good one. I also thought that the building of a weakness inside such a huge weapon that could be figured out by the rebel forces just by seeing the plans was a flawed plot point. If there was some kind of a weakness in the Death Star that could be figured out just by seeing the plans that built the Death Star, then why couldn’t the empire figure this out for themselves while the Death Star was being built, long before the rebels could get the plans? Perhaps a better idea would be that the rebel forces would need some kind of code or primer to figure out what the weakness was with the plans, but I guess that the producers needed a less complex way to connect the first movie with this one. However, this part of the story as it stands, really does not make sense.

This film also used computer generation to have some characters from the film in 1977 appear in this movie, those being Peter Cushing who died in 1994 and Carrie Fischer, who appears at the very end of the film. The special effects, especially at the end of the movie were very well done, but I thought the story overall, was just average, and not outstanding like any of the first 3 movies. The beginning of the film had too many different planet locations that I thought at the early stages of the story, were not necessary and most of the scene locations were too dark, with the exception of the end of the movie. Some of the other big name actors in this film included Forest Whitaker and Jimmy Smits who was also played the same part in two other Star Wars sequels in 2002 and 2005. I thought that all the acting in this movie was well done, despite the story which I thought was only an average one.

Overall, I think this movie is a must see for all Star Wars fans, but for all others, I just give it a marginal recommendation.

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