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Caféman's Blog - Star Wars Rogue One - spoiler-free review


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I don't think there are any spoiler reveals in here. I don't want to spoil any surprises, and there are plenty of those.

Leaving the theater after seeing Rogue One, I was trying to collect my thoughts on how I felt about the film. What came to mind was "WOW! What a fantastic Star Wars film!" I enjoyed the entire film, I can't think of one criticism. It surprised me constantly, even though I saw the trailers and I thought I knew the story. I watched my DVD of Star Wars: A New Hope (erm, special edition of course) last night to refresh my memory a bit, and I'm glad I did.

Although I'm a lifelong SW fan, I'm not the super SW fan. I didn't read any of the novels and I doubt I ever will. I enjoyed the prequels on first watch but quickly started to loathe them after thinking about them more. I did enjoy the Clone Wars cartoon, watched all of that, and I felt it redeemed the film prequels a little bit. I very much enjoyed The Force Awakens from last year probably more than most. To me, it felt like the Star Wars that I enjoyed in the Original Trilogy.

I got the same feeling , and more, from Rogue Leader. I think I enjoyed it more than TFA. Rather than write a long essay, here are the first three reasons that pop in mind, why I loved the film:

1. Connections and callbacks to Star Wars (and to Episode Four: A New Hope). I won't list them, since I want you to be surprised if you didn't see the film yet. I see nothing wrong with showing things and characters from ANH, because this film is in the same timeline and concerns itself with the rebellion and Empire. I was very VERY pleased and satisfied with how much of the SW universe is familiar here. Some of the recreating of things from the 1977 original is truly "movie magic". But don't misunderstand - Rogue One is not like TFA, which cannibalized the story and even scenes from A New Hope. Rogue One has familiar elements that will make a SW fan rejoice - but the story is new and fresh.

2. Great use of humor. There was a surprising amount of laughs in my viewing audience, we all chuckled out loud at a bunch of lines. Mostly K-2SO's lines. The humor is ... funny, natural. A lot of the goofiness from other SW films is not found here , nothing like Jar Jar antics or Jabba antics to ruin the tone.

3. The final battle is epic; the final 30 minutes really pumped me up! I loved the film's conclusion, and felt no disappointment. Given SW history, a truly happy ending isn't possible; but it is a good ending.

In conclusion, I'll end with one minor criticism as I've just realized I do have one. I guess I am still perplexed by what benefit Stormtrooper armor serves, since lasers and even getting hit with a club still take down a trooper. Maybe someone can explain that to me someday.

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