Welcome To The Review!
Welcome back to another review from myself, LL! This week has been very hectic for myself and I have struggled to find the time to watch any of the latest cinema releases so we are doing another move must see! This ones a little more recent but I decided that it’s worth a review and a shot. This week will be Star Wars: Rogue One! Everything will be spoiled in this review so be warned!!
Without further ado, let’s begin.
The Franchise Keeps Getting Bigger
It was gonna happen at some point. What do I mean by that, well I knew one day I was going to review a Star Wars film, due to its ever increasing storyline. However, the reason why I picked this particular one is because we already know what the story is about and what happens. If you are a film buff (or pay really close attention) then you already know that the main protagonists die. How? Well before the battle of Endor (in the prequel trilogy), we as the audience are told that “Many Bothans died to bring us this information” which instantly tells us before even watching Rogue One that we expect them to die. So why see it? And why in the hell did I review it???
This is one reason why! Although it is a Star Wars film, we see no Jedi within the film. But it doesn’t mean that the force is not strong with anyone. Here, in this shot/scene we are introduced to a blind ally, Chirrut who is “One with the force”. He constantly repeats this and although it may seem as annoying, I believe it to be necessary. Blind in both eyes, he uses the force as his vision to guide him past every bullet, obstacle and problem, and in the end he dies honourably. Briefly, I’ll mention this shot (above) and how good the structure of the mise-en-scene (a fancy film buff’s term, meaning whatever it is you’re looking at) is. So, we are in a barren city, being raided by stormtroopers, which the Empire has taken over. A desert planet shows a very lacking colour palette, in yellows and browns, which is why Chirrut is dressed in black and red. It stands out from the clear white of the stormtroopers (which is an irony in itself, if you think about it). A medium-long shot allows room above his head for a city background, and a lot of space to show his opponents surrounding him. All in all, it’s a good shot, and it shows the numbers game, but from the scene itself (and common Star Wars knowledge) stormtroopers are always a terrible shot!
Why This Story?
To expand on why I decided to review this film: one, I saw it again recently, but mainly because there are a lot of different aspects of it that specifies why it is a ‘spin-off’, compared to the main franchise. So, for instance we don’t open to our typical scrolling text, which is iconic to the franchise. Two, this is due to the film being off course. We are introduced to a WHOLE new set of characters, but we still meet some old faces. Grand Moff Tarkin, Bail Organa (very briefly), Leia (a silly cameo appearance), Darth Vader (a badass short scene) and of course the amazing duo of C3PO and R2-D2 (even though it was pretty much a cameo). But we don’t focus on them. Instead we focus on Jyn Erso, and her attempt to discover herself and her purpose in the universe.
We follow Jyn as she works for the Rebel Alliance, to retrieve the death star plans that her father (Galen Erso) helped design and build. We go through a lot of emotional ups and downs as we watch Jyn lose Saw to a Death Star test firing. Although, more importantly, we see her lose her father to a Rebel ambush gone wrong! Amongst all that she still finds the courage to fight, head first with the Empire and steal the Death Star plans for the Alliance. Of course (spoiler alert) we come full circle to where Star Wars: A New Hope begins, with Darth Vader killing some rebels and following Princess Leia. Personally, this film came across as more of an emotional journey, as it is the ultimate story of sacrifice. You can easily say that Vader’s sacrifice to save Luke was the biggest, but the most emotional has to be when Jyn, Cassian, K-2SO, Chirrut, Baze and Bodhi die for their cause.
This shot right here was by far one of my favourite scenes of the film (yes it was the end and was going to be the best part but still!). The spies have infiltrated Scarif and whilst they are fighting on the land, they gained a lot of support from the Alliance, with air support in the classic X Wings. However, at the same time, we see that the Empire protecting their planet well, with the very famous AT-ATs. It’s a clash of some of the most iconic vehicles of the Star Wars prequels, in which nostalgia is given to the older generation, which I think is a touching feeling.
For a lot of fans, this film was a waste of time to make! A story that need not be told, but I believe that being able to experience this story and feel the plot unravel was truly amazing. A lot of action scenes, plenty of confrontations, and of course, the good guys ultimately won, even if it went badly. Due to Rogue One being a newer release, there was always going to be a lot of CGI work. However, there didn’t seem to be too many add-ons, even if it is a sci-fi/fantasy film. After all, what’s a sci-fi/fantasy without it’s CGI. The camera angles and the director’s choices worked extremely well, especially for establishing plot points and new planets (Eadu, Jedha and Scarif). The sound was on point as usual with Star Wars, but instead we had Michael Giacchino as in charge of all music, and for me the pacing and design, when it came to editing, was so smooth! It flowed so well when cutting and transitioning between different points of view.
Well, that wraps up this review, what did you think of it? Did the force flow through with you in this spin-off? Or did story need not be said? Leave your thoughts below whether they be critical or not.