Short Attention Span Review: Rogue One (2016)
Rogue One is a different sort of Star Wars movie, and while the somber tone and the valiant sacrifices that punctuate the closing reel may not sit well with some, it cannot be denied this is one hell of a movie. While the typical Star Wars picture is whimsical and far more gentle, Rogue One opts for an emphasis on grit and the perils of war. Personally, I found this to be a sound decision, and by the time the film drew to a close, I was more invested in the material than I had been with any Star Wars movie since Luke lost his hand and Han became decor. I'm not afraid to declare that this is easily the second-best Star Wars movie ever produced, and time may see it come to rival even The Empire Strikes Back. The entire cast is worthy of praise, and this is due to the script as much as the talent involved. Not since the original trilogy hit the scene have we witnessed so many rich characters with such captivating stories come together in this universe, and that desperate climax only serves to magnify the strength of the performances and the plot. The effects are at an all-time high, the scope is clearly epic, and the significance of this standalone tale to the events depicted in the original that started it all cannot be overstated. I greatly enjoyed Rogue One, and I was also greatly moved by it. It exists both as a thrilling blockbuster and a thorough meditation on what it means to live and die for a cause. Bonus points: in a series that has always found a way to give us a lovable droid to cherish, Rogue One gives us a cantankerous droid with a gift for sarcasm, and in doing so they may have topped R2-D2 and BB-8. Seriously. Also, there are a handful of cameos, to include Peter Cushing reprising the role of Grand Moff Tarkin thanks to some technical wizardry, and while it's nice to glimpse some familiar faces, it is Darth Vader's more substantial appearance that will have fans jumping out of their seats. Vader has never been so badass, and Star Wars has seldom (if ever) found such an even blend of thrills and introspection. Rogue One isn't just the best Star Wars movie to come along in a while, it's a damn good movie in general.
Final Grade: A+
|He may not be on the screen for long in Rogue One, but Vader's rage gives us one of the most impressive Star Wars moments of all time.|