By: CHRISTINE GIVER
I know that the excitement of “Rogue One” has come and gone, but anyone who hasn’t seen it more than once should definitely give it a re-watch. Let me first make it clear before I delve into the rest of this column that this particular installment is very heavy on opinion. I absolutely loved “Rogue One” and am not shy about telling people why.
For those who are longtime readers of my column, you may recall that I had major issues with “Star Wars: Episode VII.” Actually, that is putting it kindly as I clearly remember walking out of the theater unable to speak because I could not believe how underwhelming the movie was. While I acknowledge the technical achievements in that movie and think there were some parts of it that were enjoyable, the appearances by beloved characters did not quite hit me in the feels. The new characters felt hollow and recycled, and the star villain Kylo Ren felt like a whiny child that would make Grandpa Darth laugh.
“Rogue One” did not have these same problems. The movie was rich with interesting new characters—a few of them some of the best characters the franchise has ever seen. While watching it, I felt more like I was discovering something completely new, even though the story represented a very small part of the “Star Wars” timeline. It also contained one of the best Darth Vader scenes of all time. I won’t completely spoil it, but he just completed commands the scene.
Another very interesting feature of “Rogue One” was the film’s use of technology to bring back either deceased actors to life or create an ageless version of others. Since it is no secret that the end of the movie is essentially the very beginning of “A New Hope,” I will say it is especially memorable now that they should have a young Princess Leia to finish the film considering actress Carrie Fisher’s recent passing. Of course, she was still alive and well when the film was made, but re-watching it provides a whole different context to that final scene.
While I understand the feedback I have seen from some fans who felt that the beginning of the movie was too slow, I think it is important to appreciate the level of care dedicated to building the story instead of just going full throttle the entire film. At the heart of it, “Star Wars” is about the story and the delicate way the plotlines and characters intertwine until the entire thing builds into an amazing crescendo and we get the big payoff. I think at least most of us agree the payoff was worth the path it took to get there.