I am a fan of Star Wars but I’m not 100% sure why. A New Hope is great, Empire Strikes Back is brilliant but Return of the Jedi was always my favourite Star Wars film, because I liked Luke’s green light-saber. That’s true!
But since the original trilogy, what have we really had? The prequel trilogy was disastrous and the sequels, while having some strong moments, were really let down by the ending. We’ve also had two spin off movies, Solo and Rogue One. Solo was so promising when the stellar cast and directors were first announced, but after the directors left halfway through the project and Ron Howard took over, the film just couldn’t recover and ended up feeling like a jumbled mess.
Rogue One, however, was a different story.
A relatively well-known cast and a visionary director came together to create a brilliant film which, for me, was not just the best film since the original trilogy but also only behind Empire as the best Star Wars film.
The story has everything: it’s a race-against-the-clock, sci-fi heist, family drama, with comedy elements and some awesome action scenes. It is an old-fashioned caper.
Felicity Jones plays Jyn Erso, who joins the Rebel Alliance to help steal plans to the Death Star, which will lead to its destruction in the original trilogy. It is a very niche idea, based on a seemingly throwaway line from A New Hope, but the story plays out brilliantly.
The film feels embedded in the original Star Wars universe, it felt tactile, it wasn’t a CGI green screen fest like the prequels and and it was just enough of a film that it made you want to go and watch the originals again whereas the sequel trilogy just ran out of steam and left you wondering what the whole point of it was.
When the film ends, you realise that you knew the story all along, you knew how it was going to end…and yet it still comes as a gut punch. That’s true story telling, even when we know what’s coming, it still surprises us.
The cast is diverse, the film looks stunning and the whole thing is terribly enjoyable. It is what every spinoff film should want to be – something that doesn’t feel like a spinoff at all.
This post was authored by Flicks.