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Rogue One - Discussion With Spoilers

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
I liked this film, but I didn't love it. I loved some things about it, and I really wanted to love the whole thing, but the magic and charm that we have come to expect from Star Wars is largely missing.

The film feels second rate. Like 'Agents of SHIELD' compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They use second rate music, as all the main Star Wars music is reserved for the official episodes. We get hints of the Imperial Death March in a short Vader scene, but hints only, never the real thing.

The characters are second rate. Jyn Erso is okay, but uncharismatic. Cassian is completely forgettable. I had to Google his name just now because I had forgotten it. While I loved watching Donnie Yen's character unleash IP Man on Stormtroopers, it felt a bit gimmicky and impossible not to imagine a boardroom of Disney execs planning the scene to appeal to the Chinese box office. Forest Whitaker's character is odd, and not in a good way. The main villain of the movie - Director Orson Krennic - is the worst of all. If it wasn't already obvious that the main villain is second rate, the film hammers the point home by having every other visiting bad guy (Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader) slap him around whenever they are on screen together.

The new droid - K2SO - is the best thing about the movie. K owns it whenever onscreen.

I did appreciate the explanation for why the Death Star had such a critical design flaw, enabling it to be destroyed by a single well placed shot from an X-Wing Fighter, but that explanation has its own flaw. The film would have us believe that Galen Erso - the Empire's greatest weapons designer and engineer behind the Death Star - only pretended to go along with the Empire for 15 years as he designed the Death Star, arguing that if he didn't do it, someone else would do it, and since Galen did it he could ensure that the final product had the fatal design flaw. One might think the more honourable move would be to kill himself or refuse to help at all, rather than create the greatest weapon of all time, which could later be recreated without the same flaw. After all, while the Death Star was eventually destroyed in Episode 4, that was after it had destroyed several planets, including Alderaan, likely resulting in several billion deaths. All of that makes it hard to feel sympathy for Galen Erso.

Then, after Director Krennic reveals Galen Erso's treachery (which he was too stupid to figure out on his own, as Tarkin had to point out the obvious), Krennic goes and kills every other engineer on the design team (who were all loyal to the Empire and who might be important once the head engineer is dead) for no apparent reason. Krennic ranks alongside Jar Jar Binks and Baby Anakin as one of the worst Star Wars characters.

Darth Vader's first scene was, sadly, underwhelming. He looked like a man in a cheap costume and it was clear that James Earl Jones is now very old. His scene at the end of the movie - tearing through rebel soldiers with his lightsaber - was awesome, but we are left wondering why we didn't get more of that in the movie.

The lack of great characters and relationships is the movie's main weakness. Especially after Episode 7 which gave us Rey, Finn and BB8. While Episode 7 had obvious similarities to Episode 4, the Force Awakens succeeded in bringing back the magic and wonder.

I'll end it there. I still liked the movie, and will definitely own it and watch it again, but I expect a lot from Star Wars. This one ranks just above Episode 1, making it in my view the 7th best (or second worst) Star Wars movie.
 

rave jedi

TRIBE Member
KMW, excellent review. Yesterday was my second viewing and I liked it way more than my first time on Wednesday.

I'm going to my third viewing today and finally this time it is at Scotiabank's laser IMAX theatre.
 

The Peej

TRIBE Member
Second worst Star Wars film, IMO. The only one worse for me is Episode 2.
I emailed this to KMW last night after seeing it:

Star Wars: A New Hope is a film about relationships between people, and just so happens to take place in space.

Rogue One was about a 40 year old technicality in the plot of A New Hope, and happened to have people in it.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
From el presidente Highsteppa in the Star Wars thread:

It's the darkest and one of the best of the series since Empire Strikes Back. This is not a typical Star Wars tale - no icon logo zooming awat and fading into the stars with the John Williams score, the members Rebel Alliance is cast in a far more ruthless light and we're only get echos and hints of the previous films, some characters making a minor appearance or a cameo, some mentioned in passing.

It does a fantastic job of updating the Star Wars universe in light of how we see resistance fighters combating their oppressors, how the Empire is stripping planets of their resources (think of Iraq and how oil played so importantly in it's invasion) and the desperation of recruiting people for the Rebel cause that might be outlaws and criminals in more even keeled times.

It's really impressed at how they managed to make a entire movie out of a single line of dialogue from Episode IV - and now will likely make you think of this movie when you hear it uttered again, with a lot more resonance.

If there's any point that might be weak, it's the characters can be a bit thin - changes in motivation towards the belief in the rebellion are sketchy and somewhat left for you to fill in the blanks. But that's a bit more of the writing than it is with the casting, which is all around excellent, particularly with Alan Tudyk as K-2S0, a reprogrammed Imperial droid that has no filter when he speaks, Donnie Yen as the monk like Chirrut Innue and his companion Baze Malbus - played by Wen Jiang. All the characters and actors are great in their roles, you just want to know more about them and their background.

It's a welcome break from the typical Star Wars series - they stray from the formula that the previous installments have established and offer a much darker side (pun not intended) to the universe that Lucas had created, and go the route of telling a story of espionage instead of the swashbuckling, ligthsabre fighting heroics we've been treated to.
 
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Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
^ Highsteppa - all of your comments make perfect sense, and it sounds like you had similar gripes with the weak characters. For me, Star Wars is about the characters more than anything else, which is why I found the whole film to be second rate. I still enjoyed it, for all the reasons you mention, but am looking much more forward to Episode 8.

Any comments on the villain, Director Krennic? I think you're a fan of Ben Mendolshohn, so I'm curious to know your thoughts on his character.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
caught it last night, really enjoyed it for what it was. It's interesting that the main role in the past two movies has been cast on a female. nice to see a strong female hero/anti hero. the story itself did seem kind of rushed but I think it also helped portray the sense of urgency the alliance would be feeling by keeping the viewer in the dark about why things were happening
 
^ Highsteppa - all of your comments make perfect sense, and it sounds like you had similar gripes with the weak characters. For me, Star Wars is about the characters more than anything else, which is why I found the whole film to be second rate. I still enjoyed it, for all the reasons you mention, but am looking much more forward to Episode 8.

Any comments on the villain, Director Krennic? I think you're a fan of Ben Mendolshohn, so I'm curious to know your thoughts on his character.
The thing is about Rogue One is it's a one shot film - despite the movie is the second longest out of all the movies in the series, and they don't have the luxury of a series of movies to flesh out the characters, see them develop and grow. Also, Rogue One has been made in a completely different era - Episode IV came out in complete contrast to the time it was made - post-Nixon, post-Vietnam and it was a very idealistically toned film in contrast to a lot of other films that came out at that time. Also, audiences are a lot more sophisticated in how they watch their films - think about how some people were griping about how the last film SWFA were saying that it was more of a "greatest hits" of Star Wars moments than something that really stood on it's own, and this is a bit more complex in the sense we're dealing more with the underbelly of the Star Wars universe. I think that they chose to emphasize how the Rebellion really hadn't come together, was still fragmented and disagreeing with each other and still lacked the organization. This is more of a movie showing the flashpoint where the Rebellion had to come together, or face defeat before they could even get started. So, the event is the key to this movie, and I guess that's where characters become a bit more slaves to the events that will be their destiny, rather than us getting more background for characters that are never going to come up again in the Star Wars films. It would be a bit pointless to spend time developing characters when it's the turning point of the Rebellion that's we're watching that is the key to this film's purpose.

The finale of the movie was excellent - it was thrilling and I was trying to keep up with everything on screen, as well as process the deaths of various characters as they happened. With the characters being a bit thin, it did dampen a bit of the impact, but I kind of expected little to no survivors in the first place.

Krennic I think was an interesting villain - I like that his ambition is what drives him and that he seems more about his career than he does about really serving the Empire. He got a bit broad and got into the mustache twirling mode at the end in the final scenes, but he seemed suitable for the movie as a whole. I really need to see it again to give a better judgment, as I was trying to make the connections of all the events of what was going on and how they tied into Episode IV (and absolutely thrilled at the final battle - the evocation of WWII's Pacific Theatre at the end, along with the battle above were a delightful sensory overload) that my final impression of him got a bit lost. He seemed a lot more practical as a villain than the ruthlessness that other Star Wars villains have been, but I think that made for a great contrast when Vader showed up (and also, I was very happy that they redeemed Vader from his prequel castrations at the very end of the film) and emphasized that a career Imperial officer doesn't really have a place among a movement that is run by ideology first and foremost.
 
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One other thing - they've really done an amazing job of bringing back Grand Moff Tarkin (despite the actor being dead for some time) - everyone I spoke with said they were amazed at how real he looked and managed to capture the look of him nearly perfectly from his performance in 1977. That's a huge leap forward and break through technology wise from what they managed to do before in films.
 

djfear

TRIBE Member
I found it strange to have Grand Moff Tarkin cgi'd. I read up on it and the family was heavily involved in the process, right down to small details, but I feel that it's just strange, though I suppose if the role is very small and it's just used primarily to continue the story then it's okay.

I also agree that the main characters weren't as likeable and are in fact more forgettable when compared to Rey and Fin. It's almost as if you have secondary characters in main character roles. I like the force kung fu guy primarily because you knew his midichlorian count was high, but he didn't seem to be a real jedi, just someone who was highly trained and attuned with his own abilities. His sidekick was also a bad ass.

All in all it was a good movie, but if you were to compare it as a standalone to The Force Awakens, I think that movie is way better than this one.
 
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Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
The main character was completely flat! Wow. Other than her daddy issue and a token romantic hint with an equally unimpressive cardboard cut out at the end, there was nothing to her. This is what passes for movies these days.

However, the Darth Vader fucking ninja scene was worth the viewing.
 
The other thing is too (in support of acheron's point) - Star Wars has always populated it's universe with tons of characters that make a huge onscreen impact and almost no background when introduced. Look at one of the most popular characters - Boba Fett. There was practically nothing given about him in Empire or Return, had maybe a total of 20 minutes screen time in both movies and he was immensely popular. Same thing with others - Qui Gon Jinn, Mace Windu who are far more central characters - they often left it up to their book writers or fans to come up with the backgrounds on their own, as it would likely outdo any kind of explanation on screen (or at least give them time to pick and choose the best ideas over the years and put a slight tweak to them).
 

rave jedi

TRIBE Member
It's cheap Tuesday at the Cineplex and I'm thinking of going for my 4th viewing later if I'm not too tired. This time I want to see it 2D for the first time, even though I know the sound will suck since it's not in an UltraAVX or IMAX auditorium.

My question after 3 previous viewings, I still don't know what Donnie Yen's character Chirrut Îmwe put in his mouth before he did his walk which got him killed? At first, I thought he might have eaten a small kyber crystal which would allow him to do great Jedi things for the task at hand. No such luck! I was hoping after Chirrut swallowed whatever he put in his mouth he'd turn like Roger Ramjet after eating one of his proton energy pills. LOL

Roger Ramjet - Wikipedia


Roger Ramjet is a patriotic and highly moral — if not very bright — hero, who is typically out to save the world, with help from his Proton Energy Pills ("PEP"), which give him "the strength of twenty atom bombs for a period of twenty seconds".
 

rave jedi

TRIBE Member
^ Sadly all the 2D screenings were sold out on Tuesday night and I had settle for another 3D repeated viewing in an UltraAVX theatre again. Bummer!

My mistake, the part where I think Chirrut Îmwe puts something in his mouth takes place during a scene where there is a lot of rain and its dark outside. It happens just before Galen Erson dies.

Anyway, it has recently been confirmed that was indeed the lava planet Mustafar which showed Darth Vader's castle or palace in Rogue One.

All Your Rogue One Questions About Darth Vader's [SPOILER] Answered

Interesting video below.

 
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Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
This is from my nephew, in response to my review:

Some of my thoughts! Not a perfect film but really enjoyable with great moments:

Hmm. I think what you felt as second rate is what I felt as alternate, which is what I probably enjoyed about it most - the opportunity to see a much different and fresh perspective on the Star Wars universe. I think what we’ve come to expect from a Star Wars movie is a family friendly adventure film that tells a grand episodic story with superhuman characters. Works perfectly with the direction of a Brad Bird or JJ Abrams.

To me, Rogue One is a war film, adult oriented with more "realistic" characters. It is more akin to a Ridley Scott style or like David Ayer’s Fury, featuring survivors of war who have lost everything and are prepared to sacrifice what little left they have. I think that the standalone SW movies only work if they bring something new to the table, and from that perspective R1 was a story that deserved to be told, and was executed really well.

I think getting little tastes of the greater SW universe, but not all of it, worked well to establish it as its own thing and to keep its tone separate. Getting hints of themes work well enough, but to take the entire old score and lay it over the movie would have worked against it and actually given it that second rate feeling - it’s aiming for a different feeling, trying to tell a different story. Same idea goes into putting little hints of Vader, Tarkin, Leia, etc. It gives you a sense that they are around but we are almost getting a behind the scenes look. The focus is on smaller, lesser characters but that is the whole point. I too was hoping for more Vader brutality, but thinking afterwards, I really respect Gareth Edwards for his restraint with the character. It would have been really easy for him to sprinkle him through the movie and laying waste to rebel scum, but he was disciplined because it wouldn’t have added to this specific story. And if you really think about it, would Vader's moment have been quite so memorable if he had more of them?

I can see what you mean about characters when compared to Rey, Finn, etc, but on their own merits I liked the performances. Felicity Jones to me was terrific, and carried all of the emotional weight and had a strong arc. Don’t think the performance called for charismatic winks to the camera like Rey or Finn for several reasons. I thought Cassian was the first real grey character in Star Wars - Han shot Greedo, but Cassian shoots his own man! He’s a true soldier who’s been fighting for so long his moral compass has faded - not necessarily that original of a character, but original for Star Wars, and I thought the actor was able to add a few layers, but I guess that’s my preference. The rest of the team were definitely likeable and added their individual flavour to the cast. Forest Whittaker wasn’t very good at all but he was playing a character who apparently was featured in the clone wars animated series, and I wonder with all the cuts and reshoots how much of it was cut.

I think a main takeaway from the movie is that Krennic is NOT really the main villain of the movie, but the Empire as a whole. And never has the Empire’s power and dominance been felt so strongly. Krennic serves as a face of the Empire for audiences to connect with, and he could have definitely been stronger. But Jar Jar levels of bad I can’t get behind. Jar Jar actively takes away enjoyment with his awful awful humour and his clumsiness, which brings the Qui Gon and Obi Wan plot way down as they are always rescuing him. Take him out and Phantom Menace is so much better, but take Krennic out and the film largely remains unchanged. Despite this, the Empire is shown at its absolute peak of dominance and we see a truly desperate Rebellion that looks like a pack of insects in comparison. The build up of the death star is awe inspiring. The film is in a tough situation because everybody knows that the death star will eventually be blown up and Empire brought down, but it still actually manages to make you feel like it is an unachievable goal and keeps the stakes extremely high. The theme of hope is used incredibly well, as it is all the rebels have at this point. In other Star Wars films, the heroes are fighting to win. Here, they are fighting and dying just for a chance to win, and the fact that that every one of the rebels goes down just to give the rest of the team the slightest increase in odds for the plans to be transmitted gets me every time. They have no idea whether any of it will work, but just to keep the hope alive is worth their lives. “Save the rebellion, save the dream"

From an aesthetics point of view, it is also the best looking Star Wars film period. Obviously the original trilogy had more of an impact for their era’s standards, but the cinematography and art direction exceeds Force Awakens and sets a new bar. It was also really cool to bring back the look of the original trilogy but improving it to today’s standards (TFA had more of a post-retro look). I also thought the movie’s design was geared way more towards fans than TFA, which only featured X-Wings and Tie Fighters. Here, we get so many more (old and new) ships, droids, types of stormtroopers, etc. that add depth to the universe. TFA I felt generalized their art direction for a more broad fanbase. Also the easter egg nods to Episode IV were so cool - using unused footage of Red and Gold leader, and having Red Leader 5 die (Luke will eventually take that position).

Speaking of adding depth to the universe, I think the movie succeeds in improving on A New Hope. The plot device revolving around the Death Star flaw was a great idea, and the entire final battle taking place minutes before A New Hope will forever affect the way I watch it, for the better.

For me, there is so much to admire about the film the rest of it is nitpicking at this point. I did enjoy The Force Awakens better, as it has more of that magic from the originals, as it should. Although TFA is not without a few flaws as well. However, if you are down for a Fury/Saving Private Ryan film in the Star Wars universe, that still adds great amounts of depth and realism to the overall saga, then that’s what this is. It’s interesting that maybe watching the trailers for this film might have actually helped your enjoyment of it, as it is definitely different that what we are used to, but I was prepared and sold on the idea before going into it.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
It makes me realize that superhero movies have trained the younger generation to embrace a lower standard for interesting characters.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
^ nephews and nieces are awesome! He's a smart kid, and a film buff. I can't argue with his reasoning. I did like the film. I just didn't love it as much as I'd hoped.

I may try to watch this again in the theatre.
 

CiG

TRIBE Member
Finally went out to see it and I liked it and rate it highly because ever since seeing the clonewars animated series I have been hoping for a Star Wars war movie. Narrow plot, little character development, and lots of rebel battles. The villain for me was the Empire and not the director and I only wish there were a few more more scenes with the force. Vader's final scene was almost enough.

That said I definitively did not like all the characters starting with Saw Gerrera because of the casting. Forest Whitaker's typical acting was out of place. K-2SO was the jar jar of this movie for me and I think I only forgive C-3PO when it comes to corny droids. Finally the imperial pilot who I thought had his brain fried by the alien polygraph turning into the goofy know-it-all/dumb hero. I was fine with ip man and his sidekick except for having to listen to ip man repeat "the force is with me, I am one with the force" over and over again and his sidekick cocking the blaster shot gun.

As for the female lead role "Girls rule, women are funny, get over it!" I like Jin Erso a lot more than I liked Rey from the force awakens. The last movie really pissed me off in that Rey easily defeated a highly trained Kylo Ren and made me dislike the entire character.

Bottom line, more clonewars instead of crappy avenger movies will get me out to the theater.
 
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wickedken

TRIBE Member
Saw it and enjoyed. Actually I think it might be one of the better of the entire Star Wars franchise. Quite a dramatic entry into the series IMO, and fits nicely into the films, bringing in more of the real struggle against the Empire. Mind you I'm not super jedi so I haven't read any of the story, just the films.

Loved the cinematography and seeing so much of the universe on screen. Definitely better than the last, and the previous three before that.
 

stryker

TRIBE Member
I was able to see it over the break and I'm still processing. Overall I enjoyed the film. I think its place as an offshoot fits. It's not at the level of 4-6 but not also not an actual bad movie a la 1-3.

People are hating on Krennic but I thought he was alright. I'm a fan of Bloodline so Mendelsohn's approach was to be expected.

I liked Jyn Erso but she lacked the grit of Daisey Ridley. The Erso plotline seemed weak. Galen Erso could have sabotaged it from the inside and blown the whole thing up years ago. But I'll give them a pass...they needed a reason for the movie.

K200 was amazing and was literally the only character whose death emotionally jarred me. I hope they find a way to bring a similar droid back.

The pilots were all meh.

Donnie Yen was SUPER disappointing. I was expecting this blind bad ass but he just seemed like a dope with amazing fighting skills. The should have kept him the strong silent type and made the Baze the soft comic relief. IMO this plotline has the closest connection to the 1-3 cheese factor which I thought Force Awakens had done an amazing job of removing from the films. Too bad they brought it back.

Forrest Whitaker's character could have been amazing but WTF were they thinking letting him do the voice? wtf?

Vader was disappointing. I'm not sure if it was their fault or just unattainable expectations. Less of him is definitely more. I'm still a little PTSD'ed from his scenes. He just came of as campy and stupid. I would say even worse than Anakin from the prequels.

Maybe it was the re-shoots or the editing but I feel they could have kept it darker. Everyone dies which messed me up caused I thought at least one of them would get off the planet. Other than killing off characters this did seem to be really weak and cartooney.

I think they missed the intensity of the situation and the intensity of emotions motivating the characters.

Jyn Erso - needs more Ellen Ripley, less Spy Kids 3D
Cassian - needs more Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) Sicario
Saw Gerrera - Should have been Punisher from DD Season 2
Director Krannic- left as is
Darth Vader - More Kylo Ren + Joe Pesci GoodFellas + Ramsay Bolton
Chirrut Innue - needs more Stick from DD Season 2

It was underwhelming especially after watching The Expanse. I feel they could have gone a little darker and grittier vs just going dark by killing everyone.

I'm still going to see it a second time, and I'll buy the blu ray, and I'll gladly watch it on tv over the years, but this was not spectacular.

stew
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
The main character was completely flat! Wow. Other than her daddy issue and a token romantic hint with an equally unimpressive cardboard cut out at the end, there was nothing to her. This is what passes for movies these days.

However, the Darth Vader fucking ninja scene was worth the viewing.
Yup that scene was just awesome sauce. The rebel guys are literally trying to flee for their lives!
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
I saw this on December 25th for my mother and I's annual Movie and Chinese Food Christmas Day and then again on December 31st with the kids.

The impact of the Leia appearance was very different the second time. Even though I knew it was coming I wasn't prepared for the feels considering we lost Carrie in between viewings.
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
We watched TFA at home right after going to see R1 one NYE and one thing I will say is I think TFA is the strongest visually of all the Star Wars films. The battle sequences are incredible especially the space portion of the final sequence.
 
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