Rogue One (2016)

Rogue One
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Henry, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Jimmy Smits, James Earl Jones, Daniel Mays, Geraldine James, Warwick Davis, Michael Smiley
Part of/Sidequel/Prequel to: Star Wars
Seen on: 18.12.2016

Plot:
There are rumors that the Empire is building a great new weapon, called the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance has caught wind of that and hatches a plan to steal the plans for that weapon as they heard that there was a structural weakness that they may use to destroy it. They believe that Jyn (Felicity Jones) may be the key to success as her father (Mads Mikkelsen) seems to be involved with the planning. But Jyn hasn’t seen her father in 15 years and she’s also not all that interested in helping the Alliance. But they do reach a deal and Jyn finds herself accompanying pilot Cassian (Diego Luna) on the mission.

I will probably never be super excited about Star Wars – it’s just not my franchise. But I did enjoy Rogue One a whole lot, despite a couple of lengths it suffered from.

It’s obvious that the Star Wars franchise is working very hard to get a little more diversity into its films. And they succeeded pretty well in this film that sports a great and racially diverse cast – of men. It appears that they didn’t manage to include a single woman of color, at least not in any meaningful role. And that’s just embarrassing. It’s also embarrassing that Jyn spends most of the film being the lonely smurfette in a sea of dudes. It wouldn’t have hurt had more women been allowed to join the actual fighting. At least they tried.

Apart from those issues I very much enjoyed the cast and their characters. I also enjoyed that the story tackles one of the bigger plot holes in the franchise so far and retcons it pretty nicely ([SPOILER] why the Death Star would have such a huge structural weakness and how they know abou it [/SPOILER]). So that was pretty cool.
Unfortunately the film takes a little too long. It’s not much, but it wouldn’t have hurt had it been 15 minutes or so shorter. But maybe it only felt long because the showdown with the massive fight didn’t work all that much for me – it’s just the part of the films that I care least about. The emotional pay-off, on the other hand, was very well done at the end.

For the most part, Rogue One is an enjoyable film with a good sense of humor that does what it sets out for: entertain. And it does so very well.

Summarizing: Solid.

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