“Rogue One” is the eighth “Star Wars” film and was released on Dec. 10, 2016. (Courtesy of Disney)
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is the first film in a lineup of standalone movies set in the Star Wars universe. As the entire premise of having stand alone movies in this particular franchise sounds like a poorly thought out idea, it is very fitting that the first stand alone movie eloquently reflects that.
Due to her father’s involvement with the construction of the Death Star, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is recruited by the Rebellion in an act to stop the Imperials from using the newly developed battle station.
“Rogue One” is simply two hours of recognizable things from the Star Wars universe that are plastered on screen in place of story or characters in an attempt to get the audience excited by seeing something they liked from the previous films. Some of these things fit, like certain characters and ships, but most of it is used for fan service in place of legitimate reasoning. For no reason at all there are pointless inclusions of C-3PO, R2-D2, a horrendous CGI Princess Leia, the two guys from the bar in “A New Hope,” and even a needless shot that stays focused on blue milk.
Because of the interest in fan service in place of more important elements, the characters and the story suffer significantly. This was already a hard story to do, considering anyone who watched “A New Hope” knew the gist of what was going to happen, but nothing is added in to justify why the story was told. It certainly was not to introduce these new characters, who were all blank slates with little to no charisma or enthusiasm. The characters were so underwritten that even the sarcastic and joking robot (Alan Tudyk) was somehow dull.
While none of the characters were anything special, the only awful one in the movie was the antagonist, Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), who was nothing more than an incompetent Imperial officer whom Darth Vader would have logically force choked to death for his ignorance and failures a long time ago.
In all technical terms, the movie does not do anything wrong, but it has nothing to elevate its mediocre existence. The story does not add anything that would give new insight into the precursor of “A New Hope.” None of the characters are worth adding to the ever expanding list of memorable characters that the Star Wars franchise has created.
The actors were all passable in their roles, but none of them elevated the material. The directing and the writing (other than Darth Vader’s pun) were done competently enough, but none of it stood out as being impressive or even above average.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is a dull, dreary and unimaginative movie that is more interested in throwing things onto the screen that the audience will recognize as opposed to actually doing anything beneficial to itself, or the entire franchise.
Final Grade: C