Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Is a Treat

Rogue One is a fun movie that I think most every Star Wars fan will love. Rogue One stars a host of familiar faces and like Force Awakens some new ones in the central roles. The cast includes Felicity Jones as Jyn Urso, and Diego Luna, as Captain Cassian Andor. They are surrounded by a strong supporting cast which includes Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, Forest Whittaker. The story is for older Star Wars fans, in particular, is the prequel we’d hoped for. It fills in certain holes that A New Hope left unanswered. Rogue One was always designed and intended as a standalone movie. I hear there are also more of these movies, which will expand the Star Wars universe, planned. Next up is a Han Solo origin story. In all, if rumors are to be believed, there may be as many as ten more. To say the success of Rogue One had a lot riding on it for Disney’s future plans for the franchise is an understatement.

The premise of Rogue One all hinges on a single sentence from the opening scrawl of the A New Hope: “Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon.” It is the story of how Jyn Urso and a ragtag band of thieves, rebels, and Jedi wannabes capture the plans of the Death Star which leads to the central plot of Star Wars: A New Hope, the original movie which most of us older fans simply called Star Wars or Star Wars I.

The movie is classic Star Wars stuff. It has super bad guys including an appearance by Darth Vader and original movie characters. It has those same, sometimes awkward, romance moments that are something of a trademark for the franchise.  It is a fun ride. Alan Tudyk’s robot, K-2S0 is a great add to the Star Wars list of favorite creations.

I did find some of the CGI resurrections of original actors, especially General Moff Tarkin, originally created by Peter Cushing, a bit unrealistic. Cushing died in 1994. He is not the first actor to be digitally resurrected and will probably not be the last. I find the practice one, a bit ridiculous when there are many fine and living actors.  I think most fans will forgive a movie for having to recast a role for an actor who is no longer with us. Two, the digital creations are not quite life-like. Even the attempts to make older performers look younger just does not quite look real. I prefer live actors. 

Overall, I really liked the movie. We saw it in 3-D and on an over-sized screen. While the 3-D was good, I don’t really think by paying the extra cost, you’ll lose much if you go see it in standard. I think most folks will enjoy the movie. You may need some background for the original movie if you’ve been living under a rock. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a movie well worth the ride.  I will buy the Blu-ray.