For the first time in my lifetime, a quality Star Wars film has been released. Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, and Forest Whitaker, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a rollicking, if surprisingly dark, adventure that suitably takes its place as one of the better films in the Star Wars canon and, to this reviewer, far superior to the underwhelming prequel films and the overrated Force Awakens.
The movie tells the story of how the Rebel Alliance obtains the stolen architectural plans for the Death Star so, essentially, we know how everything is going to end. But there are plenty of surprises to be had, including several fun cameos and an unexpected returning character. Director Gareth Edwards keeps the audience engaged from the opening frame, but the big third act battle is as emotional and hard hitting as anything you’ll find in the Star Wars canon. The stars are all great with Tudyk and Donnie Yen making perhaps the biggest impact, though Felicity Jones certainly impresses in the leading role of Jyn Erso.
The film isn’t perfect. There are too many characters and it’s entirely too busy at times, so it can easily become confusing. Plus, though it gets a pass, it’s yet another Death Star story. However, it’s the most original and enjoyable Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi, and it’s the first film in the canon since then in which I’ve been emotionally invested. It’s great fun and, for the first time in a while, I’m excited for the future of the Star Wars franchise.
Mike’s Rating – See it in theaters if you can
Nerdsense Rating Scale
See it in theaters if you can – Great flick and definitely worth your time
Could wait for home media release – Good flick but no need to rush out to the theater
See it because you’re a nerd – Probably pretty bad but you kind of have to see it given the subject matter
Everyone has bad taste but me – Mike liked it even though it was critically panned