Rogue One is the Star Wars movie fans have been waiting for since 1983. Simply put: Rogue One delivers!
If you were like us here at ManTripping, last year's The Force Awakens was a fun, but fairly bland and forgettable nostalgia piece that was too dependent on fan service and too hindered by its safe script that was riddled with contrivances and poor dialog, as well as a protagonist without any real character arc. Rogue One, on the other hand, will prove that all they needed to do to rekindle the Star Wars spirit in fans was to actually make a good movie.
This is Star Wars as you remember it. There are some new ships, new vehicles, new types of aliens; but it also has the classic Star Wars elements to it, in the same forms you remember. The movie brings its own life to the Star Wars universe, but it's also comfortable and familiar at the same time. X-Wings dogfight with TIE Fighters. The heroes battle the classic storm troopers. Star Destroyers loom menacingly. And this is perhaps the most authentic view of the Star Wars galaxy we've ever seen in film form. There's a real sense of the desperation that the Rebel Alliance faces, of how vast the Empire's power is, and how the fate of the Rebellion lies in the courage, sacrifice, and heroism of a relative few.
Rogue One doesn't abandon the callbacks and homages. After all, that's what Star Wars fans have been demanding, and waiting for. We want to see more Star Wars. This is a four-billion dollar franchise for a reason. But Rogue One delivers that nostalgia with a grace and subtlety that left me choked up in some parts, and, most likely smiling ear to ear like a doofus in other parts. Gone are the heavy-handed and clunky nods that characterized George Lucas's prequels and last year's Episode VII. Instead, this movie focuses on the little things about world-building that made audiences fall in love with this universe in the first place. A shot here and there reminiscent of one from the original film. The momentary cameo insertion of a character you'll recognize.
It's difficult to even discuss all there is to love about Rogue One, because, honestly, I don't want to ruin the experience for you. I want to sit here and discuss every little touch that made me feel like a little kid in the 80s again. But you deserve to experience that for yourself.
Rogue One isn't a perfect film. I could gripe about a few things here and there, but honestly, in the end, they don't matter. This movie does what Star Wars films have struggled to do for thirty three years. It gives you characters to like and care about, the comedy relief is appropriate, and most importantly, comedic, and it has drama and danger because the characters experience palpable threats and overcome real adversity.
I give Rogue One a solid A. It is a film worthy of sitting next to the originals, and an entry into the Star Wars canon that fans are all but assured to love. But, more importantly, it's just a good movie, period.
Rejoin the Rebellion. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens nationwide on Friday, December 16, 2016.