This is a tough movie to write a review for without giving away what’s important. So, I’ll keep this short in hopes of reducing the risk of giving away too much.
Rogue One is a Star Wars movie but isn’t. I know, that makes a lot of sense. One of the first shocks I had was there was no opening crawl at the beginning of the movie. It just started with the backstory of the main character, Jyn Erso. Afterwards, I realized that this change marked a different vision for this movie than the George Lucas renditions. Lucas was trying to recapture some of the look and feel of the old black and white serial movies like Flash Gordon. Rogue One was not doing that at all. It was a modern, grittier movie. It lacked some of the whimsical humor of the other films, too. In other words, no Jar Jar and no nerve-grating droids. This movie did not have elements to entertain little kids, even though there was no sex and I don’t remember any swearing. There wasn’t even really much gore. It mainly deals with more mature themes that younger kids might not enjoy.
There are still plenty of traditional Star Warsy things in there to make a long-time fan like me go, “Ooh, cool.” I might have even went, “Squee!” a couple of times. The world was definitely the one we’re used to, though this one looked a little more lived in and used. Pay attention for some of the cameos throughout. It might be good to see Episode IV: A New Hope (What I still call ‘Star Wars’ because that’s what it was called when I was a kid) beforehand to beef up your recognition.
The characters were okay. None of them really stood out as someone I could fully relate with. I did really like Cherrut Imwe and K-2SO, mainly because they had the best lines. The plot worked well and was fairly easy to follow.
It took me a while to ponder how I felt about the movie. I will say, the ending left me in some shock. The more I thought about it, though, the more I liked it. I’ve never felt this way at the end of any of the other Star Wars movies. I do wish I could have gotten better seats, though. The first row seats at the Cinemark University Mall in Orem , despite being lounge chairs, were awful. The screen was distorted and hard to see. I’ll need to watch it again where I can actually SEE it. But overall, I give the movie two big toes up, though one of the toes is quivering a little.