Rogue One - Star Wars Fan Service

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Rogue One - Star Wars Fan Service

Let's all ride the fan service train. Next stop: Rogue One.

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Hm, I'm a little surprised. I mean, it might not have blown me away but I still really enjoyed it, it seems far from a 1.5 star caliber movie. I can't say I'm thrilled to have one of these every year for the forseeable future, but I think some critics may be crapping on it for exactly that reason, and it's a little unfair. I know because I came in wanting to be very critical of it but couldn't help genuinely enjoying it.

All in all I think it earned its 85% on RT, its appeal isn't quite as big as the main Star Wars saga but it works on its own.

I generally like these reviews, but I'm hoping this one goes in the category with "The Lego Movie" where you are just plain wrong.

The last film was terrible and completely lacking in imagination, but this one kind of piqued my interest. And I will probably go on saying that for the next 5 years...

I really enjoyed it. I'd go so far as to call it a good Star Wars movie, and maybe a decent movie in general.

Meh called me a sheep if you want but I enjoyed it to the point that I prefered it to TFA (sure I still liked TFA but at least RO is not rehashing the plot)!

Of course most of the big publications are swinging from Rogue One's proverbial nuts, but the local newspaper review actually rated it pretty poorly, bringing up many of the things that you listed off as well: particularly that despite it's runtime, it fails heavily in drawing out its characters. It even goes so far as to say that this was a movie that didn't need to be made since we already know the story: some rebels stole the Death Star plans.

As you mentioned: if you're going to make a movie where people already know the ending, then you have to make the journey worth while, and both the local paper and now this review have said that it falls very short of accomplishing that...so I'm inclined to actually head this "warning".

Scarim Coral:
Meh called me a sheep if you want but I enjoyed it to the point that I prefered it to TFA (sure I still liked TFA but at least RO is not rehasing the plot)!

Yeah I honestly enjoyed it more than TFA. I had lots of fun watching it and the action scenes were awesome. Also, that scene towards the end...you know...the coolest scene.

Catnip1024:
I generally like these reviews, but I'm hoping this one goes in the category with "The Lego Movie" where you are just plain wrong.

I'm confused by this part for a couple of reasons.

1) I really liked The LEGO Movie, which is the opinion most people had of it (ie. not "just plain wrong").
2) I didn't review The LEGO Movie officially for this site (I did post my review of it on the forums, though), which makes me wonder if you're thinking of someone else, misremembering what I wrote, or if you really hate The LEGO Movie that much. XD

Marter:
I'm confused by this part for a couple of reasons.

1) I really liked The LEGO Movie, which is the opinion most people had of it (ie. not "just plain wrong").
2) I didn't review The LEGO Movie officially for this site (I did post my review of it on the forums, though), which makes me wonder if you're thinking of someone else, misremembering what I wrote, or if you really hate The LEGO Movie that much. XD

Oops, my bad. I may have been getting it mixed up with Minions. I'm not quite so keen on dying in a ditch over Minions, but the point stands that sometimes critics have moments of irrationality (or not agreeing with me).

And I guess I may also have been getting confused with someone else having a go at the Lego Movie. I could've sworn it was you, but apparently not. Oh, well - douse the torches and put the pitchforks back in the shed, people.

And I, for one, vastly prefer this movie to The Force Awakens.

Catnip1024:
Oops, my bad. I may have been getting it mixed up with Minions. I'm not quite so keen on dying in a ditch over Minions, but the point stands that sometimes critics have moments of irrationality (or not agreeing with me).

And I guess I may also have been getting confused with someone else having a go at the Lego Movie. I could've sworn it was you, but apparently not. Oh, well - douse the torches and put the pitchforks back in the shed, people.

Haha, yeah, it very well could've been Minions. I very much did not like. (Just wanted to clarify!)

RealRT:
And I, for one, vastly prefer this movie to The Force Awakens.

Regardless of whether it's better than The Force Awakens, it contains at least one original idea, so it's certainly more admirable.

Not fan service. Fan service was Lucas putting the Outrider into Ep 4, or using naming the imperial capital Coruscant. This is Nostalgia Mining.

I really liked it, and immediately went home and watched episode 4 again after seeing it. Then rewatched some parts of episode 7. My conclusion from doing so is that Lucas is by far the worst Star Wars director.

chimeracreator:
I really liked it, and immediately went home and watched episode 4 again after seeing it. Then rewatched some parts of episode 7. My conclusion from doing so is that Lucas is by far the worst Star Wars director.

He's not a good director, but he's a good producer.

SNIP

Did we even watch the same movie? I thought it was frickin' awesome! Had a lot of the feel of A New Hope and a down-n-dirty war movie!

Mahorfeus:
I really enjoyed it. I'd go so far as to call it a good Star Wars movie, and maybe a decent movie in general.

Vader has a well-documented history of dropping sick burns. Behold! http://io9.gizmodo.com/darth-vaders-best-burns-not-counting-the-ones-covering-1770848358

Pretty much agree with all of this review. Maybe not the score so much, but, yeah. I mentioned on another thread that Rogue One might be my #6 live-action Star Wars film, but I'm seriously considering booting it down to #7 (which means that the only movie I'd place under it in that bunch is Attack of the Clones). The first two thirds are lacklustre, and the third is only good because it's a long, quite well done action scene. The characters are underdeveloped, and there's just too many of them to get invested in. The villain is weak, the "grittiness" is taken to the extreme at times, and while there are sprinkles of creativity here and there (e.g. how the Empire operates, the droid character, Vader's second scene), there's also too many moments of stupid evil (the landing pad scene) and stupid stupid (where Jyn's guardian lets himself die because...reasons?)

Since it's a point of comparison, I will say that TFA is easily the better movie of the two. Rogue One is more original, I'll give it that, but if TFA is hindered by being a rehash of A New Hope, Rogue One is hindered by tying into A New Hope to the point where it can't stand on its own, especially the very last scene, and the film just stops dead. TFA is simply executed better, has more likable characters, and feels like a Star Wars movie. Course that's not necessarily a pro - Rogue One is easily the least Star Warsy movie that's been released, but, yeah. And ironically, Rogue One shares the same problem the other prequels did - nice ideas marred by poor execution. Only its ideas aren't nearly as interesting. It's worse than Revenge of the Sith, and the more I think about it, I think it might be weaker than The Phantom Menace.

I was worried about the dialogue sounding stupid after what we heard in the trailer.

Jenny Nicholson did a funny vid on some of it.

I saw the movie last night. I didn't hate it- it got where it was going and gave some decent spectacle along the way- but I was kind of quietly disappointed.

Jyn doesn't really get to make a proper journey from being a reluctant participant in the Rebel Alliance to being such a charismatic leader that a number of people she's barely met are willing to lay down their lives for her. There are moments where her information or interpretation are questioned, for little more reason than that the relevant people are jerks and someone thought the scene needed tension, and they never do a particularly good job in having her overcome those moments; they just move past them. Her "stirring speech" moment is barely better than the one in "Snow White and the Huntsman"; it's a "just accept that everyone is on her side, now, all right?" kind of scene. By and large, she's just a moody teenager (except that she's supposedly twenty-one.)

Cassian does get some character development, but unfortunately, what he gets casts him as a thug who doesn't value anyone else's life. It's as if someone decided to create a character entirely out of "Han shoots first" moments, but neglected to give him a good reason for shooting. We're supposed to believe we see a turnaround in one scene where he struggles with whether to follow a morally dubious order, but the would-be victim of the order has to visibly behave like a saintly martyr before he even starts to struggle, and he has plenty of reasons to question that order long before that moment.

I didn't mind our two Jedi-temple refugees, but I wish they had done more with them. The soldier's sense of loyalty and protectiveness towards his blind friend is palpable, and I appreciated it. But there was so much more that could have been done there- not least in why this apparent non-Jedi feels such a strong affinity towards the Force, and what the loss of the Jedi temple might have meant to the survivors.

K2 is good (Alan Tudyk makes almost everything better), but it's not a good sign when the character you like most is a droid. Still, he comes as close as anyone to giving life to Cassian and Jyn; his willingness to put up with them is almost enough to carry off the illusion that they must have more going for them than is readily apparent.

Arguably, the movie's biggest mistake was making the final conflict into a big "Alliance fleet versus Empire's Star Destroyers" kind of thing. I guess, being Star Wars, this is what the audience expects to see, but I think this could have been a much better movie if it had been a truly covert operation- something more along the lines of Leia's rescue in the original "Star Wars". It also would have given us a much better chance to appreciate the characters' cleverness against the odds and the teamwork and sacrifice they had to pull off to accomplish such an important mission.

Oh, and if any Bothans died, I missed it.

Mahorfeus:
I really enjoyed it. I'd go so far as to call it a good Star Wars movie, and maybe a decent movie in general.

Vader can do the occasional bon mot - the lines themselves aren't exactly reinventing the wheel but James Earl Jones' scathingly deadpan delivery makes each one cut as keenly as his lightsaber.

Mind, if we get a Darth Vader anthology movie, which they really should put a rush on before Mr. Jones departs our mortal plane, it has to have this line:

"All I am surrounded by is fear. And dead men". It's in the article that was linked, but it's a damn good line and worth hearing in Vader's voice.

Hawki:
Rogue One is more original, I'll give it that, but if TFA is hindered by being a rehash of A New Hope, Rogue One is hindered by tying into A New Hope to the point where it can't stand on its own

The crucial difference being that The Force Awakens had no excuses for being hindered and rehashing A New Hope. They had all the freedom in the world (in terms of story continuity) but ended up telling a story we've already been told.

All things considered Rogue One did a decent job overall of not ruining the continuity. There were a few mistakes that didn't mesh with what was described in A New Hope, but there were more things right that I didn't pick up, than things that were wrong.

Callate:

Oh, and if any Bothans died, I missed it.

That was for the second death star plans referenced in Return of the Jedi.

Man, this guy REALLY hated this movie. I wonder what other movies he has given 1.5 stars. Are they anywhere near as bad as he says Rogue One is?

I personally loved Rogue One, not that my opinion matters. Also, I loved TFA so that must make me a total heretic lol.

Catnip1024:
I generally like these reviews, but I'm hoping this one goes in the category with "The Lego Movie" where you are just plain wrong.

The last film was terrible and completely lacking in imagination, but this one kind of piqued my interest. And I will probably go on saying that for the next 5 years...

He's not particularly wrong about any of the issues he brings up , he's just magnified the overall diminishing effect those issues have on the whole, relative to most people I've heard from.

The last act is great. Loaded with fan service but damn near perfect if it weren't suffering from the earlier bits of the movie. For anyone whose a fan, the spectacle of it alone makes up for the rest.

That said, the rest....

The entire first 1/3 could have been relegated to the traditional text scroll, rather than the choppy mess with useless plot threads trying to string together the foundation for the main plot. Instead, and they are just some random thoughts, devote some of that time to Jyn's solo, outlaw life, something character defining we don't even see in the movie besides her being imprisoned on the outset.

Maybe she meets the asian dudes on her own, maybe her father leaves her with them in the first place (ditch Saw Gerrera entirely). They have some misadventures, shit happens, play the father card somewhere to force meeting up with the rebels. The Rebels learn of Galen, knowing only that he's chief scientist on a weapons project (no secret hologram message, no pilot), and maybe they want to use her as leverage, or bait to get the plans.

Regardless, they still go on the mission to the research facility, Jyn convinces them her father needs rescuing, not killing, but shit goes badly and he sacrifices himself so they can escape, after informing them of the flaw in the death star.

Anyhow, this is just idle speculation on alternatives. Take a few million dollars for writers and I'm sure some better options would come up. Point is, first bit of the movie could be more focused on establishing that some of the core characters actually had a life, develop some of the relationships from the start so the losses feel real when they die.

Also, around the end "We need to connect to the transmission tower so we can send a signal to the rebel ships so they can take down the shield so that we can send a signal from the other transmission tower"

Seriously, wtf? Who wrote this? They should have split that up differently. If the b-team needed something to do besides shooting stuff as a distraction, there's got to be endless other options. Give them a shield generator to destroy, jamming signal to disable, assassinations to carry out, anything else really. Spend more than 5 minutes thinking about it in a comment section and there's probably some great options.

I pretty much agree with the reviewer, but am inclined to be more forgiving. To me, this is simultaneously the worst Star Wars movie I've seen, and one of the better ones (definitely one of the most exciting). Unfortunately, these mixed feelings don't seamlessly follow the length of the movie, but rather represent a clean split in its acts - Acts 1 and 2 were just...awful. I was checking my phone and groaning like I walked into the Office Christmas Party by accident for an hour straight.

They set up the darker tone for a different sort of Star Wars nicely enough, but then the story starts spazzing out, jumping from location to location every two to five minutes, all the while tragically focusing on the misadventure of Jyn Erso, sad backstory stereotype 1/B7, sub-type 8Z and her ungainly, 2-dimensional mob of target audience stand-ins (hey look! It's the stick-wielding Chinese-market-man! You go get 'em, Donnie Yen. And by them, I mean dollars). Say what you will about the prequels, but at least I vaguely remember what their insipid, boring characters were about. Here, apart from K2 to a point, there are no characters, not a-one, just mouth-pieces and stunt doubles. There is no chemistry between any of them (unless you count the powerful, show-stopping Act 2 shoulder bump between Felicity Jones and Diego Luna), nobody is explored in any depth except to affirm that they were f-ed by the Empire in some stupid, evil way, and they all seem to enjoy nothing more than being brooding ciphers that vomit messages and plot-points at us. Speaking of the Empire, our main villain is just a bureaucrat with a gun, with no real powers or ability to thwart our "heroes" other than act like Snidely Whiplash to unarmed secondary characters. He is talked down at by all his peers, is always caught off-guard by Jyn and co. and never gets anything from his office's secret Santa. He is such a mediocre villain that I would've taken the Dark Elf king from Thor 2 over him. All that said, I don't think that the acting is bad (ou contraire, all the actors do their level best), but the script they had to work with would barely qualify as decent fanfiction at times.

And, because I just want to get it out of my system, in no particular order - the obnoxious and misplaced music stings, the truth-serum hentai monster, the Darth Vader choke pun and Jyn's constant Braveheart speeches (the hope speech in the middle made me want to slash my ears off with a butter knife). Like I said, just...awful.

And then, out of nowhere, the movie simply stops sucking. It's almost like an entirely different director came in, fired the entire production crew out of a canon and delivered to us a long, fun, thrilling planetary battle that simply blew me away. The space elements are exciting, with a great sense of scale, the music is epic and appropriate, the ground battle is suitably gritty and, most importantly, the movie starts realizing all of my fantasies regarding the ultimate destiny of our drab, dishwater crew. By the time Darth Vader makes his entrance and starts dominating everybody with his sour cherry glow-stick, I was close to ready to forgive the movie all its flaws.

Close, but not quite. All my friends I saw Rogue One with last night agree that the movie is an unholy mess. Ultimately fun and worth your time (to a point), but if you want to see it, do yourself a favor - take a long bath, wash your hair, catch up on Westworld, have a nice meal and walk slowly to the theater, thus making sure you'll come only for the last 40 minutes of the movie. I promise that you'll have a much better time of it then.

2.5/5 stars

Completely 100% disagree.

I think Rogue One was probably one of the best films to ever take place in the Star Wars universe (yes, I think it's better than Empire).

5/5 stars easily.

So the Hyrule Warriors of Star Wars would it be? Technically an efficient fan service production for those that desire it, but a shallow and transparent distraction for those that do not? (Speaking as a Zelda lover here, with mixed feelings on the matter.)

Interesting...

I'm not much of a Star Wars fan since I'm older, I've always thought Star Wars refused to grow up with its audience and tackle different things, so I think I'll like this one. Disney getting the rights and churning out yearly movies and with EA handling the game rights, I've all but given up on Star Wars, but this one can be the KotOR 2 of SW movies for me.

I hope.

I 'liked' Rogue One, but I can understand why you wouldn't like it, Marter.

To me, a lot of the reshot material stuck out like a sore thumb and there's a tonal clash between the slow and dark movie Gareth Edwards wants and the light-hearted fan service affair the Disney executives want. I enjoyed it, but I can't help but wonder what it would've been in the hands of someone who was given free reign to take Star Wars in a whole new direction.

I get why people are so polarized about it. Ultimately I liked it, but the film was sort of divided into two distinct halves.

With the first half being a total mess where they tried to pull off a ton of exposition far too quickly for you to start caring about any of the characters.

After which the second half sort of redeemed the film with its focus on a single situation and the sacrifices that those involved were willing to make. It also handled the conclusion of where it was all going very well.

It's a little bit like a reversed Prometheus, though I liked Rogue One a lot more than that film for some reason.

As for computerized Tarkin: that's some serious uncanny valley material.

Hmm, my take:

Plus-sides:

- Dope action.
- Not just a re-hash of a different Star Wars movie.
- K2.
- Darth Vader's end scene.

Downsides:

- Forced cameos.
- Inconsistent tonality.
- Loads of cliches/lazy writing.
- Not just lazy but also plain bad writing.
- Very slow and sloppy for the first two acts.
- Shallow characters.

I went there for the action and after being pretty bored for at least the first half, the battles at the end left me satisfied enough. Plenty of facepalm moments in terms of writing though. Ho boy. One and a half star is too harsh though, if you ask me. But defending it as a truly good movie seems pretty much impossible to me. If only it stuck to its strengths and didn't try to shovel in emotional attachment and exposition at such horrible speed.

MrFalconfly:
Completely 100% disagree.

I think Rogue One was probably one of the best films to ever take place in the Star Wars universe (yes, I think it's better than Empire).

5/5 stars easily.

Oh man, that'll take some explaining alright.

Cowabungaa:

Downsides:

- Forced cameos.
- Inconsistent tonality.
- Loads of cliches/lazy writing.
- Not just lazy but also plain bad writing.
- Very slow and sloppy for the first two acts.
- Shallow characters.

I went there for the action and after being pretty bored for at least the first half, the battles at the end left me satisfied enough. Plenty of facepalm moments in terms of writing though. Ho boy. One and a half star is too harsh though, if you ask me. But defending it as a truly good movie seems pretty much impossible to me. If only it stuck to its strengths and didn't try to shovel in emotional attachment and exposition at such horrible speed.

MrFalconfly:
Completely 100% disagree.

I think Rogue One was probably one of the best films to ever take place in the Star Wars universe (yes, I think it's better than Empire).

5/5 stars easily.

Oh man, that'll take some explaining alright.

I'm not sure I would go that far. I'm going to need to rewatch it a few times to be sure but I think it's close. That said the reasoning being:

chimeracreator:

Loved the movie, but I can definitely see how it would piss off someone.

But as a fan who quite literally got every goddamn reference in the movie, I had an amazing time in the theater.

I wonder if studio interference struck again, because as with Suicide Squad, there seems to be a shit ton of footage in the trailers that were not included in the final cut.

Pyrian:

chimeracreator:

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