So what did I think?
I loved it. I really did.
Yes, I like it better than The Force Awakens. It neither has the expectation surrounding that film nor does it have the oppressive weight of being the first new movie so it has a much easier task, none-the-less I still liked it more. I loved the action, I loved the characters, I loved the setup. I loved the nods to the original trilogy. Basically, there were very few things I didn’t like. And so because I can’t just like something let’s go over them:
- The Score: As per usual it’s all about sound for me and this score didn’t cut it, it was not even trying to be its own thing, it was basically like someone said “I need royalty free Star Wars music, can someone write cues that are LIKE the original score but not as good?”. Mind you this is not just Rogue One’s problem, most new scores for films in the last 10 years are crap. But it’s still disappointing. Especially when you are reminded of a much better score every few minutes. “Hey, that’s almost John Williams!”
- The sound effects: Interestingly while the visuals are this movies great strength, the sound lets it down terribly. A lack of imagination and fresh noise makes the audio experience just so-so.
- Grand Moff Tarkins voice: He looked ..um…fine?, but the voice was off. Peter Cushing talked like he was giving the world a lesson in perfect English diction, whereas the person providing the voice here was just ok. He acted well enough but for the effort they put in with the visuals they should have matched that with the sound.
- The Pilot: This was the one character that felt thin and insubstantial to me. I had no idea really what he was doing or why he was doing it. And I put that down to the acting. Did not like.
- The ridiculous way the Empire sends messages: “I need this sent out stat, so you’ll have to go get it, go to the top of the tower, walk out onto a gantry, align the dish, come back insert the tape into the outdoor reader, request the shield be dropped and sent the signal. HURRY!”
- Uncanny valley Leia: Just didn’t do it for me.
Alright, so what did I like?
- Everything else! To be honest I’m being really picky here. These things didn’t break the movie for me. Although I was surprised that CG Tarkin kept showing up. But seriously. This is a great movie. Ok fine here’s some great things about this movie.
- The production design and art work was perfect. It felt so Star Wars. The sense or scale was right. The shot of the dish moving into place on the Death Star was amazing.
- The last 10 minutes. WERE AMAZING.
- Darth Vader kicking ass. (not to mention him in a Bacta tank)
- Seriously everything else. I’ll be seeing this again.
- Y-wings!!! With Ion torpedos!! That’s the way you do it.
- Bail Organa. Yeah baby.