By Bonnie DeShong, Chicago Crusader
In 1977, I was 25 years old and Star Wars was the best movie I had ever seen. I have seen it at least fifty times and can honestly say that all the Star War films that have followed the original have never really grabbed me until Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Why? This is the first film that I really liked and became involved with the characters. I wanted to know more about who they were and how they came together. What was their back story? I cared about them to a point I had to stop myself from displaying emotion during certain scenes.
Director Gareth Edwards did an excellent job in bringing us into the dirt, grit, and understanding of the characters. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is a woman who was raised for the most part by outlaw rebel Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) and then suddenly left alone to fend for herself. Rebel officer and assassin Cassian Ander (Diego Luna) does what he is told whether he likes it or not. He doesn’t like Jyn but they soon come to depend on each other. Neither is as they seem and the relationship that develops is one of being comrades.
There are many wonderful characters that make up the eclectic band of rebels who set out to steal the plans of the Death Star. My favorite character of them all is Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), a blind monk that sees all. Jyn meets him in Jedha when she is looking for Saw. Chirrut is a martial arts expert whose walking stick becomes a powerful weapon. He is funny, fierce, loving, and believes with all his heart in the Force.
K2SO is a 7ft reprogrammed Imperial guard, who is now loyal to the Alliance but more to his owner, or in K2’s eyes, his partner Cassian Ander. The actor Alan Tudyk who plays K2 does an amazing job in bringing emotions and feelings to the droid. He is funny and intelligent not played as a cute, quirky machine as C-3PO. You really begin to love and respect him as a fighter for the cause.
Even though Darth Vader (voice of James Earl Jones) is in the film, but the true villain is Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). He is dangerous because he isn’t heavy like Darth Vader. He is dangerous because he executes his power with a humor or lightness about it. He doesn’t care who he kills or tortures to get what he needs for the Empire and his rise to power.
The costumes, set design and cinematography are important characters of this film. You taste the grit, see the beauty, and feel the heat of the fire.
The only down side for me, was the score sometimes got in the way of the action. The music is nice but sometimes intrusive.
There are so many great things about Rogue: A Star Wars Story but I want you to go to the theaters and experience them. This is one of those films that you need to see on the big screen.
Spend the money, buy some popcorn and see Rogue: A Star Wars Story!
Until next time, keep your EYE to the sky!