This was easily the best movie of the year- don't argue with me because you can't change my mind on this. And I saw some very good movies this year. I'm a pretty large Star Wars fan, though I'm definitely of the newer breed. The first Star Wars movie I saw in theaters was Revenge of the Sith and I wasn't wowed at the time. It took me until last summer before I went off to college to actually sit down and watch the original trilogy... and completely fall in love. With everything! And then I saw the prequels and pretty much forgot they happened. And then Force Awakens came out and it is (in my opinion) in the top three Star Wars films. This one, alongside Episode 5, rounds out those top three. Don't fight me- I'm right.
Rogue One is darker than every other Star Wars film for a number of reasons, but most of those have to do with the final act of the film. It's not just the deaths that take place but the way the battle scenes and general cinematography work to mimic WW2 fighting and death. It's a surreal parallel that works incredibly well both because the Empire has always been based on Nazi Germany but because those are classic images for the Western audiences watching. It makes the War in Star Wars more real than all the previous films have really managed to.
A big reason it worked so well to seem like real war was the range of characters. First of all- the main cast featured a woman leading a group of POC men (and the best robot in the whole franchise- sorry R2, C3PO, and BB8) who didn't treat her any different for being a woman and was supported by a range of characters we've seen before and are only being introduced to now but they feel as if they could have been part of the original trilogy as well. I'm not a POC but I have seen so many reactions online from viewers and fans who are and some of their reactions- those of joy (seriously go read some you'll be touched to the heart and really understand what diversity means for people)- have made me cry (in happiness of course!). I'm so happy this was the direction this movie went because if there wasn't a more perfect time for this sort of representation I don't know when is. Second of all- there wasn't really anything extraordinary about any of the characters. Of course, they were all special and important, but none of them were a Jedi or a Sith. And that made all the difference. One of the reasons the prequel trilogy doesn't live up to the original is because the prequels only feature a bunch of "special snowflakes" basically. This one doesn't revolve around any and it makes them interesting for different reasons and also made everything they did- all their struggles and everything they achieved- mean so much more.
You don't need to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy this movie. In fact, if you've wanted to become a Star Wars fan this is the perfect place to start. I've seen the "proper" watching order swirl around the internet a bit, and if you're interested in jumping into the franchise this is the order I'd recommend:
- Rogue One
- A New Hope
- The Empire Strikes Back
- The Phantom Menace
- The Clone Wars
- The Revenge of the Sith
- The Return of the Jedi
- The Force Awakens
As soon as Rogue One releases onto DVD I will be having the aforementioned movie marathon and I couldn't be more excited.
Have you seen it? What did you think? Were you a ball of emotions afterwards, constantly thinking about what you just witnessed, as I currently am? Most importantly- WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER? Let me know in the comments!