Rogue One review: High in nostalgia, low in originality

By Nicholas Gower

I came to the theater with an open mind about this movie. After seeing The Force Awakens, I was concerned about the future of Star Wars. Was Disney going to churn out new Star Wars movies every single year, each one duller than the last? After seeing this movie, I can answer that question with a yes.

Rogue One takes place right before A New Hope, and is the story of how the rebel alliance stole the Death Star plans. The protagonist, Jyn Erso, is a girl whose father was forced to work on the Death Star, with the threat of death if he refuses.This leaves Jyn stuck on her home planet, without her family. Fifteen years later, Jyn finds out that her father intentionally left weaknesses in the Death Star’s design, which can be exploited by the Rebel alliance. Jyn, along with a team of other Rebels, must break into an Imperial base, and steal the plans.

Unfortunately, this film has many problems. The story lacks suspense. Since this is a prequel, we already know what is going to happen; Jyn steals the plans, and transmits them to the alliance, who transmits the data to Princess Leia’s ship. I’m sure that 95% of people who watched knew this would happen before they even watched the movie. Because of this, any excitement you experience is diffused by you knowing the beginning of A New Hope.

If you look at other reviews of this movie, they will often praise the final battle of this movie, mostly the large amount of action scenes in it. While it does have good action, you don’t care about any of the characters.

In Star Wars: A New Hope, not only were there exciting action scenes, with great special effects, but we cared about the characters in the movie. With Rogue One, the characters are dull. Jyn Erso was as bland as a hero can get.

The execs at Disney fail to understand that just because your character is a woman, does not mean she’s a good character. Like Rey from Force Awakens, Jyn has no character beyond being a copy and pasted version of Luke in a woman’s body.

I judge a movie by how memorable the characters are. With Rogue One, I could only remember the name of the main character. All the other characters were unmemorable, being about as unique as a stormtrooper.

Most of Rogue One’s enjoyment comes from the massive amount of references crammed into the film. Many existing characters make an appearance in the film, including, but not limited to Darth Vader, Grand moff Tarkin, Bail Organa, C-3PO, R2D2, and Princess Leia, who’s an extremely realistic cgi model, indistinguishable from the real Carrie Fisher.

Overall, this movie is best compared to the Star Wars Prequel trilogy. The action scenes are good, the special effects are passable, but the fact that we already know the ending, plus the dull characters, mean I’m giving this movie a 4/10. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll get what you want, but if you aren’t a fanboy, avoid it like the plague.

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