Reference Overdose! Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Review

After seeing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story my initial reaction was positive; I enjoyed it. However, as I reflected on the experience I discovered many significant flaws. In terms of world building the film is brilliant, but I thought the story and characters (the most vital elements of any piece) could’ve been a lot stronger.

Rogue One is essentially a prequel to A New Hope; it tells the story of Jyn Erso, a young woman who joins a group of resistance fighters to steal the Death Star plans for the Rebel Alliance.

It was obvious to me that the Original Trilogy was just a single story out of thousands in a shared world. Even though we only see the Galactic Civil War from the perspective of several characters, it’s clear that the Empire is ruling and oppressing hundreds of other worlds.

rogue-one-pic
Tastes like raw chicken…..

Rogue One shows us some of those worlds such as Jedha. This desert world is shown in the trailers so I’m not spoiling anything by examining it.

With a Star Destroyer always hovering over the capital city and Stormtroopers constantly stopping and searching civilians, the film visualises the fascist regime the Empire has established more clearly than the previous films. Throughout the sequence in the Jedha city there’re always little visuals reminding you of the Empire’s presence, even something as minor as Stormtroopers in the background.

The characters are quite weak, we don’t get to know their desires or backstories. They’re pretty vague hence difficult to empathize with.

Jyn Erso’s character however has the most development. Parts of her history are a bit unclear but we know that her father, who she hasn’t seen since she was a child, is a lead engineer on the Death Star. Jyn wants to track him down both for the weapon’s weakness and a reunion with her parent.

This plotline could’ve been stronger but Rogue One deserves credit for implementing such an emotionally engaging subplot in a story with an action-orientated premise.

The referencing is very gratuitous. Some of it is appropriate such as the appearances of Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin, however there are many references that feel forced. They are very distracting and makes Rouge One feel artificial.

In conclusion, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story presents an amazing view of the Star Wars universe but with weak characterizations its certainly not one of the best entries in the series.

I give Rogue One: A Star Wars Story a decent 6 out of 10.

UPDATE: Sorry for the lack of content recently, Uni and life are to blame but I haven’t got nothing, I have put some new stuff out there for you guys.

I’ve got a new article up on MoviePilot about ‘Enemy Mine’, one of my favorite films so go ahead and check that out. Also look on my Facebook Page for some illustrations I’ve posted, let me know what you think. Should I get a Deviantart account?

Unfortunately I haven’t had the time do any stuff for YouTube this Christmas but feel free to check out the little special I did last year.

Anyways, there should be more to come in this last week or so, so keep a look out. Hope you’re all having a Merry Christmas!

Thanks,

Luke

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