I finally got to go and see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story last night. As a warning to those few other poor souls who haven't seen it, there are spoilers below.
First off, this is a war movie. There is death and destruction, not just of extras, or some scenery. Massive scale death, and the Empire at it's most evil. Seriously just destroying whole cities, rebels, civilians, and Imperial forces alike without a second thought. Rogue One really shows you just how bad the Empire was, and how little those in power cared.
Lets talk about the ships. You get lots of X-Wings, Y-Wings, Star Destroyers and of course the Death Star. But you also get several of these fun little transports. The U-Wing! Clearly an Incom design that fits in very well with the aesthetic of the other rebel ships. I especially like how stripped down it is. Clearly not designed for long flights.
There we're also a bunch of Tie variants that we haven't seen (in the movies) before, and a few other ships from the TV shows that made their way to the big screen like the hammerhead. I also really liked seeing the AT-AT and AT-ST doing their thing. And when the AT-AT was hit by the missile, and shrugged it off? Awesome!
While Jyn Erso (above) was the 'main character' of the movie, it really was a rather diverse ensemble cast. I wish we had gotten more time to get to know them. As it was, everything was a bit rushed, and there wasn't a whole lot of time for character development.What we got though? A great cast. Diego Luna as Captain Cassian Andor pulled off a character that could easily have come off as a total ass. Alan Tudyk as K-2S0, the droid without a filter for his mouth, was not only perfect, but absolutely accurate to any droid character I've had played at my table. Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang as Chirrut Îmwe and Blaze showed exactly how non-jedi force sensitives should work in Star Wars.
Seeing all the female pilots fighting in the main battle was great, but I wish that some more of the main cast had been female. Same with the squad in the beach scenes. Seems like a missed opportunity.
What was really interesting character-wise was Grand Moff Tarkin, as played by Peter Cushing's CGI doppelganger. As far as the uncanny valley goes, I think we've reached the point where we're heading out of it. It was a little weird at first, but my brain quickly accepted it. The brief appearance of Princess Leia wasn't on screen long enough for my brain to accept it, but by that point Jar Jar could have popped up and it wouldn't have thrown me out of the movie.
Darth Vader... Holy hell, so that's what a Sith Lord looks like in the prime of his badassery! Throughout Episodes 4-6 Vader was always a presence, and impressive, but never did I feel terrified by him. This? This was scary, tossing rebel troops around like dolls, and not even breaking a sweat doing it.
I very much appreciate how this wasn't a story of the Skywalker family. It's a really big universe, and there are lots of tales to tell.
It was a really good movie, and the ending... uff... I mean, I guessed that's how it would end, but even still, I felt it. Still feeling it, really. I think I need to see it again though to solidify my thoughts on it.
Only 357 days till Episode 8... not that I'm counting or anything.