Rogue One review

Star wars rogue one

We have finally seen Rogue One. Our conclusions (with mild spoilers):

1. The first half of the movie gets a 4 out of 10. Too many jumps from point A to point B to point C, no character development, cheesy dialogue, and cinematography so dark that I wanted to reach out, pull up the Control Panel, and turn up the screen brightness.

2. However, the landscapes and spacescapes are spectacular. Really gorgeous special effects.

3. The second half of the movie almost redeems the first. It is edge-of-chair exciting, and takes a very daring step that I can’t ever recall seeing in a “heroic battle for good” movie. Also, the way in which a simple, low-tech solution is found to open a high-tech shield was brilliant and extremely fun to watch.

4. In the first half, the writers pull the tired old “character does incredibly stoopid act in order to further the plot.” Scene: good woman with gun confronts bad man with many armed guards. It has already been made clear that she expects to die and is willing to trade her life in order to kill the baddie. So does she pull the trigger? No! Instead she shouts, “You will never win!” and gives the baddie time to order his guards to mow her down, which they do. She never gets off a shot. This is such lazy writing. There are other ways to kill off a character and save the bad guy for later besides using the shortcut of “Oh! I know! Make her stoopid!”

5. There are apparently no women in the Empire. At all.

6. Though the Rebel Alliance has a female senator and one other female character with about six lines of dialogue, it is also extremely low on women. We did spot two female fighter pilots in the final battle. One of them actually had a line of dialogue. All other pilots, all other senators, all other generals/captains/soldiers were male. The hero of our story was female, but the entire remainder of the main cast, including every other member of her (quite large) raiding party, was male.

7. Judging by the swelling music, the cinematography, the copious-tears-mixed-with-torrential-rain, and the dialogue, we were supposed to be emotionally impacted by the death of a particular character. It had zero effect on me or my wife. Hint to writers: in order to engender emotion in the audience, you must first develop characters and their relationships.

8. However, we got a little sniffly over the death of a droid.

9. The best character in the whole movie was a droid.

About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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7 Responses to Rogue One review

  1. Ted says:

    100% on point.

  2. So true — all of it (especially the points about the droid)!

    One question: Who is it you are referring to in (7)? I know you don’t want to put out spoilers, so please reach out to me at my e-mail address (which I am hoping you can see as site owner), or via the contact form on my website, to let me know.

  3. Claire Hughes says:

    Thanks for the review. I needed a little background before I see the movie. Soooo sad about Carrie Fisher. My hero. I knew she had a heart attack, but thought she was going to be fine because so many people seem to recover from them. I was surprised to hear that she died. Other actresses, like Katherine Hepburn, have meant more to me than Ms. Fisher. But she was Princess Leia, iconic (I don’t know what that word means). I was pre teen when Star Wars came out, so she’s always been a heroine to me. I read Postcards From the Edge, and I could relate to her. Now I can see her as a person, not just a huge star. She’s gone, but send a prayer out for her, we all need some help along the way. I am going to miss you Ms. Fisher everytime I see you on the screen or your name on a book cover. You were truly taken too soon. Thank you for being so generous to share yourself with us. May we continue to learn from your life experience. Your fan, Claire

    • She was indeed a wonderfully honest, “real” person. And I have to wonder now if Debbie Reynolds did not die of a broken heart. Geez, this has been a tough year.

      (Katharine Hepburn was also my favorite — such class and such stubborn independence!)

  4. Mike says:

    Your review of Rogue One couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is one of the best Star War movies in years! You based how good it is on how many women had speaking parts or how they were portrayed. I think leaving your feminist activism at the door and enjoying a few hours to escape would do you and your readers good.

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