In the first spin-off of the Star Wars Universe, Rogue One is a prequel that will polarize audiences. If you still get excited while riding the nostalgia train that hosts visual throwbacks like blue milk, cameos from classic characters and one-liners from the original six films, then Rogue One will have you squeeing.
However, if you are in search of a unique story that is character driven, lead by a strong female protagonist all the while still wanting to support a property that you once loved due to blind loyalty, then Rogue One is matinee worthy of at least one viewing because it is severely lacking in those departments.
All hopes from Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) finally being the ideal heroine of the Star Wars Universe was dashed as she is regulated to a brooding, one-dimensional, vengeful, second-banana to Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), a more energetic brooding rebel who is on a secret mission within the mission as they search for Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), a rebel too rebellious for the Rebel Alliance.
Even more unfortunate, the antagonist Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) is the literal translation of, “caligula.” His character is nothing more than a little man playing dress up as a soldier with the temperament of a small child trying to hide his lisp. Krennic is a delta-male wishing to be 6-inches taller, hoping to win favor with higher ups of the Empire.
The worst character of them all was Darth Vader. Yes, our introduction to the Sith Lord is gasp worthy, unfortunately the uncredited actor has the height but no where near the presence that David Prowse did in the costume. Just because you put someone under the helmet doesn’t mean they are cut out to be Darth Vader, not even if James Earl Jones is voicing him.
Here’s the bigger spoiler…look down now… Vader cracks a joke at the expense of Krennic!!! Vader does not crack jokes!!!
Okay, you can look again, for a second.
The characters that made Rogue One enjoyable were, SPOILER Grad Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing who’s CGI was almost lifelike), new droid K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk), as well as monks Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang) who continuously recite a Jedi version of the Jesus Prayer.
Although Rogue One does have a tone closer to the original series, especially with the use of practical effects, it is nothing more than a fanfic film that adds nil to the Star Wars mythos except for a palatable explanation as to why it was so easy for Luke Skywalker to destroy the Death Star in A New Hope.
Rogue One opens nationwide December 16, 2016.