28 December 2016
I finally saw the new Star Wars film Rogue One today. It was a pleasant surprise! My expectations for the film were quite low, but it now ranks as my second favourite Star Wars film of all time, ranked behind only The Empire Strikes Back (and tied for second with A New Hope).
Here are three things that I especially liked about the film:
1. The character of the droid ‘K-2’. I think that this droid may now be my favourite in any Star Wars film. Sorry Chewy! (And I wonder if the name ‘K-2’ was a subtle reference to Inspector Jacques Clouseau’s sidekick from the original “Pink Panther” movies?)
2. The film explains what always struck me as an obvious hole with the original 1977 movie: namely, why the Death Star would include such a fatal flaw in its design, such that a single well-aimed shot from an X-wing fighter could destroy the whole thing. That Death Star design flaw now has a plausible rationale!
3. While the good guys succeed in their mission (this is no spoiler, at least not to anyone who has seen the original Star Wars film), it is not a traditional ‘happy ending.’ Instead, the ending is both tragic and hopeful.
Two minor criticisms:
a. The computer-generated ‘resurrection’ of Peter Cushing (who died in 1994) as ‘Grand Moff Tarkin’ struck me as rather creepy and even distasteful. Frankly, the film didn’t need to use Grand Moff Tarkin at all.
b. Forest Whitaker’s character ‘Saw Gerrara’ was pretty pointless. I was expecting more from him.
Those quibbles aside, though, Rogue One is my most pleasant movie surprise in a long time.
And the final scene with a young Princess Leia brought a tear to my eye. (RIP Carrie Fisher.)
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