Details from IMDB:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Rogue One (original title)
8.2/10

123,838

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 16 December 2016 (USA)

The Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.

Director:

Gareth Edwards

Writers:

Chris Weitz (screenplay), Tony Gilroy (screenplay) |3 more credits »

 

Initial Thoughts:
Another December, another Star Wars movie, Disney sure is making for a great pre-Christmas tradition. I had my ticket for this bought in November, I had faith this would be another excellent Star Wars movie and I was right. I also had little doubt I would see this more than once in theaters (I’m the first of my friends to see it) and I will see it again after Xmas.
Main Points:
This is my blog and I want to talk about the plot for a movie I love, so I’ll say
SPOILER ALERT!
It’s weird putting that with a before that takes place before Episode IV: A New Hope but to the film’s credit there are a couple of excellent surprises. First though I should talk about the beginning, this film is a clear departure from all the other Star Wars movies, there is no opening crawl, no music from John Williams (though I enjoyed the music I still missed it) and it doesn’t even put “Star Wars” on the screen, just “Rogue One”.  Also I found the first half-hour of the movie to be slow, there are a lot of different planets involved and the characters need to come together and introduce them. I understand this on a writer’s level but I still think it’s the only slow part of the film and it could have been cut down.
This movie is also the first time ever, that I know of, where a character from a cartoon series is played by a real person. I am talking about Saw Gerrera played by Forest Whitaker (who did a great job with a small part). This was a great way to tie the new Star Wars universe together (he was on Clone Wars and will soon be on Rebels). Speaking of tie-ins there are several nice little nods spread throughout the film, from little things like blue milk to more significant ones like R2-D2 and C-3P0.
Of course the other really impressive (and I did not find creepy) is Governor Tarkin (played by the late Peter Cushing) the credits list him as being played by Guy Henry but from what I understand his was just there mainly for motion capture. It is amazing that they could use his character so much while the actor passed away over 20 years ago! I could not tell that it wasn’t him, while some people may have found it offensive I thought it was a great tribute to Cushing and of course it was done with the family’s permission.
As for acting, special effects, 90% of the story, excellent! I have complete faith in Disney to deliver an excellent Star Wars movie every year (as I do in their Marvel movies, just for them it’s more than once a year.) This movie is truly a war movie, there is a plenty of action, some cool spy stuff and of course Darth Vader! For the first time ever we see Vader (well just a little bit but it’s him) completely out of his suit, healing in a Bacta tank. I should add here that the film has a nice spattering of humor in it. Vader even makes a joke! Speaking of Vader, holy crap! Towards the end of the film Vader boards and Rebel ship and just takes out about 50 guys! For a Vader fan it was phenomenal! For the first time ever in a movie you really get so see what the chosen one can do.
Ultimately this a a sad film, all these new characters are introduced (KT-S0 is just fantastic!) only to have them all killed. The final tie-in with “A New Hope” is perfect and of course there is the fact that FINALLY the major flaw in the Death Star is explained! Having the flaw put there on purpose by a rebel sympathizer (I suppose technically even a Rebel who just died before most people knew what he did) was a brilliant idea. Of of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t add the space battle, WOW! Just amazing, it looked great and was truly a delight to watch. Having the Empire and Rebels fight both in space and on the surface at the same time certainly made for some amazing moments on film.
Final Thoughts:

Well as you can clearly see by the light I loved this movie. My thanks to Gareth Edwards, Disney and everyone else involved in this film, excellent work, you made this Star Wars fan very happy. Upon contemplation I have to give this a higher rating than Force Awakens while it doesn’t have the usual Jedi VS Sith it is a very original, fun and fan-pleasing film. So a very strong 8.5 out of 10 for me. Do yourself a favor and go see this over Xmas, you won’t regret it. Please no small children, lots of violence and some blood, so ages 14+. Obviously I highly recommend it. Also I’ll take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, I’ll post again before the new year, have a great holiday weekend everyone!