Discussion post: What did you think of Rogue One?

It’s finally out! I said my piece earlier, and now it’s your turn: What did you think of Rogue One? Spoilers are allowed, so go nuts.

The rules, such as they are: Be polite to each other, and remember we have threaded comments so you can directly reply to someone if you so wish. Some comments may get caught up in moderation (particularly if you’ve never commented before,) but they will get approved eventually. I do have to sleep sometime.

15 Replies to “Discussion post: What did you think of Rogue One?”

  1. Loved it, but I kind of wish they hadn’t dovetailed it so neatly with ANH because the tone is so different. Vader doesn’t use his light saber to fight rebels in ANH because he doesn’t need too, it’s beneath him, and ships in ANH move slowly, showing their realistic weight. Everything moves so quickly in RO that it feels less real and less weighty than it does in ANH. Loved act 1 and 2, flgrwst characters, planets, designs and world building, but act 3 just felt like too much action and not enough character stuff. Just watched it so these are my initial thoughts. I think I’ll like it more the second time now that I know what to expect. Also, wish we got another martial arts scene, wish they had gotten someone else to do Vader voice–James Earl Jones sounds too old now, loved CG Tarkin, was creaped out by CG Leia, and was that Mustafar that Vader’s bachelor castle was built in because that would be a cool touch. One more thing: I live how clunky data storage is in the Star Wars universe :) they clearly don’t have our drive tech.

  2. It was good but I didn’t leave the first viewing elated as I did with TFA. Maybe that’s just the nature of the story and the necessary ending. Repeat viewing will be needed before I can really say how it stacks up to what’s come before. I loved some of the little touches like having the pilots from ANH. The space battle in general was superb. I loved the Vader scenes and I’m sure that many fans will have a new Snoke theory. The planets and places were great Star Wars settings.

    The score was beautiful and there was a wonderful musical callback to ROTJ when the code checked out and they got through the shield.

    CGI Tarkin took a little while to get used to but mostly worked. It was important for him to be there and this was way better than the prosthetic version from ROTS. CGI Leia worked for me even if it was a little shocking.

    I thought the conversation about Obi Wan would have been much stronger if they had mentioned him by name.

    1. I was genuinely horrified by undead Peter Cushing. I reserved telling the movie to fuck itself, though, for blatant reuse of lines and footage of the pilots from ANH. Leia just looked fake. This time it may be better NOT viewed in a theater.

  3. I must admit it was a joy to see Peter Cushing on the screen again. It took some getting used to at first, then I just enjoyed it.

    The technology still isn’t fully there yet but it is almost there. Give it another year and it will be indistinguishable.

    The CGI in the TV show Westworld where it showed a younger CGI Anthony Hopkins paved the way via ILM for Hollywood to resurrect Tarkin and a younger Leia.

    I bet they digitally tinker and ‘smooth’ it out even more for the blu-ray releases too. They did the same thing with Snoke in TFA and a few other shots of Unkar Plutt in the blu-ray releases.

    It was certainly disheartening to see that certain scenes in the trailers never appeared in the movie. Maybe they are deleted or extended scenes for the blu-ray? I would have liked to see more of Mon Mothma. Also, was Leia on Yavin IV? It would certainly explain R2 & 3P0 being there before the battle at Scarif.

    It was visually lush and beautiful, a feast for the eyes.

    I have also waited over 30 years to see Vader’s castle on Mustafar too. A Macquarrie painting finally came to life.

    It is a shame the Emperor wasn’t in it – even a hologram would have sufficed. It also was great to see ‘The Ghost’ and Chopper from Rebels on Yavin IV too. I am sure I missed loads of other stuff, but I am fresh in from watching the movie.

    1. I missed Chopper and don’t know the Ghost’s look well enough to spot it. I did however hear a ‘General Syndulla’ being called over the intercom.

  4. I thought it worked great with ANH. The look and feel felt right, and the ANH clips mixed in fit perfectly. Visually it was stunning. Loved that the first glimpse of Vader in regalia was a shadow. LOVED Mustafar! LOVED the sheer amount of women and non-whites.

    CGI Tarkin did not work for me. At ALL. And I’m not one who hates CGI. I didn’t mind CGI Yoda in TPM. I just don’t think we’re at a high enough level yet to really pull off CGI humans in a live-action movie. Almost, but not quite. It felt too much like Polar Express (which I HATE, largely because the CGI humans are creepy). Leia bothered me a tiny bit less if only because she had so little screen time.

    Story-wise I thought it was great except for the last bit where the Tantive IV was there. I’d always imagined it elsewhere, a remote recipient of “a transmission beamed aboard this ship.” I’m not sure how Leia really thought she was going to pull off her diplomatic mission story if her ship was literally seen escaping from the rebel fleet at the battle itself. But that’s a single viewing and I’m willing to be convinced it’s more logical than it seems at first blush. Otherwise, it fit wonderfully with ANH, and with Mustafar’s inclusion, made a nice bridge between ANH and ROTS.

    Overall, I am very pleased.

    1. Yeah, I always imagined Leia getting the plans in a secret way–now I know why that scenes rubbed me the wrong way. They should have beamed the plans to her from a distance, and somehow Vader’s ship tracked them. Oh well.

  5. Just saw it and it was so exciting! usually my first impressions of new movies are very enthusiastic and dampen over time so take this with a grain of salt but I LOVED IT. Loved jyn, cassian, chirrut, k2so, VADER. From my wondeful 2nd row seats the cgi looked pretty good, but i need to see it again farther from the screen.
    did the death of jyn and cassian remind anyone of the kissing atomic bomb couple from watchmen?

  6. Really enjoyed seeing a new look at at Star Wars part of the Star Wars universe. Enjoyed the fan service but also enjoyed that the film was its own film and able to follow a different tune in a sense. K2SO was great fun, as were some of the Rogues. Pacing was a lil uneven at the start but an epic finish served to make this a strong movie. 4/5 as a movie, 5/5 for fan service.

  7. Honestly…eh. I did love Michael Giacchino’s score. I like him anyway, and he outdid himself here. And I enjoyed the droid and the characters who wandered in from a samurai film.

    However…first, completely repulsed by undead Peter Cushing. There was something Uncanny Valley-levels of ‘off’ every time he was on screen. Thought the de-age on Carrie Fisher was ‘off’ too (Leia’s head looked too big or something; it might work better on DVD) and I have to say, maybe it’s that I tend to remember things like inflection in great detail so I KNEW the lines but the fact that they directly ripped both video and audio from ANH to use as the pilots from Red and Gold flight was so distracting it completely wiped out my ability to be ‘in’ the movie. I have never said “Oh, f*ck you, movie” to a Star Wars film on first viewing before. Beyond just the CG tricks there, it really just felt like too much trying to cram in too many Easter eggs and making it fit with ANH (a couple people have pegged what nagged at me about the very end–everything before suggested the plans were intercepted and sent to Leia, not literally handed to her five minutes before the movie started.) Vader on Mustfar/Mordor (what, did Sauron’s next of kin have an estate sale?) felt like straight-up pandering to people who felt like we didn’t get enough Darth Vader in the prequels. And I cannot believe I’m becoming this big an armor geek but I need to see side-by-sides of the costumes from this and ANH. Something is off. Also, the physical performance and even some of the lines just came across as wrong.

    Also, I came out not really sure what I was supposed to take away from the new characters as I never really got to know them. If I hadn’t read Catalyst, I’d have no idea what was going on with Galen, Lyra, and Krennic, which means the relationship between Krennic and Jyn, ostensible protagonist, would be even more vague. If the goal was “war is hell *and* everyone involved in it is pretty awful”, I guess mission sort of accomplished? That’s the most humanizing treatment I’ve seen of the stormtroopers outside the cartoons (where they’re mostly butt monkeys killed for laughs, with a bit of that here, but it’s more obvious there are people in the armor). Saw is outright detestable and no, you can’t dump that on the Empire any more than you can dump the Taliban on the Soviet Union. (Tom Clancy could get away with that in the 1980s. It doesn’t work any more.) With no real context, I can’t tell why he and Galen Erso were close, and I CAN see that he tortures a helpless defector. Is this to make me okay with him and all his people getting blown up? Because I am. Meanwhile, the Rebel Alliance is being run about as effectually as the Old Republic. I am really not buying Mon Mothma as a great leader here. I loved the guys who wandered in from “Zatoichi” but sadly they weren’t really in focus much. Meanwhile, I’m not quite sure what Cassin (?) and his issues were. I mean, okay, he’s been in this since he was six, and…..so? I give them props for his being REALLY dark and that argument with Jyn not having a clear answer that I could see, but it’s never really resolved, then they die. Props again for not making anything romantic out of it, too, but….

    Here’s where the movie COULD have saved itself as a gritty war movie for me–the ending dragged a bit, but okay, we’re down to just Jyn and Krennic. Okay. I would have a lot more respect for the writing if they had left Cassin dead instead of a fakeout and if, Jyn having successfully transmitted the plans, Krennic didn’t let her monologue and just shot her. THEN let him realize that Tarkin’s going to blow the base with him on it, and…maybe he’s bitter. Maybe he can even laugh. But he then loses big and ironically and with the extra jab that he thinks for a moment he won, and we don’t get a drawn-out ending that doesn’t really serve a purpose. If we’re going to rush through to five minutes before Episode IV, the really drawn-out end on the planet is a bit much.

  8. I liked the film much better upon seeing it a second time – simply because I think the pacing works better that way — of course, when I first see a Star Wars film I’m so much in “I WANT TO KNOW” mode that I can’t really enjoy the film on its own merits.

    So – apparently they used a bunch of CGI on characters — I hadn’t known it was CGI, my wife and I just thought that they found some actors who did a really good job. I wonder if you didn’t know that there was CGI if it would bother you as much (I’ll have to see if it bothers me upon another viewing). Do we nit-pick how the CGI looks much, much more than we would simply an actor in make-up making a close approximation?

    As for the film itself – I think the seedy, in-fighting Rebellion was… interesting. It undercuts the standard “good vs evil” take that the OT pushed… there wasn’t a moral grey zone, it was good vs evil. However, the Empire is just really, really nasty here. And I liked that.

    This definitely was a war movie – and I liked the heroic deaths. I actually liked the death on the beach aspect – it was just a good, happy defiant sort of death – hope and contentment and joy even in the face of death. They won – even as they run out of chances. Nice twist.

    I do think the last five minutes serves to really set Anakin’s fall. As ROTS begins, Anakin wants to go back and help the clones. We see in R1 that he can be the boarding party all by himself (when time is of the essence). But with ANH – well, they are captured, they aren’t going anywhere – what’s a few more dead stormtroopers (whom I will casually stare at when I enter)? I’ll not be bothered with it. It just makes his entrance in ANH not only grand but also callous.

  9. At first I didn’t like that the Rebellion was just a bunch of people shouting at each other around a table, and that the Rogue One team just went on a mission without approval, but I think it works. I like the idea that the Rebellion is run like a true democracy, and all the messiness that that entails. It makes sense that early in their efforts they’re just a bunch of senators that can’t agree on a course of action and that their cut-throat intelligence group acts without any approval. I think it took Leia and Luke and their victory over the Empire in ANH to get the group more organized so by Empire and Jedi we see them acting more like a government and less like a group of rogues.

  10. I absolutely loved it, but I think that’s because unlike TFA, I went in totally cold. I didn’t read an article about this, never watched a single trailer. And sure there are nits to pick here and there, but I thought it was absolute Star Wars bliss. A true love letter to the franchise, to ANH, and to the fans themselves that, unlike other such efforts, completely holds together as a great film. I went with a group of people ranging from one guy who had never seen *any* SW movie before to some big fans (but not as big as me), and everyone adored it for their own reasons. And what a joy it is to see a *well acted* and *well written* SW effort!

    Also, this movie did something no other SW property (including TFA) has ever done, and that is make me truly realize the scope and scale and sheer terror of the Empire. Nothing has ever made the industrial edifice of the Empire seem so real and so scary. And never has any SW effort make the empire seem so *competent.* They felt like a real threat here, for the first time ever. And kudos for a resistance that is complicated and conflicted enough to feel real and tough-as-nails up to the task, not cartoon.

    One question, when Mothma and Organa are talking about “the Jedi,” does he say, “I’d trust *her* or *him* with my life?” I heard “her,” and thought Asoka, but others heard “him,” and thought Obi Wan. What’s the verdict?

  11. He said her, but that was a reference to Leia, whom he was trusting with the job of going to get the Jedi. The Jedi referenced was indeed Obi-Wan.

    1. @Kelly, Ah, ok, I see. So that places this right before ANH, and considering it’s *the* Jedi and the Ghost and Chopper are in the movie, that means that while the ship and Hera (announced over the loudspeaker as General Syndulla) make it to Rogue One, I presume Ezra, Kanan, and Asoka don’t.

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