Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


Summary: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a tyrannical empire is finishing the construction of a planet killer weapon known as the Death Star. But the Force flows in mysterious ways and it leads Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), daughter of Death Star architect Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), to come across the Rebel Alliance. While the Alliance initially recruits her to make contact with an ex-compatriot named Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), she discovers a message from her father concerning the Death Star and how to destroy it. Of course, going against the might of the Empire is no easy feat, especially when their Advanced Weapons Research Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) is determined to propel his career with this machine of death. But Jyn has her own motley crew to fight Krennic’s forces: an Alliance Intelligence operative named Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), a jittery Imperial defector pilot named Bohdi Rook (Riz Ahmed), a snarky Imperial droid reprogrammed for the cause named K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), a blind monk strong in the Force named Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), and a one-man armory named Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen). Rebels and Imperials collide in a gritty battle for the future of the galaxy with Jyn right in the thick of it.

Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story blew me right out of my boxers. It was that good. Admittedly, you know part of the end coming in because the film goes directly into A New Hope, but the details make it a must-see movie. Besides, being a midquel doesn’t lessen the impact of any of the characters, who are all memorable and well-acted. The standouts this time around are Chirrut who is ten leagues of awesome, and K-2SO* who gets a laugh with nearly every line. Jyn isn’t the most interesting hero the cinemas have ever seen, but she can still sell the emotions and trials she goes through enough to make her compelling.

*I do have to appreciate that, for the first time in his six Disney films, Alan Tudyk gets to play a heroic role. Moana doesn’t count because that chicken should have been claimed by natural selection ten times over.

I also have to give props for this being the most progressively casted Star Wars movie to date. It’s not just having female pilots sprinkled in the background, there are people right in the forefront from ethnic backgrounds we haven’t seen in Star Wars before. Amidst the main cast are a Hispanic, two Asians, and a Pakistani, which are pretty bold choices considering the current climate against those groups trumped up by, well… you know who. There are even women of color seen in the Rebel Alliance, which goes a long way to make the galaxy seem like a much larger place.

On top of being inclusive to different ethnic groups, it’s also includes much from the Expanded Universe. It acknowledges it heavily, from including ships, droids, and names from the TV series Rebels in the background to Forest Whitaker’s character actually having debuted in an episode of The Clone Wars. It sends a strong message to the fans that everything is connected, something that Lucas’ six movies were never truly able to convey and that the Marvel Cinematic Universe still has yet to do. The costumes, props, sets, and some returning actors and characters all invoke the original feel of Star Wars and it should be commended… except when they go too far. There are scenes where Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin appear in them, so to keep it authentic, they use CGI to digitally recreate their faces on other actors’ bodies. It’s… distracting, to say the least.

This is also the most brutal Star Wars movie to date, actually feeling like a real, gritty war. There’s one scene where X-Wings need to get through a closing shield and one barely doesn’t make it. The unlucky pilot doesn’t just disappear in an explosion; you see his starfighter come apart in detail and skid across the shield. It’s like that throughout the final battle and especially the ending. [SPOILERS! DO NOT READ THIS BEFORE YOU SEE THE MOVIE!] Despite succeeding in retrieving the Death Star plans, Jyn and every single member of her entourage die onscreen. This would be a gutsy enough move for Disney of all companies, but you also get to see it up close and personal, from Chirrut being riddled with blaster bolts to Jyn and Cassian being consumed by an explosion as they hug. That’s to say nothing of the short scene with Darth Vader that follows. [SPOILERS OVER!] You even get to see the Death Star’s damage up close and even if it isn’t at full power, it’s still terrifying to make you believe that this is a galactic weapon of mass destruction.

Some people may think this proves that an action movie headed by a woman can still be a hit with audiences. I say this proves that the Star Wars franchise is in good hands with Disney. In addition to closing up A New Hope’s biggest plot hole, it shows tremendous respect for everything that came before and the fans that made it what it is today. The fanservice isn’t even that intrusive, though there are some moments that tie it to other films that feel a bit clunky. All in all, it’s out of this world.

Fun Tidbit: Like Finding Dory, there’s actually a few that I noticed here. I’ll keep it short because as a Star Wars fan, this section could take up 50 pages if I don’t reign myself in.

Fun Tidbit #1: So we’ve got the CGI Tarkin and Leia, but we also have Jimmy Smitts returning as Bail Organa and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader. Guess what? The woman who played Rebel leader Mon Mothma is also reprising her role. Oh, it’s not Caroline Blakiston, who played her in Return of the Jedi and is now 83. Genevieve O’Reilly was tapped to play her in Revenge of the Sith, but her scenes got cut. Guess someone thought she deserved better because she’s back in the role, echoing Blakiston’s performance to a tee.

Fun Tidbit #2: When we first meet Chirrut, he’s walking the streets of Jehda City saying, “May the Force of Others be with you.” While this seems like a clever way to disguise his faith in the Force as mysticism mumbo-jumbo (and it probably is), it actually pays lip service to the original draft of the Star Wars script, where that was what they said instead of the “May the Force be with you” we have today. You can still see that script in comic form in The Star Wars, which I reviewed not too long ago.

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