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11. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – This Just In (#152)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, This Just In is a subset of the fortnightly The 250 podcast, looking at notable new arrivals on the list of the 250 best movies of all-time, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

podcast-rogueone1

Show Notes:

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2 Responses

  1. NOTE, THIS COMMENT HAS SPOILERS.
    Well, I saw the film today, and in my opinion it is a disappointment. The visuals were gorgeous, though the CGI characters were pretty disturbing. Michael Giacchino did a good job with the score, even if it occasionally felt a little bit too much like John William’s scores. There were two major problems with the film, however. One, was the plot. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story feels torn between two extremes.” The first half is incredibly bleak and depressing with there being no character to latch onto, but then the second half is just an over long video game. These two tones are incredibly jarring, and it really feels as if two films were mushed together. But then, the ending is incredibly depressing when all the main characters die. It’s like the film realized that it had become to light weight, and suddenly wanted to make things tragic. The other problem with the two halves is that in the first half, the rebel alliance acts pretty despicably. This would be fine if there was some follow through, but there isn’t, as in the second half, we are just supposed to blindly cheer the rebels again.

    The other major problem with the films is the characters. None of them are developed well at all, and after having seen the film I have trouble remembering any of their names. This is not a good sign. Jyn is the closest, as she actually changes throughout the movie, but this characterization is badly done. At the beginning, she is allegedly a rogue maverick, but then after her father dies, suddenly she is delivering inspiring speeches and urging the rebel alliance to fight, and doesn’t feel like the same character at all. Also, her relationship with her father is not developed well at all either. We never really see her share a tender moment with her father as a child, nor do we really see her anger at his leaving her. Thus, the scene where she sees him as a hologram explaining himself falls completely flat because we have only just barely met Jyn. The other characters have zero personality beyond being the force guy, the guy with a big gun, the former imperial pilot guy, the seemingly cold, but secretly has a heart of gold guy, and the villain. We never find out why the imperial pilot defected, or why force guy and guy with a big gun do what they do. There is a brief line about Cassian fighting the empire, since he was six. That is it, as we never out anything else that drives him. There is also Forrest Whitaker who seems like he is going to be important, but then for no apparent reason decides to stay on a planet that is going to be blown up and die. It seems like a waste of a pretty good actor. Furthermore, there is Jyn’s father, who again we never find out why he is working against the empire. Is it because of the death star? Well, what did he think when they asked him to start building it? Did he think it was going to be for spreading rainbows? I was truly confused by his actions. The main villain, Krennic, was also pretty dull, and honestly he could have been cut from the movie with not much being different. Just stick Darth Vader in any of his scenes, and it would have made little difference.

    • Oddly enough, while I agree very much with the jarring transition between the two halves of the film, I actually quite liked the characters.

      I did think Jyn’s transition from rogue to rebel was awkward, but I think that there was enough character to get around that. I liked Andor as a man haunted by the things that he has done. I liked the recurring motif that all of the characters were “broken.” I particularly liked Krennic as a social striver villain, the guy in the office who so desperately craves the bosses’ attention but never actually receives it. I think, for a film about characters who exist at the fringe of the Star Wars narrative, Krennic was the perfect choice.

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