First Person Reviews of “Rogue One”

Jake Reed, Zak DeBaggis, and Drew Carlson

Jake: Even as a self proclaimed die-hard Star Wars fan, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into. I don’t watch the TV series Rebels, so I was not familiar with much of the lore surrounding Rogue One’s series of events; however, this was minor matter, because the film did a fine job getting me integrated with the unfamiliar characters. I have a difficult time comparing the Star Wars films with each other and giving them “rankings”, because I find value and entertainment in every film (even that shrill CGI-bomb that unforgivably gave the world Jar Jar Binks). Although the film in terms of timeline butts up closer to A New Hope, I found the overall ambiance more comparable to Revenge of the Sith. This is certainly a dark, dark film, as one who is familiar with the menace of Darth Vader (that’s not a spoiler, he is clearly shown in the trailer) and his minions would expect. Although some scenes can feel just a little too heavy, I guarantee you will cheer at the sheer awesomeness of the bad-guy-busting heroes, including very well acted performances by Felicity Jones and Diego Luna. I feel obligated to point out that the incarnation of Grand Moff Tarkin was recreated using entirely CGI, as the original actor from A New Hope passed away over 20 years ago. While this has angered quite a few folks, I thought he was a real character until I read a scathing superfan review after watching the film. Personally, I don’t agree with the idea of recreating an actor entirely from CGI; but I felt that Tarkin was done tastefully enough and with enough detail to satisfy me. Besides a few strange producing choices like CGI Tarkin, this is a well executed film which includes characters people can relate to and empathize with. Also, don’t forget some very subtle cameos that tip the hat to the die-hards (“he doesn’t like you….I don’t like you”). Breathe easy, people who think this film deviates too far from the film’s roots: there will be plenty of the Force, space battles, and Death Star destruction to go around (once again, all in the trailer). But I digress. I loved it. The ending was one of the finest moments of pure Star Wars joy put to screen. Absolutely worth a ticket.

Rating: 92/100


Zak: I went into the theater with high expectations and also having no idea what to expect. I left the theater not really knowing what to think of it. After having some time to think and assess what I truly felt about the movie, I can conclude that Rogue One is a decent movie. With that said I do not think this movie is great. When I first saw The Force Awakens I was in awe and speechless on how to describe the movie, with Rogue One I left thinking “that was cool.” That is exactly what this movie is: a cool movie with a lot of entertainment. From start to finish I was entertained and was happy with how this movie ties in with the original Star Wars movie. The impressive CG used was without a doubt phenomenal, especially with how they recreated some memorable characters all through CGI. That was one of the best features that the film brought, the ability to bring back characters and make them look and sound real. The acting in this movie was fine too, with a great performance by Felicity Jones who played Jyn Erso, and an all around good performance from the rest of the cast. My favorite character (aside from Jyn Erso and Darth Vader) was K2SO, a former imperial droid. He reminded me a lot of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory TV show because of his intelligence and humor that he comes with.

Here are some of my problems with this film: There isn’t a whole of explaining/background for some of the characters or their motives. This being said, with Rebels character Saw Gerrera, I don’t think there was enough of him and they should’ve utilized him more. Also, with Galen Erso, he seemed to be there only because the plot needed someone like him, which I was not a fan of. However his role did clear up a certain problem people had in the 1977 Star Wars.

Overall the movie is good and entertaining, there are just some things I wasn’t fond of or didn’t think were needed. The cast delivers a good performance and all of the action scenes are extremely fun to watch due to the Gareth Edwards’ creative ways to deliver such large scale scenes.

Rating: 85/100


Drew: Rogue One was a movie filled with much anticipation for me. Maybe with not as much excitement as I had towards The Force Awakens, but Star Wars is indeed Star Wars; and with me being a major Star Wars nerd, this would only supplement that hunger for more. I luckily went in with no spoilers, and only an idea of how the movie would play out. The beginning started out relatively slow, but picked up pace as any movie would. It was a good old fashioned story of how the underdogs succeed against a relentless foe. And to tell you right know when you see Darth Vader in this film, you will absolutely understand why the young Kylo Ren fanboys him tremendously (As I have begun to do the same). Aside from just the film, the soundtrack of Rogue One was impeccable, and beautifully mastered. Despite John Williams not orchestrating this film, Michael Giacchino still did a wonderful job at giving me some major goosebumps; as I personally love the soundtracks coming from Star Wars. The addition of Rogue One to the Star Wars universe is one that I was beyond satisfied with. From the barely noticeable cameos of characters from the original trilogy; to the CGI recreations of Grand Moff Tarkin (Which for Tarkin was hard to notice unless you looked closely), it is a Star Wars story that promises not to disappoint, especially with the incredible ending it has in store. Thank you Gareth Edwards, for doing a tremendous job at bringing the child out of me as every other Star Wars film managed to do so.

Rating: 95/100