Rogue One (2016) – Movie Review

The Galactic Empire’s ultimate weapon is their key to win the war against the Rebellion. But there is a chance for the Rebellion to turn things around….

Rogue One is a 2016 Star Wars film directed by Gareth Edwards which stars Felecity Jones, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang,  Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelson, Ben Mendelsohn, and Jimmy Smits. This film is part of the Anthology series so it’s more of a spinoff film.

My General Thoughts:

I’ve seen this film in theaters and my first reaction for this film was positive. After a few days has passed, I let it sink in and my thoughts for the film have not changed. I did not think at that time it was a great/masterpiece movie but my thoughts for this movie was still positive. However once I bought the bluray of the movie and saw the film a few times recently, I would say this movie is great! For some reason, I enjoyed the movie more when I saw it on bluray and I was just mind blown with this movie. The main reason why this movie is mind blowing is because of the last couple of minutes of the movie. Those last couple of minutes in the movie really sets up the beginning of the very original film of Star Wars back at 1977. Those last couple of minutes in the film were so good. Don’t get me wrong, the beginning and the middle of the movie are great too. But I think the ending of the movie is what makes the movie really great.

I thought the film’s pacing, character development, screenplay, music, and the cinemetography was great! But the movie’s plot is the element that stood out the most. It really amazes me how the film sets up the original trilogy that we all know and love. I’m so happy Gareth Edwards made this movie come to life. This movie is definitely my favorite film he directed. He directed the 2014’s Godzilla movie and I thought that movie was alright. So seeing this film for the first time knowing that he was the director made me feel a little worried. But after seeing it a few times, I was glad that he directed this movie and this movie for sure is an improvement of his directing. I actually love this movie more than The Force Awakens. I enjoy The Force Awakens but I was just drawn to this movie’s story more. Darth Vader is in this movie so that’s one of the reasons why people were hyped to see the film. However, he is not in the movie that much but that actually wasn’t a problem since the other characters were enjoyable to watch. But when Darth Vader is on screen, he makes the movie even more outstanding and it reminds us why he’s one of the main reasons we love Star Wars.


Rogue One is basically about a group of rebels led by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) attempting to steal the plans of the Death Star and sending them to the Rebel Alliance. The film’s first act shows Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) attempting to bring in Jyn’s dad Galen Erso  (Mass Mikkelson) to join the Empire and help finish creating the Death Star. As the film progresses you see Jyn Erso grown up and she sees a hologram of her father which is shown by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker). You see Galen saying in the hologram that he placed a weakness in the Death Star. He also said in order to know details of it,etc, the plans of it are in this data vault at the planet Scarif. She and her father eventually reunite at the planet Eadu during the middle act of the film but dies after the rebels attack his research facility.

Jyn then later leads a group of rebels to the Planet Scarif after majority of the Rebel Alliance loses hope to fight any longer. They eventually get the support from the Rebel fleet and the battle of Scarif begins. Jyn along with Rebel Intelligence officer Cassian (Diego Luna) manages to get to the vault and transmit the plans to the Rebel Command ship. In the Death Star, Grand Moff Tarkin orders imperial officers to fire at Scarif . Jyn and her crew along with Krennic dies as the planet is slowly being destroyed.

The last few minutes of the movie you see Darth Vader boarding the Rebel command ship and trying to get back the plans himself but fails. The movie ends with Princess Leia saying the plans of the Death Star is a sign of hope after one of the Rebels asks her what did they sent them.

That is the movie of Rogue One. From beginning to end the movie makes you get hooked. Each single sequence of the film is solid and it doesn’t feel like the pacing is slow at all. There are no dull moments and it really gives you the feels that it’s a Star Wars film because of the elements that are involved.

Characters/Scenes that stood out the most:

Majority of the characters in this movie were enjoyable to watch.

Chirrut Imwe:

My favorite character in this film would be definitely Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen). He’s my favorite because he was the only Jedi in this movie. He did not have a lighthsaber with him but he had great combat skills. He had very great lines and he was so wise. He was one of the few that caused a distraction that helped Jyn to acquire the plans of the Death Star in Scarif. He’s blind in the movie but that did not affect his combat skills and the type of person he was. Donnie Yen was perfect for this role because of one main reason. That reason is he’s a martial artist. Donnie Yen’s martial arts skills amazingly fitted the combat skills his character was known for. My favorite scene is when Chirrut saves Jyn, Cassian, and K-2O from the stormtroopers at Jedha City. He just casually walks in the middle and starts to show what he is capable of which was badass! When Saw Gerrera’s militia cover Chirrut’s whole head, he says to them “Are you kidding me? I’m blind!” That was a funny but also a messed up scene because that line is pretty self explanatory. There is a line that Chirrut says frequently in the movie that instantly became a memorable one. That line is “I’m one with the Force. The Force is with me.” I loved that line a lot. It perfectly fitted with the situations he was in.

Baze Malbus and K-2SO:

The other character that stood out was Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang). He was also one of the few that caused a distraction so Jyn could acquire the Death Star Plans at Scarif. He always got Chirrut’s back and he helped him get through tough situations throughout the movie. Always loved that part of him. It showed that they had great chemistry. K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) was also amazing in this movie. He’s alongside Jyn, Cassian, Chirrut, Baze, and the others most of the film. He is a reprogrammed imperial droid and you see him throughout the movie say things that will make you laugh. There is a scene where he tells Jyn that he’ll be there for her at Scarif but he said only because Cassian told him to. Thought that was a hilarious scene. One of the crucial things the movie did so well was that the side characters weren’t annoying or worthless like Jar Jar Binks in the prequel trilogy. If Jar Jar Binks was similar to K-2SO or BB8 in The Force Awakens, then I think majority of the people would have second thoughts about the prequels.

Cassian and Jyn Erso:

Cassian was a great character in the movie. He’s probably my second favorite character in the movie because his character developed really well. He was assigned to kill Jyn’s father due to him being responsible for all the chaos going on but he did not when he finally got the chance. Throughout the first and middle act you see there is some chemistry between Cassian and Jyn. But when Jyn finds out what Cassian was planning to do at Eadu, Cassian told the truth to her. The final act is where their chemistry between them is great. They both protect each other from imperial forces and I just thought Cassian fully developed of what type of character he was to become in this movie. He understood Jyn and all that she has gone through, and that’s why he didn’t fulfill the mission he was assigned to do.

Jyn Erso who is the main protagonist in the movie was really good. She is a very optimistic person who wont give up to fulfill her father’s request. You see in the first act of how great the relationship is between Jyn as a young child and her father Galen Erso. From that point on, you see Jyn as a grown up still loyal to her father and goes through many obstacles to fulfill her father’s request. She’s a really confident and hopeful person. My favorite scene of her is when she tries to persuade the Rebel Alliance to come with her to Scarif and get the plans of the Death Star. I liked when she told them “Rebellions are built on hope.”

Galen Erso and Commander Krennic:

I enjoyed the character of Galen Erso. It’s pretty amazing that he was the main person that was responsible creating a weakness in the Death Star. We are used to watching the original trilogy most of the time and we only know that the Rebels destroyed the Death Star in the original movie. But in this movie you find out that he’s the reason of why there are plans of the Death Star to begin with. One of the reasons why I think this movie is mind blowing to me.

Director Krennic was an enjoyable character too. He’s one of the main villains in the movie and he’s mostly everything you would expect for a villain. He’s determined to protect the Death Star plans and he only cares about himself.. He wants to get credit for the destructive power the Death Star is capable of. The scene where he goes to Eadu and confronts Galen was pretty good. Even after Galen confesses that he’s responsible for everything, Krennic still orders the stormtroopers to kill Galen’s crew. It shows the type of person Krennic is. But it’s also typical for a villain to be like that. So it’s nothing new. But still a good villain nonetheless. It’s very amazing that he was part of protecting the Death Star plans in this movie but not mentioned in the original 1977 movie since he died at the last act of this movie.

Bodhi Rook, Bail Organa, Governor Tarkin, Darth Vader & Princess Leia:

Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) was a very good character because he was actually part of the Empire, but his true loyalty is with the Rebellion. He’s one of the rebels that caused a distraction that helped Jyn acquire the plans of the Death Star at Scarif. He’s a cargo pilot and you see him trying to deliver a holographic message to Saw Gerrera which features Galen. You find out that Galen and Rook actually are working together to find a way to help the Rebellion win the war. The scene that I liked most by him is when he tells the Rebels that their call sign is Rogue One as he and the others were getting ready to go to Scarif in a stolen Imperial Starship. This is the first Star Wars movie where the title of the movie is mentioned by a character. The rest of the movies’ titles are not mentioned by anyone in those films. I thought that was pretty cool.

It was pretty cool to see Jimmy Smits reprise his role as Bail Organa. He was not in the movie that much but it didn’t really matter. Anyone that enjoys the prequels, will get the feels of seeing him in the movie. I like the scene of him telling Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) that he’ll send someone for his friend whose a Jedi to help him fight the Empire. Anyone that has seen the original trilogy (especially the original film) will get the feels of who Bail Organa is referring too as the sender and the friend of his. This scene makes perfect sense too because in the original film, you see it being mentioned.

Governor Tarkin was remarkable in this movie. The CGI of Tarkin was amazing! It literally looked like Peter Cushing actually reprises his role as Tarkin. When I saw him in theaters I was just mind blown of how good he looked in CGI. Guy Henry took the role of Tarkin in this movie but when you see the CGI of his face, you’ll be blown away of how similar it looks to Tarkin in the original movie.

As I’ve stated above, Darth Vader is not in the movie that much, but it didn’t really matter. But when he is in the movie; he shows why he is Darth Vader. I was glad James Earl Jones reprises the voice of Darth Vader because there is literally no one else that can replace him. Anyone can wear the suit, but the voice of Darth Vader is iconic and only James Earl Jones can do it. The scene that I love with Darth Vader is when he boards the Rebel command ship and tries to get back the Death Star plans himself. You see him using the Force to prevent the door to open for some of the Rebels. He uses his lightsaber to kill all the Rebels but one of them manages to give the plans to the rebels on the other side of the door. The actors that portrayed the rebels in that scene were fantastic because their acting was phenomenal. The way they were screaming for help,etc while they were with Vader gives you the chills.

Princess Leia was only in the movie for a few seconds but when she is in it for a few seconds. it hits you in the feels. It hits you in the feels because she has a big impact in the original film and of course the entire original trilogy. The scene she was only in became an instant memorable part of the movie. As I’ve stated in the plot, one of the rebels asks her what did they sent them and she simply says “Hope.” I’m pretty sure when everyone (including myself) saw her for the first time in the movie, they were mind blown because the CGI of her was top notch as well.

The Cinematography and Music:

The cinematography and the music in this film was phenomenal. I liked the transition of the planet Scarif  being slowly destroyed to the small imperial ships going to the rebel command ship. That was all in one shot and that scene alone shows why this movie’s ending starts the beginning of the original movie. Once you see the movie and you come to that scene, you’ll understand how exactly is that possible. The music in this movie was great. Michael Giacchino composed the music for this film and he did a solid job. The obvious Star Wars themes is of course done by John Williams but the themes that were played in most of the movie was done by Michael Giacchino. I loved the music that played when Darth Vader entered the Rebel Command Ship and started taking down most of the Rebels. It gives you the chills and it perfectly fitted with the scene. It was nice to hear the binary sunset theme too for a few moments when Bail Organa showed up for the first time. I loved the music that played at the ending when one of the rebels told the others to secure the airlock and prepare the escape pods. That music was played in the beginning act of the original movie so when I heard that playing in the end of this movie, it gave me the feels. I just love when elements of the original trilogy are shown, heard, or mentioned in other films of Star Wars.

Final Thoughts:

But anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading my review of Rogue One. I would highly recommend seeing this movie to those that have not seen it. It’s a great movie and Star Wars marathons will never be the same again. They’ll never be the same again because currently you have this movie between Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars film. We are used to watching the movies in the order it has been for the past several years. But now Rogue One being released, it changes the way you want to see the films in chronological order. Of course, that’s not a bad thing. It was great to see the AT-ATs in this film too. This is the second time you see them in a movie since the first time is at Empire Strikes Back. Gareth Edwards having the idea to include them in this movie was brilliant! This movie shows that you don’t need a Jedi and a Sith Lord/apprentice have a lightsaber duel to make a Star Wars movie great. You just need a plot that will get the viewer’s attention, great character development, great cinematography, great music, and no slow pacing or dull moments. I will rate Rogue One 5 out of 5 stars and it is a masterpiece!

I would highly appreciate your feedback, so feel free to follow me and provide feedback here and/or at my social media accounts. You can follow me @Ishmam_07 on Twitter, and provide feedback over there. You can also follow me and provide your feedback @ishmam_117 on Instagram. Don’t worry, I’ll also follow back! Also feel free to just talk to me in general on Twitter and on Instagram as well. Stay tuned for my next movie review and that is the 1977’s original Star Wars! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Rogue One (2016) – Movie Review

  1. Wow, great review!! I haven’t seen this one yet (I was a little afraid to get hooked!) But after reading this I think I will try it. I didn’t watch the newer ones after Anakin turns into Vader, so I have a lot of catching up to do! But I am SO excited to see that they brought back some of the older characters. I couldn’t believe I was seeing Tarkin in your pics!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I highly recommend this movie and the Force Awakens. Trust me, bringing back the older characters in this movie and in The Force Awakens was a brilliant idea. You’ll be amazed how great the CGI looks for Tarkin and Leia in this movie.

      Liked by 1 person

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