I had a chance to see Rogue One with my brother and niece at a matinee today. Overall, it was a great experience. The producers took the movie in a dark direction and, in my opinion, expanded the scope of what was possible for the Star Wars franchise. They also made a bold decision with regard to the ending, something I’ve never seen before in a blockbuster movie with this kind of budget behind it. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it.
Now, I can quibble about a bunch of things. The Rogue One team consists of six characters, most of whom could have used more screen time to really allow the audience to identify with them. The plot is a bit “by the numbers,” i.e. – go here to get this, then go there to get that, etc. Despite the flaws, it works reasonably well overall.
And, of course, the special effects are superb, as you’d expect for a Star Wars movie. The movie also benefits well from a second viewing; once you know who you should be watching, you’re free to pick up more nuances the second time around.
One of the best things about the movie is that you don’t have to wait at all for the sequel. It’s already out, and it’s called Stars Wars: A New Hope (now, anyway). All joking aside, the movie slots right into the start of the next movie. Some of my friends are reporting that watching Rogue One and then re-watching Star Wars actually amplifies their enjoyment of the original movie. Somewhat unprecedented, in my opinion.
The bottom line is that the film is well worth seeing. It’s not a perfect film, but its flaws won’t detract from the enjoyment for most people. In many ways, I liked it better than The Force Awakens because the reboot was less original in many ways.