It’s been a while since I published one of these. With Star Wars The Last Jedi coming out soon, I figured I would take a deeper look at Rogue One. Star Wars 3.5 is a film that fills in the gaps to explain how the rebels obtained the plans to the Death Star. We really didn’t need this story, but we got it anyway. That doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining. After first watching this in IMAX 3D, I felt it was time to watch it on Netflix & throw back some booze. Happy reading everybody!
Ok, no opening crawl, GOOD! Stay out of the spinoffs! A small imperial ship lands on a barren looking planet that has limited green growth. This is a farm? I see nothing that resembles a crop. Maybe, a stupid moisture farm? With a squad of elite stormtroopers, an asshole looking imperial officer named Krennic approaches the farm and home of a scientist/engineer named Galen. Why do ranking imperial officers wear these stupid badges? Seriously, it looks like they cut up a pack of Nicorette gum and pinned it to their chest.
Anyway, Galen is like the freakin Oppenheimer of his time and the father of the Death Star. I guess work has stalled somehow & Krennic was sent to bring him back. Judging by how pathetic Galen’s farm looks, he should consider it. I’m not sure why work has stalled. They have the damn blueprints. Get that flux capacitor going! Sorry, wrong franchise. I guess a bunch of engineers are just standing around clueless in one big circle jerk? As the ship was descending, Galen told his wife and daughter to run like hell. Instead of listening & keeping her daughter safe, his wife approaches the troopers with a gun. I love these odds. Six stormtroopers vs. one emotional woman. The stormtroopers prevail. She gets a shot off at Krennic, but of course it’s just a flesh wound. So much for making it count. The daughter (Jyn) runs and hides under some fake rocks. She gets saved by a guy named ‘Saw.’ (Forrest Whitaker) I must say the new Star Wars films are great at picking simple names that people can easily remember. Names like Jyn, Rey, Finn, Kylo & Saw don’t cramp my brain. I appreciate that!
While the new character names don’t hurt my brain, all the damn planet & station jumping in this film does! Bear with me people. These next couple minutes are rough.
It’s several years later. Jyn is sitting in a prison cell on the Ring of Kafrene. Glad she got far in life.
Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’ Riley) a former member of the senate before it all went to hell, is in her retro base with Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) and talking about how the Empire is planning to create a super weapon capable of destroying planets. Yup, we all know this story. In fact, we have heard it about three god damn times! While I don’t like to be reminded of the prequel trilogy very much, it exists. Like herpes, it can never truly go away. You mine as well roll with it & connect the dots. I don’t mind that they brought back Jimmy Smits as a slight way to bridge the gap. The woman playing Mon Mothma looks stunningly like the actress who played her in Return of the Jedi too.
On the planet Jedha, a TIE Fighter pilot named Bodhi defected from the Empire & now serves the rebels. He gets apprehended by Saw’s band of thugs.
Jyn is now for some reason on the planet Wobani being transferred with other prisoners. The rebels attack the transport and spring Jyn loose. However, Jyn is an ungrateful bitch and unsuccessfully tries to escape from them. She gets slammed to the ground by a wise ass droid named K-2SO. It’s Star Wars. You can’t have a Star Wars movie without a smartass droid. It’s not possible.
Jyn is then brought before Mon Mothma on Yabin. They question her about her father. She tells them that she knows diddly dick about him and hasn’t seen him in 15 years. She must have serious daddy issues at this point. They also know about her connection to Saw, but she hasn’t seen him in a long time either. Apparently, Saw is an extremist now. He is all about killing imperial scum, but is causing problems for the rebels in the process. The rebels want to make contact with him and the captured pilot so they can learn what the hell is going on with the Empire.
We are introduced to a pilot named Cassian. I don’t care enough about him to look up his real name for this article. I just don’t like his face. They offer Jyn a deal. If she helps them establish contact with Saw, she can go free. She takes the deal. Jyn boards the aircraft with the smartass robot & Cassin. Without Jyn’s knowledge, Cassian is told by his superior to not extract their targets, but kill them.
The now captured ex TIE-Fighter (Bodhi) gets introduced to Saw. Saw has seen better days. He needs to take hits of air from a mask every now & then so he can breathe. He also seems a bit mentally unstable. He has this look in his eye like he wants to touch you inappropriately. It creeps me out. I find it even more creepy that this expression isn’t acting. This is just how Forrest Whitaker naturally looks. Bodhi ends up getting mind raped by some creature that can read your thoughts. I don’t think the creature was necessary. Forest Whitaker should have just stared him down with his creepy eye. That would break any man.
Ok, so we have Kafrene, Jedha, Wobani, & Yabin. Did I miss anything? Fuck this planet and system jumping! This is a lot to take in.
We finally jump to the asshole from the beginning of the movie, Krennic. He is conversing with Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) and practically having an orgasm while talking about how awesome the new weapon is. Cushing died in 1994. They brought him back via CGI. The results are a mixed bag. He looks more realistic in some scenes over others. His mouth movements look a little strange sometimes. It’s passable, but in ten years we might potentially look back on this and notice it didn’t age well. It always seems to work this way with special effects. We think something looks so realistic only to go back years later & wonder how we thought that. If you can tolerate it, go watch Lost in Space from 1998. Horrible movie, but the special effects were state of the art for the time. Now, it looks like dog shit. Anyway, a weapons test of the base is ordered. Hell yes please!
Jyn the robot and Cassian land on Jedha searching for Saw. The robot stays with the ship. Thank god! As they are roaming around, Jyn starts talking to a blind warrior named Chirrut. Chirrut is played by Donnie Yen. I fucking love this actor. If you don’t know who Donnie Yen is, stop reading this and go watch the film Ip Man on Netflix. Anyway, he talks to Jyn about the stone she has around her neck. Cassian eventually pulls her away. What a dick. I want more Donnie Yen! They then get caught in the middle of a battle between Rebel & imperial forces. The comic relief robot shows up to save them. Chirrut starts kicking some imperial ass.
After beating down some stormtroopers, they are captured by Saw’s thugs & tossed in a cell. They notice mind fucked Boudi in the cell next to them. They can’t get much out of him at this moment. Christ, what the hell did that thing do to him!? You’d think he just walked in on his grandmother naked. Jyn is brought to Saw. Saw is surprised and Jyn is pissed that he abandoned her when she was 16. Saw claims he did it to protect her. If anyone found out who her real father was, it could be a problem. I think he did it because she was starting to become a pissy little teenager, but that’s just me. Saw then suspects Jyn was sent to kill him. At this moment, the empire decides to test the weapon on the planet.
Saw has a hologram recording of her father. He plays it. In this recording her father explains that he purposely designed a flaw in the Death Star so that it could be blown up. I’m starting to think the sole purpose of this movie was to put an end to the 40 year old joke about how the empire was dumb enough to leave such a serious design flaw. The Death Star fires it’s weapon at Jedha. Everything is going to hell and crumbling. Dear old dads hologram tells Jyn “Save the rebellion and save the dream”. No shit! Reminds me slightly of that TV show Heroes. “Save the cheerleader and save the world.” Saw decides to stay behind and get crushed to death. I guess the power of Forest Whitaker’s eye isn’t enough to stop that. All the characters that matter make it to the ship.
The Imperial leaders are thrilled. They should hire a DJ and party. I wonder what these people do to relax. Everyone always seems to have a serious stick up their ass. I bet an assortment of prostitutes get brought in through a secret unregistered docking bay. Anyway, CGI Tarken pulls the ultimate dickhead move by congratulating Krennic on the project, but then throws the fact that Bodhi defected in his face and now will take all the credit for himself as a result. Go cry to Vader about it.
On the ship that has the good people, Cassin is given secret instruction to kill Gyn’s father (Galen) if they find him. Gyn talks about the message her father sent, but since she left it behind on Jedha, Cassin has a hard time believing her. They decide to a rainy/cloudy planet called Edu. This is where the empire has a research base. After a shitty landing that now requires them to get a new ship, Cassin and Bodhi head out. Jyn finds out from the dumb robot that Cassian’s weapon was in sniper mode. Ohhh nooooo!! While they sneak around, Krennic is interrogating Galen and his team of engineers. I’m not sure why this is happening outside in the shitty weather. Suspecting one of the engineers is a traitor, Krennic threatens to kill all of them unless the traitor comes forward. Galen confesses, but Krennic decides to kill the other engineers anyway. Any possibility of a nice & sweet daddy and daughter reunion is halted when X-wing fighters show up & bomb the shit out of the platform that Krennic and Galen are standing on. Jyn gets knocked unconscious, Krennic escapes. Gyn awakes to see her father pass away then Cassin pulls her away so they can escape on a cargo ship that they commandeered.
Krennic arrives on Mustafar so he can bitch and moan like a toddler to Darth Vader about how the Death Star is his project. Is this Scar’s lair from The Lion King? This must have confused James Earl Jones also because he sounds more in tune with his Mufasa voice than he does Vader. Also, the planet is named “Mustafar” sounds a bit like “Mufasa”. What’s up with these Lion King parallels!? Vader chokes Krennic for a brief moment and tells him not to “choke on his aspirations” Yes, Vader made a fucking pun!
Back on Yavin 4 Jyn purposes going after the Empire’s data storage facility on Scarif. Apparently, the empire is dumb enough to have its Death Star schematics in one single hub on one planet. Her plan is quickly shot down because nobody really likes her & they only have her word to go from. After the meeting, Cassian and a bunch of other fighters basically say “fuck it” & hop in a ship using the call sign (drum roll) “Rogue One” and blast off to Scarif. That’s it? Anyone can just walk into a ship, make up a call sign on the spot and blast off? Good security is so hard to find these days.
The empire apparently never likes to update their security protocols either because after landing on Scarif, Bodhi uses his passcodes. Plus, if you are going to store such sensitive material, wouldn’t it be a better idea to store it underground? Instead, the Empire opted to store it in this giant noticeable structure that screams “bomb me! Important stuff within!”
From this point on, a classic looking Star Wars battle wages on. As usual, explosives are rigged & shields need to be brought down. Ground and space warfare engulf the surroundings. The plans get beamed to the rebel ship. The main cast all dies on Scarif. I give credit to Disney. It turns out the original ending had some of the cast surviving, but Disney was like, “naa you can kill them all off”
Darth Vader gets aboard a rebel ship and goes all Jason Voorhees by cutting down anybody in his path in an attempt to get the Death Star plans back. This is without a doubt the coolest part of the film. We as fans deserved to see what Vader is really capable of. Prior to this, we just see him as an old fart. He chokes people, fights another old fart, has what looks like some amateur sparring sessions with his son Luke, & tosses another old fart over a ledge with one hand. It’s about time we see him live up to his reputation. Anyway, He’s too late. Another ship launches just in time before he can reach it. We then catch a glimpse of CGI young Carrie Fisher. THE END
Overall Score: 7.5/10
+ It’s Star Wars
+ Fun third act
+ Darth Vader going ballistic
+ The reason the Death Star had a serious design flaw is finally explained
+ Disney’s willingness to kill off the cast
– Didn’t really care for any of the characters.
– No comments from the Emperor?
– Bad security flaws