Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Agh, this is tough.

I loved the cast and that we got to see part of a significant event in multiple characters lives. I used to read a lot of Star Wars expanded universe novels, and this is the best of that put on screen.

I really didn't enjoy the CG Tarkin and Leia. They were distracting and cheapened the film as a whole—those scenes did a disservice to the characters whose stories they were telling. They should have done their best to find a Peter Cushing lookalike and used makeup only. If they couldn't get close enough that way, just change the character. Having that character to tie things together worked well, but it was far from vital.

As for Leia, for such a central character, recasting was not a real option if they wanted a close up of her face. But since she only appeared briefly there were plenty of other options. Only show her from behind—here pulling her hood down to reveal her signature hairstyle still would have been satisfying. Or just use angles/lighting that make it hard to tell it's a lookalike.

I'm hoping when I watch it again those scenes will be less distracting, but on the first viewing they really pulled me out of the film. Since the film as a whole focused more on the everyday heroes of the Star Wars universe, and painted a much grittier picture than we're used to seeing, these cartoon characters stood out that much more. That those shots weren't absolutely vital to the story made it so much worse.

But again, the cast, the characters, the bits of their personal stories that we get to see were wonderful. K-2SO is an extremely very good robot.

Oh, by the way: I saw it IMAX 3D. The 3D was good—there were some really beautiful shots—but not essential. The picture seemed a bit dark though, especially at the beginning. I miss when you could see major films on a huge screen without 3D.