Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ★★★★★

"Some of us just decided to do something about it."

Like Episode 7 had Luke, Leia and Han etc, this too has a gimmick I can't even begin to talk about yet, but which was enough to have me doubting my first impression since it was so distractingly joyous. Let's just say the uncanny valley has been thoroughly breached with this movie... if only for technical reasons, I'm sure this thing has profound value as to where it stands in where cinema is going, and it’s something I’ve been looking/waiting for for a long time.

Story wise, as with The Force Awakens, there was a lot of stuff that lost me a bit midway... but god if that ending didn't redeem all that completely. I loved the new droid. Outside of a couple of themes that sounded like if the Simpsons/Family Guy were trying to avoid breaching John Williams’ copyright (not that they ever had to - the “main” theme over the title was particularly dodgy) I loved Giacchino's score. I'm not gonna be one of those who puts down The Force Awakens in praising this, cos I loved The Force Awakens (not that I had the chance to give that a second look yet)… I think one of the best things we're gonna see with the new Star Wars movies is similar to what we saw for a few films in the Harry Potter series where different directors brought different things to a common world… of course here, we’re seeing different directors not only do that but take different influences from the original movies they're paying homage too. The Force Awakens did what it did pretty perfectly; this does different things perfectly. I loved the way this one threw random, hokey, irreverent nonsense (like Felicity Jones casually shooting a storm trooper in the crotch, just for example) in like there was no tomorrow. Until the very last “holy shit!” moment here, I was juggling all of these thoughts in my head settling on a rating… on another day, and (without saying too much) if those “holy shit!” effects weren’t as good, I’d be telling you I thought it should’ve ended before that last “holy shit!” moment, on the beach, which felt like a real Star Wars ending. But this isn’t a real Star Wars movie… and for now… holy shit that last “holy shit!” moment… I was cursing the cinema lights for going up too soon… for now it is my favourite film of the year just for the tingles like that it gave me. They might be misplaced tingles, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt - it's certainly the best ending in the whole franchise after Empire and Revenge.