Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ★★★★

"Rebellions are built on hope"

I wouldn't call myself a Star Wars fan, the first one I watched was Attack of the Clones, I hated it. I saw ROTJ next, didn't like that either. But Star Wars did impress me, despite Lightsabers and Force being old to me by then. The movie introduced great characters and the plot did justice to them. The same reason why I'm so willing to look past many faults of The Force Awakens.

By that standard Rouge One is a very good movie, it has very good characters who also have glorious ends. The plot does them justice but it's impact is somewhat reduced by the fact that audiences know the ending. So the movie invests on the characters. They started with great character design and followed it up with near perfect casting choices. Almost all the characters have little details that reflect a past, a past they're running from; and they're exhausted from all the running. The world has such a lived in feel. The visuals does have the scale of TFW but lacks the weight. Again, very good.

I do like this director, and this is his second successful blockbuster. His direction delivers the thrills but beyond that it has been impotent so far. He needs to bring more personal touches to his movies. He is also very comfortable with cliches (girl crying, alone, in the middle of a firefight scenario). "Very good", though commendable, should not be the goal of any artistic endeavor.

Disney has done for Star Wars what it did for Marvel. Hope reigns supreme in Star Wars fandom. But some might be saddened by the fact that Disney failed to restrain itself when it came to overuse of CGI. Reason why the movie's final utterance of hope rings so false.

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