Ber and I hadn’t been so excited for a night out in a long time. Babysitter lined up and nerd cards at the ready, we raced to the fancy recliner seats to watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
It’s like someone put together a role-playing game one-shot and in a surprise twist used the Star Wars system instead of D&D. “So a blind monk, his fighter friend, two rogues, a warforged and a pilot NPC are going on a linear quest.” Tell me I’m wrong. (I’m not wrong.)
And that’s not really a problem, I love D&D one-shots. But what it means is that you really can’t think to far into it. You need to put in your effort of enjoying the movie and it’ll be a freaking great time. That’s what I did.
If you’d rather hear the drag-it-out nitpicking, I recommend Hello Internet’s Rogue One Star Wars Christmas Special. What I want to provide is the optimist experience.
It felt dark, like Empire. But they ended with just enough a reminder that the good guys will win the next movie that it still felt like an adventure instead of a tragedy. Darth Vader’s fight sequence was worth the price of admission. CGI Tarkin was shocking not the worst CGI in the Star Wars universe (I’m looking at you Jabba the Hut in A New Hope: Special Edition.)
Alan Tudyk was so good as K-2SO I didn’t even realize it was him until after the fact. And really, his death was the only one that kinda hurt while I watched it. Loved that droid. Most of the other rebels were kinda jerks. Like everyone at that D&D one-shot cared way too much about the loot.
Chirrut and Baze were awesome. Leaving the movie Ber said she wants us to play a monk/fighter buddy duo just like them whenever we get to play D&D together. I would enjoy that thoroughly. I do think their talents were wasted as infantry on a beach, though. Maybe some novel will come out about them being badasses on Jedha before it got blown up.
Most importantly, they paced the movie to be exciting moment-to-moment. While the whole story seems kind of winding in retrospect, whatever was happening at the time seemed pretty cool and Star Wars-y. Unlike the prequels, where sure the overall timeline was respected but it was boring as all get out.
That’s what I feel about this movie: it’s entertaining as a Star Wars movie should be. I’ll rewatch it and not feel ashamed. I’ll discuss it and point at all my favorite bits. But I think the story it tells could’ve gone so many other ways. It’s best to just be happy it wasn’t bad.