When it was announced that director Gareth Edwards would be taking on the next movie in the Star Wars series, movie fans knew one thing- he would do the Star Wars universe justice. After watching Godzilla, a movie directed by Edwards, it was apparent that he is good at showing the scope of things.
Godzilla in the movie was giant and fierce, and when watching the movie, the audience was able to get that sense because Edwards is really good at making big things seem big. In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Edwards’ imprints is left on each and every scene. The first time the“Death Star” is show on screen, or when a “Star Destroyer” hovers on top of a city, their mass is well executed on screen and the audience can get a sense of how powerful these things can be.
The aesthetic of the movie is also something to be praised. Edwards takes the clean “everyone-is-well-dressed” Star Wars series and makes it more grounded. Stormtroopers’ armors (which are usually shiny, and white in other Star Wars movies) are full of dirt and blood, and character’s clothes are full of holes and are worn out. The filmography is also very well executed, the shots in this movie beautiful, and the color grading just another layer to the Star Wars aesthetic audiences grown accustomed to.
Moreover the acting in the movie is nothing but amazing. The actors here give 110% in the most diverse Star Wars movie to date, from actress Felicity Jones, an English actress, to Donnie Yen, a Chinese-American actor. The movie tries to also pay respect to its source material by deciding to not change the actors who played characters in Star Wars: Episode IV who have either passed away or are too old to play those same characters. The way they did this was with CGI, which was noticeable in some scenes when those characters talk, the way their lips moved kind gave it away (CGI has a plastic feel to it), but it wasn’t a big distraction.
One thing that needs to be noted about the plot for everyone who plans on watching the movie is that it is an introduction of new characters and a new story, so the build-up to the final act of the movie is a little long, as every character needs to be introduced (which is more of a positive aspect). It is a positive because the time spent with the characters makes the final act even more enjoyable because the audience had the time to know and love those characters, so it is easier for them to care for them. That is another thing the movie does well: it makes the audience care for the characters and their stories.
One main gripe with the movie, however, was how the main villain was just so forgettable, which was not a big problem because the main characters were what the story was mostly focused on.
The ending of the movie is also something that was done well. Since Rogue One is a prequel to “Episode IV,” it was surprising to see how well it transitioned into the 1977 movie. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a beautiful, well-acted, extremely well-directed movie that is must-watch for any movie fan.