Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Mads Mikkelson, and jimmy Smits.
Directed By: Gareth Edwards
Where I Watched it: Disney Plus
English Audio Description Available?: Yes
Description Provided By: Deluxe
Narrated By: Martin Bellamy
The Plot: Remember how in A New Hope, there was some faction of the Rebel Alliance that managed to figure out how to steal the Death Star plans so that the rebel Forces could blow it up? This movie is about that ragtag group.
What Works: Spoilers. Sorry. But, spoilers ahead. The first time I saw this film, I felt a lot of different things that I didn’t feel on the second viewing. Some time had passed. I’m now blind. I didn’t have to deal with Gareth Edwards stylized direction of making everything seem really dark, depressing, and much longer than it needs to be. Instead, the movie I got this time around, was an experience where I knew the outcome.
I remember my biggest problem being that none of these characters survive this film (except the cameos by Vader and Leia), but otherwise, all of the major Rogue one characters get blown up, if they’re not already dead. It’s a really depressing outcome, even if they are sacrificing themselves for the greater good, and it prevented any future stories featuring these characters in the future (though a Cassian show is rumored on Disney Plus).
Going into it the second time around, I knew what to expect. i knew they would all die, and I just appreciated every moment even more. I’m realy intrigued with the “I am the force. The force is with me.” Blind is-he-or-isn’t-he Jedi. The film never truly answers the question as to whether or not he is a Jedi, and really is connnected to the force, but for a blin dude, he’s a badass, and I like to think of him as a Jedi that never got a chance to be trained by yoda or Obi Wan. For whatever reason, they just let this guy train himself, but I think he totally had the potential.
A lot of the problems I had the first time drifted away the second time, because I knew about them going in. I think half the reason I wasn’t in love with this was the over hype and disappointment factor. But once you get past that, this is one of those rare films that grows on you.
What Doesn’t Work: I still hate that they all die. It will always keep this film at arms length for me. No matter how much i warm up to it. The more I like the film, the more I love the characters, and the more I hate that they all die. It was unnecessary then, and it’s still unnecessary now.
Also, Forest Whitaker is a boss when it comes to acting, but he’s channeling far too much Battlefield Earth here. Dial it back.
The Blind Perspective: As every character in this film (basically) only exists in this film, they all get character descriptions, and none of this assuming you know them that accompanies so many other Star Wars films after A new hope was released. So, we get excellent world building, a solid mix of the alien races, and an understanding of who these people are and what they look like by design. It’s what narration is supposed to be. Admittedly, I don’t remember this film as well as the other Star Wars films, having only seen it once, and blocking most of it out of my mind, but it seemed to translate well from what I remembered.
Final Thoughts: I now like the film more than I did before, which also happened with Phantom Menace and Solo. Maybe I’m becoming a Star Wars fan after all. Who knows.
Final Grade: B