As a Star Wars fan it was always going to be extremely difficult to review Rogue one (2016) without getting trapped by fanboy disappointment or fanboy enthusiasm. Still, I’m happy to report it was absolutely amazing and if anyone tells you different they’re wrong. I enjoyed it “much” more than last years Force Awakens, although it was safe to say the pressure was off slightly and I knew much more what to expect than with episode VII, which was essentially starting a whole knew chapter in a story that had happily concluded.
It is still hard to explain why it’s such a good film. You could argue that without the context of the original trilogy, it wouldn’t be any better than any other $200 million dollar blockbuster, but that would be a silly argument. This film can only be judged in that context. In fact, the question is not whether Rogue is a good film or even whether this is a good Star Wars film, but whether this film improves the franchise or sticks out like an unnecessary note between the paycheques of Lucas’ catalogue.
One thing this film does particularly well is pay homage to those original films and play to the dreams of millions of fans. It answers the questions that you never knew that you wanted the answers to until the satisfying moment the new film reveals all. I’m not saying that there are not times when you may feel slightly cheated and experience that dreaded feeling that Disney may be about to rewrite the past, but all in all the film fits very snugly in Star Wars continuity and fills a gap in the story that genuinely existed. The Force Awakens on the other hand creates a huge gap and starts a whole new plot, which currently has more holes in it than the death star.
I really enjoyed The Force Awakens, but I enjoyed this more. It just felt more like a Star Wars film. The effects are of course incredible but it’s the plot that makes it. And in my mind, this film has improved not just the franchise but the original trilogy, though it won’t stop me being nervous when they release the next prequel.