The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News
The Phuket News Entertainment
The Phuket News Arts | Community | Culture | Dining | Education | Phuket Entertainment | Environment | Health | People | Technology | Travel | World Entertainment XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the ultimate prequel for diehard fans

There are many things to like about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. For one, it's definitely a true-blood Star Wars film, bringing with it all the spectacle and grandeur the franchise has always been known for.


Bangkok Post

Friday 16 December 2016, 05:22PM


Felicity Jones and Diego Luna in a scene from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Photo: Jonathan Olley ©Lucasfilm LFL 2016
Felicity Jones and Diego Luna in a scene from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Photo: Jonathan Olley ©Lucasfilm LFL 2016

By Kanin Srimaneekulroj

Continuing the example set by the previously released Episode VII, the film's action sequences and epic dogfight scenes are a delight to behold, and are even more prominent here than perhaps in any Star Wars film before it.

It benefits greatly from a superb cast of supporting characters, a couple of whom are even worthy of joining the likes of C-3PO or R2-D2 in Star Wars' pantheon of excellent sidekicks.

That doesn't mean the film isn't without its flaws. As entertaining as the supporting cast are, the two main characters – Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) – are perhaps the worst main characters in the franchise's history (yes, even worse the Anakin), receiving very little development beyond spoken exposition, leaving them with a superficial depth that fails to have any significant emotional impact.

Those familiar with Star Wars lore will know exactly what kind of ending lies in store for the heroes of Rogue One, and the lack of development does it no favours, as I had very little emotional attachment to any of them. Being a story that explores the fateful event that set off the entire original Star Wars trilogy, the film feels sadly inconsequential.

For those of you not in the know, Rogue One follows the Rebel Alliance's attempt to steal the blueprints for the Death Star (which fans will remember as the little disc-thing that Princess Leia had R2-D2 deliver to Obi-Wan Kenobi at the beginning of Episode IV: A New Hope, the 1978 film and the first in the series).

The film follows Jyn Erso, the daughter of the scientist who created the Empire's iconic star fort, and her transformation from reluctant vagabond to heroine of the Rebel Alliance, her efforts directly leading to the Rebel's successful destruction of the Death Star in Episode IV.

Something that may not be apparent about Rogue One is that it's pretty much a war movie. Unlike the often light-side-versus-dark-side, good-versus-evil dynamic of past Star Wars films, Rogue One's protagonists exist in a darker, greyer area, where the ends justify the means, and alliances are dictated more by practicality than simple idealism.

This is the Rebel Alliance at their most fractured and desperate, and they're not afraid to cross the moral line here and there if it means striking a blow against the ever-so-Evil Empire.

Right from the get-go, we see Cassian, the supposedly noble Rebel captain, heartlessly execute an injured informant when he gets cornered by Imperial Troops. Then we watch as he agrees to a secret assassination mission, lying to his friends in the process.

We even get a disturbing interrogation/torture scene of a sort. This is a story of sabotage, assassinations and even extremist guerrilla warfare that verges on terrorism.

It's a different kind of Star Wars story, one that is definitely intriguing, if not as suitable for children as its predecessors.

As interesting as the portrayal of the conflict is, however, much of the film's sense of significance and emotional weight is robbed by the lack of development in its two main characters, namely Jyn and Cassian.

While we do get a brief scene of Jyn's childhood, the film immediately jumps what seems to be decades into the future, leaving much unsaid about how the little girl we've seen just moments ago has turned into the weary vagabond we see now.

Bollywood

While tidbits of her past are gradually revealed, it is done so entirely through exposition, with very little evidence of it on-screen. We're told than Jyn is a prodigal fighter, but we rarely get to see that in action (outside of perhaps one very brief sequence).

We're told that she's been alone since she was 16, but we know nothing of her struggles beyond that. This gives her character the impression of depth, but even when the credits rolled, I still felt like she was all but a stranger, one I knew practically nothing about.

Cassian suffers from the same problems: we get brief glimpses (and are told through exposition) that tell us he's a ruthless Rebel soldier who has no qualms doing the questionable thing as long as he is ordered to, due to him "losing everything" and joining the Rebellion when he was six. That's pretty much all the characterisation he got, stretched over two-and-a-half hours.

The characterisation issue only becomes worse towards the end, when characters suddenly start dying or making inexplicable changes of heart in ways not earned by the storytelling.

It is clear that the film is trying to tell an emotional story, but it's tough to care about the characters' plight when they very much feel like random strangers. If not for the excellent performances, I may not even remember a single character.

These problems with character development also extend to the supporting cast, but to a much lesser extent. While the defected Imperial pilot Bodhi (Riz Ahmed) receives zero characterisation (we don't even get an explanation as to why or how he managed to defect), the other supporting characters – Chirrut (Donnie Yen), Baze (Jiang Wen) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) – are all excellent.

Chirrut and Baze, two former Jedi Temple guards, provide excellent humorous banter, with Chirrut (or Yen, perhaps the biggest Hong Kong martial-arts star) getting an amazingly choreographed action sequence of his own.

But the real star of the film is the re-programmed Imperial strategy drone K-2SO, whose dry humour and painful honesty manage to make him a delight in every scene he is in. In fact, he may very well be my latest favourite Star Wars character, and that's saying a lot.

In short, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a film that remains fun thanks to its rich universe, spectacular set pieces and superb supporting cast, while still being held back from achieving the same excellence as its predecessor, Episode VII, due to problems with characterisation and pacing.

Go see it in cinemas if you must; you won't regret the ticket cost, even if it's nowhere near as excellent as the film that came before it.

 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen.

Directed by Gareth Edwards.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:

Comments Left: Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail: (No Hotmail, Live, MSN and Outlook accepted at this time)
Security:
   => Forget password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Untreated wastewater at Patong Bay takes its toll on soft corals

This will not be corrected until the hundreds of guesthouses and restaurants in Patong are actually connected to the sewage system. Currently, they a...(Read More)


Phuket wastewater-treatment plant to empty into Nai Harn Lake

You can write the future headlines now: "Accidental discharge closes lake" - "Oops, we did it again" - "Governor promises qui...(Read More)


Are businesses in Phuket national parks legal?

Foreigners should in Thailand do as the thai, don't take difference between legal and illegal as something serious. It is a mixture, all in the w...(Read More)


New Phuket coastal property development under investigation

What is it with thai authorities that never before constructions but just after building they pop up to 'investigate'? Are this departments w...(Read More)


It's a crime: Foreigners marrying Thais now subject to fingerprints taken for criminal background

How can it be discriminatory? As the article states, "...marrying just to get a marriage visa." which means other benefits that are not norm...(Read More)


Alcohol sales banned on Makha Bucha Day

Sales seems to be the issue. No problem The day before then I get my stock whisky, gin, wine, beer Cheers! What is actually the problem with buyin...(Read More)


It's a crime: Foreigners marrying Thais now subject to fingerprints taken for criminal background

"There is no marriage visa!" Nonsense! I had one myself! Banning someone for recommending to leave{ tourists or expats}this place if someon...(Read More)


New Phuket coastal property development under investigation

Whether land is owned or not its time to stop stripping the hills of trees and turning them into eyesores. Pure greed. In the Western world planning ...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Avoiding the road to ruin

When I went many years ago nobody was allowed on the beach. One could only swim and snorkel from the boat thereby keeping the beach in a beautiful pri...(Read More)


It's a crime: Foreigners marrying Thais now subject to fingerprints taken for criminal background

I mentioned Bohol, great place. If they have criminal records, how are they getting in the country, why isn't immigration getting them as they co...(Read More)

The Phuket News
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2018 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.