Star Wars - Episode 3.9 - Rogue One

By:  Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@whenitwascool.com)

Star Wars - Rogue One. A Star Wars Anthology film.  That 3.9 thing... well... I made that up.

Star Wars - Rogue One. A Star Wars Anthology film.  That 3.9 thing... well... I made that up.

I continue my review of the Star Wars movies in chronological order by taking a look at Star Wars - Rogue One or as I like to call it Star Wars - Episode 3.9.  If you haven't yet done so, please lose a few moments of your life that you will never get back by reading about the abomination of Episode 1 and the mild improvements of Episode 2 and the predecessor to this film, Episode 3.  We also have a podcast review of the film on the podcast page (When It Was Cool Podcast Episode 13).

Again, I will not be doing a point by point plot analysis.  You've already seen these movies or you wouldn't be here.  So here we go - Star Wars - Rogue One.

THERE BE SPOILERS BELOW.  YE HAVE BEEN WARNED...

If you consider this movie a prequel, and really you kind of have to, it is far and away the best one.  Now I know this movie has been branded as an anthology movie, which seems to imply it is not part of the official Star Wars movie saga but instead is a side story, but Star Wars: Rogue One is literally an extension of Star Wars - Episode 4 - A New Hope... as in literally, right up to the moment of, extension of it.  Thus I brand it Episode 3.9.

In other words, they tacked about two hours onto A New Hope and boy was it a fine one.

The Good

  • Darth Vader.  After decimating the character in Episodes 1-3, Vader is back with a vengeance.  While he is only in a few minutes of the movie, those few minutes significantly repaired the damage done to him by the first three episodes.  Darth Vader just killin' people! And that Bacta tank scene added a much needed, almost horror movie-esque quality to him.  Job well done.
  • Filled in the plot holes of A New Hope.  Why was the massive Death Star so easily destroyed?  Now we know and it actually makes sense... sabotage.
  • K2SO. The Star Wars saga has always been great at giving the droids interesting personalities.  K2SO is another winner.  The blunt, reprogrammed, Imperial droid is fantastic comic relief and ultimately has a heroic end.  K2SO, BB8, R2D2, C3PO, and my favorite assassin IG-88.  I love the Star Wars droids.
  • Peter Cushing.  My jaw dropped every time the long deceased Grand Moff Tarkin was on the screen delivering lines.  A stunning special effect giving Grand Moff Tarkin more well deserved screen time.  A special additional nod to Princess Leia who also made a shocking, surprise appearance.
  • The Aliens.  Again, Star Wars hits a home run with it's amazing alien designs.  The Star Wars universe is still home to the best aliens in the movie industry.
He's back and he's pissed.

He's back and he's pissed.

These guys... Love 'em.

These guys... Love 'em.

The Bad

  • Slow starter.  It took this film a while to get going.  The last half of the film more than made up for it but it did take a while to get going.
  • The cut scenes.  There were several shots that appeared in the movie trailers that did not make the final cut.  Some of them, I think, would have made the movie more interesting as it seemed several important scenes, somehow, ended up on the cutting room floor.

The Ugly

  • I got nothing.  There really wasn't anything I hated about the movie which is a vast improvement over the first three episodes.
I am moderately indifferent to the black death troopers.  A cool enough design, i suppose, but they really didn't do anything spectacular.

I am moderately indifferent to the black death troopers.  A cool enough design, i suppose, but they really didn't do anything spectacular.

This guy - K2SO was a scene stealer.  One of my favorite character of the movie.

This guy - K2SO was a scene stealer.  One of my favorite character of the movie.