*Mild Spoilers alert: I won’t give away many details here, but if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you may want to skip this one for the time being.
I have heard many things about the latest instalment of Star Wars‘ saga – Rogue One – all generally good, with some common points of criticism. I have to say I agree with most of them. The first (positive) aspect is that the movie, differently from the controversial The Force Awaken, has some flavour of the old ones. This is true, and the female lead – Jyn – is more interesting than Rey and definitely more badass. (To be fair, coming back to the past in the timeline was an easier task than progressing to the future, for a series of reasons; therefore nobody can be really surprised that the results are better.) Also, and more in general, it’s easy to root for a group of rogues on a mission as daring as stealing the plans of the Death Star: even this was an easy win, and it didn’t fail.
On another hand, there were a few things that could have been better dealt with – first of all, the beginning of the movie: if you go to watch it making the decision of not knowing anything, like I did, you’ll found yourself lost – who these people are, exactly, and why should I care about them? It’s only at about 1/3 of the movie itself that you understand what they are going to do, and this makes them suddenly important, and relevant. Cutting thirty good minutes and clarifying identities and motives would have improved the final result. There were also many locations/planets, which, if it’s entertaining in its own right and in the best Star Wars tradition, it’s also more confusing – in a situation where you don’t need any other question mark.
On one thing, however, everybody agrees: the last thirty minutes are good, with excellent battle scenes: they can stand the comparison with the others of the saga, and make Rogue One a movie worth watching.
(Final) Caveat: if you have avoided Game of Thrones for its staggering casualty rate and consequent heartbreak effect, I’d suggest you do the same with this one: you’ll leave the movie theatre in tears otherwise, and not just because Carrie Fisher (whose smiling face does appear at some moment) has passed away just a few days ago. Consider yourself warned.