Last night, my boyfriend and I had a couple of hours to kill and nothing particularly interesting to do so we decided to sit down and finally watch Rogue One. He’s a Star Wars fan and I’m… well, I’m working on it. I liked Force Awakens a lot and I’ve seen the original trilogy (one day I’ll work my way through the prequels just so I know what I’m talking about) so we were going into this as prepared as one would expect. I have some friends who’ve criticised the movie, partially because they’re old school Star Wars fans who’ve read the extended universe books so I have to admit I had some reservations going in. Still, I don’t think that was the problem and there was a problem.
The movie was okay. It wasn’t bad. At worst, it was kind of boring and lazy and as we discussed it afterwards we both kind of agreed that it wasn’t needed. Sure, great with another female lead in a largely male dominated franchise, but Jyn Erso was pretty forgettable both in design and personality. Great that they’re involving more women in the franchise but I’m not so sure every woman needs to look like Leia and even more so, I never understood her character arc. She basically went from being against involvement to leading the resistance without the audience being allowed to see why she changed her mind so dramatically.
Most of all the pacing seemed to be really off. The start was long and dragging, which in turn shortened the lead up to the movie climax which then made the big high point of the movie feel like a secondary quest on the way to the big dramatic ending. Stealing the plans for the Death Star is the main point of the movie but it was decided and then executed and then the movie was over. Even knowing that was the point of it I found myself waiting for something more to happen. The fact that you know how the story is going to end also puts the movie in an awkward position where, like Titanic, the disastrous ending needs to be offset by an investment in the characters and that wasn’t really present in this movie. Sure, Baze and Chirrut were charming and K-2SO filled the snarky robot part beautifully but other than that it was pretty blah and that’s a problem for a movie like this. I didn’t care about the main characters and I already knew what was going to happen in broad strokes, so why should I care?
If anything, this movie made me even more eager to pick up the books detailing the adventures of the Rogue and Wraith squadrons. At least those doesn’t seem to be boring.