Updated: Dec 21, 2021
In today’s episode we discuss the film that squeezed its way to the top of our cumulative ranks: Rogue One. How the heck did this one score the number one slot? Was it the fact that it’s a war film? Was it Darth Vader’s slaughter in the corridor? Or was it brand new characters self-sacrificing for the greater cause? We’ll get into all of it with Charley and Amanda’s absolute praise for the film and Brody’s grievances with the characters. “Bor Gullet!”
“It’s Star Wars at it’s best” - Amanda
Both Charley and Amanda gave it a perfect score. For Charley, it’s a very heavy movie; contrasting between Anakin’s fall through selfish ambitions in Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One’s cast of sacrificial love, laying down their lives for the greater cause. “There’s not a character here that I didn’t fall in love with.” He believes K2SO is the best droid. Though, he particularly loves Jyn and Galen Erso. We know enough to like her, but we desire more from her. Galen Erso sacrificed his life, dying daily for the cause. He also appreciates the cinematography of the death star rising up, symbolizing the height of the Empire’s power. In his mind, it’s a fantastic bridge between the two trilogies. It brought in some politics from the original trilogy that we only got hints of before.
“Galen Erso was the ultimate survivor.” - Charley
Amanda is with Charley 100 percent. The film really dragged on the first time she watched it, but every subsequent time she watches it, it jumps the ranks. It’s one of the most cinematic for her, and the music transforms into something just a little different. She also points out that it’s a redemption story, ”there was a lot of redemption with former imperial workers leaving for the better cause.” She too loves Jyn Erso, and is excited about the new Andor series because of who Cassian is here. This pulled off starting a story with new characters while not relying on old ones.
“Fives across the board!” - Amanda
This movie is overrated.
Would’ve been better without Bor Gullet.
Hera Syndulla should’ve been in this story onscreen.
The Erso family deserves more lore.
“You and your bias have propelled this movie to the top of all Star Wars movies.” - Brody
In general, Brody thinks this film is overrated by the Star Wars fan base. But, isn’t this left for the fans to decide anyway? It sounds like Brody’s metric for a top-rated Star Wars film has to include character development, and we can’t fault him for thinking like that. It’s the characters that are a part of the Star Wars formula, but Rogue One puts that notion on its side. They have a role in this film, done very well we might add, but some might not feel connected to the story if they don’t feel connected to the characters lacking development. I think Bor Gullet was an unnecessary distraction. Maybe if it would’ve been less goofy and more intimidating, it could’ve worked. Charley agrees, they could’ve done better or cut it entirely. To Amanda, it felt like an extended scene; maybe it could’ve been longer to show his scariness. Brody mentioned that by having Bor Gullet, it showed the state of Saw Gerrera’s desperation. Amanda poses a good take with Hera Syndulla, I just don’t agree like Brody and Charley do. Don’t get me wrong, Hera is a great character and I can’t wait til we get her on the big screen. Though I think by having her included, we lose that suicide squad-element of Rogue One, which I think is the films biggest component. And finally, with Charley’s hot take…it’s hard to disagree. Who wouldn’t want to know more about the Erso family? We had some cool rewrite ideas again. Just think if Galen and Krennic were brothers. We could’ve had another iconic moment where Krennic reveals to Jyn that he’s her uncle!
“It got me excited about anthology films.” - Christian
Overall Score = 92.5
It was different enough, but it wasn’t unfamiliar to the fans. I loved that we didn’t get the opening crawl. It’s what I expected from something that’s supposed to be different. I’m glad the music held to the same code; we got all the nuances of Star Wars, but with a different flavor. Trumpets with Director Krennic (my favorite character in this film) and Mustafar’s evil aura around Vader were just some examples of this working really well. The story wasn’t too complicated, but it was interesting enough to follow along for a fan consuming the easter eggs. Sure, Jyn Erso flipped quickly from being cold to buying into the cause, but it made enough sense for me. It didn’t just connect stuff, it vomited new lore like death troopers, U-Wings, Jetta, and much more. Pao (shouting karabast), Bistan (the space monkey), Benthic (aka Two Tubes) were really cool additions to the Star Wars universe that got me excited about what else might be in store for anthology films; they’re certainly ripe for the picking. Showing the death of Red 5, callbacks to Rebels, and revealing that it was K2SO’s idea to transmit the plans were all cool bits of lore that I ate up. All while following a dark, yet optimistic rhythm. Gareth Edwards left his mark on this movie.
“It was so cool to see Tarkin have a rival.” - Christian
For Brody, the story isn’t bad, it just isn’t perfect. He loves the self-sacrifice for the greater good; starting with Jyn’s mother sacrificing herself at the beginning. For him, this movie made Darth Vader cool again (as opposed to the whiny Anakin of the prequels) with that unforgettable corridor scene! His dealing with Director Krennic was fantastically done. Though Brody leaves the movie not really caring that the gang died (a little bummed when Chirrut died). He said the characters were only interesting because of where they were at; he has no reason to be excited about an Andor series. I think Forest Whitaker’s portrayal of Saw Gerrera seemed a little over-the-top. Was he whispering or yelling? Brody also mentioned this was a “breathy” performance by him and Riz Ahmed’s Bodhi Rook. Both fantastic actors, but they were really into a labored breathing type of vibe.
“Of any star wars movie, this has the most breathy cast.”
We all like the digitization of faces, but it was still distracting for Brody. I agree, Leia didn’t look as great and it won’t age well, but I’m glad we got both her and Tarkin in there. But for 2016, shouldn’t we expect better with such a big budget movie? I was also thrown off by the intro panning of black space to the ship and planet rings; it looks a little cartoony and choppy to start off a Star Wars film, but that’s just a personal gripe. Gripes aside, Brody loves the lore here as well; pointing out how awesome Jetta’s Jedi statues were. He likes that Kyber was mentioned a lot, and we found out they were the power source for the death star. What is their spiritual element? His favorite part was going back to Mustafar, seeing Vader’s castle with him brewing over the place where he originally fell. Holding onto that past defeat. He also pointed out the sound of Vader’s lightsaber changed the music note being played, which was perfect enough for him.
“It’s sad but it’s a good sad.” - Charley
Despite all that, Brody lowers his score mainly due to characters, which is funny because Charley mocks Brody about his character choices due to Brody’s unquestioning love of Boba Fett. However, that’s not the lense to view this film with. Amanda said this movie is meant to be around a plot and story, not the characters. Even so, Cassian witnesses the nobility of Galen protecting his fellow coworkers, and has a change of heart. Motivating him to rally the rebels at the end. Amanda also asks a great question, does this movie have the same weight if you are new to Star Wars? If not, are these the kinds of films Disney should be focused on? Regardless, we wish they would greenlight more anthology films. This one did in fact top our list!