SPOILER FREE REVIEW: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


Finally, the wait is over, the vale has been lifted and we have had a chance to enjoy the most anticipated movie of this year! We here at Star Wars Dubrovnik will bring you the full, spoiler loaded review in a few days when most of you have already seen the movie, but for now, here’s a teaser review for all of you who are still about to see it. Again, this is a completely spoiler free text except for my own subjective experience of the movie’s quality and hints about the main positives and negatives.


First thing’s first, let me get my fan boy raving out of the way and tell you to go and see this movie! Whether you will enjoy it or not, whether you are a fan of the franchise or not, you really want to see this movie. (nobody is paying me to say this btw)

Ever since the Dubrovnik filming of Star Wars Episode 8 this winter, we here in southern Croatia have been on needles and pins about where the franchise will go next and how it will develop. With the new ownership of the franchise, the entertainment giant Disney was always going to be a guarantee for Star Wars universe longevity and spectacular visuals… but with the financial goals now raised sky high, will it ever again be possible to make great quality Star Wars films from a dramatic point of view? Rogue One is a very important movie when it comes to answering this question because 1) it is the first of many spin-off movies to come, and 2) it does not have the burden of all the old characters from the original trilogy that are expected to be featured – like The Force Awakens did.

So, what did the makers of Rogue One accomplish? In my opinion, they have definitely made a standalone film with enough familiar visuals and characters and not too much fan service (I am looking at you The Force Awakens). This was a difficult task, but it seems Lucasfilm people do have their finger on the pulse of the fan base as I have the feeling there was plenty on the screen to keep us coming back for more as we dissect all the parts of the story, characters, and especially technology… as we do. The visuals are excellent and the right proportion of cgi vs. practical effects exists. This was a problem for some of the past films, you all know which ones I’m referring to, but with TFA and now Rogue One it seems those times are behind us. I would say Rogue One is the best looking Star Wars film to date. There is one cgi related thing in the movie that could prove ground breaking and I won’t tell you what, but you will know when you see it. Exciting stuff.

Acting was very good, but not without problems. Let’s just say not all of the actors were up to par or very well chosen for their roles… this is impossible to get into without spoilers, so I will devote more attention to it in the full review.

Rogue One Poster - photo StarWars.com Rogue One Poster – photo StarWars.com[/caption]

Characters were mostly well developed and well written. There was a bit less humour on screen than The Force Awakens and I’m for one very grateful for this, because the story really didn’t call for it. In TFA some of the meant-to-be-funny Harisson Ford lines (but not just his) fell very flat and detracted from the pacing and the story development.

Music was very good and in keeping with the tradition set by the great John Williams… it is not THAT good though. Sound effects were excellent.

The movie was shown in 3D which I generally dislike, but it made sense and added to the movie watching experience without a doubt.

Running time of just under 2hrs and 15mins was a good measure making the movie feel substantial, but by no means tiring.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s a great film, not without its flaws, but it definitely represents an interesting and positive direction in which to take the franchise, and one that will not only keep the masses buying tickets, but also keep more serious movie buffs from dismissing these films as action videos with no soul or integrity.
Keep an eye out for the full review this weekend.

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