I enjoyed this movie. I originally went back when it came out in December, but went again seeing as it recently hit the cheap theater. My hope was that I would enjoy it just as much as I did during my first theatrical viewing, and I was not disappointed, though I was assured by an old lady the next day that it loses a bit of its impact on the third trip to the theater.
What did I like about it? Almost everything, so I’ll start with what I didn’t care as much for. No opening crawl. After the first five minutes I didn’t care anymore, but I did miss the opening crawl every single time I’ve watched the film. There, complaints over.
The film was very well put together, and well paced. We knew going in that it was about the mission to secure the plans to the first Death Star, and if you’ve seen Episode 4 you should know how the movie ends. The journey from A to B however was what made the movie special. It introduced a lot of new characters, and I liked each for different reasons. Our heroine, Jyn Erso, searching for her father and a purpose other than random violence against the Empire, Cassian Andor, the rebel spy, K-2SO, his droid sidekick, Chirrut and Baze, former Temple guardians, and Bohdi Rook the Imperial deserter. Each of these characters are wonderfully brought to life, and I felt a little worse each time one of them met their fate. I especially felt it when Bohdi died, but the look of peace the actor was conveying at the time it happened was just damn touching. It felt like that character had finally found exactly what he’d been looking for. It was excellent. This might be the first Star Wars movie I’ve seen that I don’t have any complaints about the acting.
The special effects were great. The space battles looked a lot more like a cleaner version of the original trilogy battles(practical effects go a long way), and the inclusion of a couple of characters from Episode 4 via stand in actors and CGI was just plain neat to see. This movie looked, sounded, and felt like a Star Wars movie, even though it was designed and truly felt like a war movie, it was still a Star Wars flick.
This movie also showed why Darth Vader is so feared. It was two minutes at the conclusion of the film, but it showed how terrifying a confrontation with everyone’s favourite Dark Lord of the Sith could be. Vader was unstoppable, a lightsaber wielding meat grinder. After Episode 3 and the melodrama of Anakin, it was nice to see Vader be downright scary again.
Honestly, I just loved this movie. Two trips to the theater to see it, watching it online a couple of times, I know it’s one I’ll keep coming back too. And that cast… it’s too bad we likely won’t see them in any subsequent Star Wars films. If you haven’t seen this movie, go see it. Don’t let it being a Star Wars film keep you away(if you’re not into Star Wars). It’s worth the watch.