This is probably my favorite movie of the year and there are few words that can truly capture the emotions I felt during this movie. It’s the closest thing to perfect that I have seen in a long time.
This movie represented exactly what I believe Star Wars is about: hope and sacrificing everything to keep hope alive.
The characters were not a part of some mythology but were in a real war. They were real characters, not some prophesied heroes.
Jyn Erso is honestly my favorite Star Wars hero now. Her arc from annoying rebel brat to sacrificial leader was so fucking emotional. Tell me how Rey had a better character arc than that in her one movie that we’ve seen her in. 1 for 1, it’s not even close.
The side characters felt so real because they each did not need their own backstory but instead were just in the moment and real. They were powerful and imperfect and so human in a world that was not. K2 was useful and funny which is a lot more than what I can say about basically all of the other droids. He could fight back and had amazing lines. Cassian had a perfect arc as well. We didn’t need anymore characterization than what we got.
Krennic as a villain was also so fucking phenomenal. As an audience you understood that he was competing with Tarkin and Vader for power and was constantly not getting credit and you realized why he desperately could not let the rebels win that day. He was human and determined yet also very evil.
Vader has the best freaking scene in all of Star Wars history. He makes you fully understand why he is one of the most powerful figures in the galaxy and we have literally never seen him this good.
Tarkin’s CGI was also incredible and revolutionary.
The action and battle sequences were what won this thing over for me.
The shots went from out of this world to grounded in reality. Some of the most majestic shots ever to an actual war setting that we have never seen from Star Wars. The Death Star has never looked more menacing. The shot on the horizon. The shot of it covering the moon. The shot of the at-at’s coming out of the mist. The bazooka hitting the at-at. The shot of the star destroyers blowing up. The shot at the end. God damnit this fucking movie. That’s literally all I will say because otherwise this thing will be too long.
The second act was also great. NOT SLOW! Each character was introduced and developed into heroes that at came to love at the end. Cassian learns that sometimes there are greater things than following orders, Jyn learns that everyone has lost loved ones in this war. The jumping around to different planets made it feel like an actual war that was taking over the galaxy. They fucking answer why the Death Star has an essential problem in its construction!!!!!
Mini story arcs in a bigger story!
Also this story was so awesome because it was so contained. It didn’t need to set anything up and could just exist on its own. Fucking brilliant. Plus you knew the outcome so it wasn’t about how the plot could have a happy ending at all. You already knew the ending so basically it was how much will these characters do to make me care about them. It was about how much will they lose, which Again grounded the film. The characters were more real because they were not on In almost every other Star Wars movie, the ending is always trying to leave with mystery and more mythology, which takes away from the reality of war and the emotion of what this film can be. When you go into Star Wars, the ending and story in general is overall weakened because you can usually assume a happy ending and are just waiting to see how the plot works out that everyone wins. You see how the villains mess up so the heroes can prevail. You look for the conveniences that ultimately take the reality out of the movie. For this one you knew the end so there was none of that bullshit story telling plot hole ridden garbage.
This movie maybe had less “magic” but it made up for it in reality.
When you know it will be a happy ending, then the movie has more freedom then to make you feel deeper emotions without the typical cheap finale.
The outcome is known so instead everything else matters.
Above all else though this story captured what sacrifice means. It truly explained how hope and prevail all else and I didn’t need a prophesy or these amazing lineages or plot twists or mystery. It was just a pure war film that just so happened to take place in a galaxy far far away.
Some negatives include no title crawl and that weird squid thing seemed unnecessary. Also Forest Whitaker was not as good as I thought he could’ve been, but he’s in the movie for five minutes so whatever.
I also fuck with the Death troopers.