I saw this movie on Christmas and seriously enjoyed the movie. And it was a little bittersweet to watch know that Carrie Fisher passed away... I would rank this Star Wars movie right after Empire Strikes Back which is my favorite Star Wars movie. And though it ranks up there in the franchise and is very dark compared to the others, there are some issues with the movie. As there are with all movies. No movie is without issue.
Rogue One is the first movie in the franchise that doesn't focus on the Skywalker family. It's a tale of how the rebellion got the Death Star plans that Luke Skywalker would later use to blow it up. And though it's not needed, I appreciate that they made this movie. The director, Gareth Edwards, also shows the true war between the fight for freedom and the fight for tyranny. Where people die on both sides. Either while fighting or just trying to do their job. And people on each side do questionable things for their side. And some will even attempt to this. Edwards always shows you someone’s body flying backward from an explosion, presumably broken. Two Imperial Stormtroopers shoot the breeze about a work-related matter before they’re gunned down. Main characters die. Villains die. Faceless extras die. And all die too soon, especially ones you get emotionally connected to even though you know they will never be seen again.
One of the main flaws of the movie, is that Rogue One goes from beautifully crafted scenes to uneven ones or ones clearly done during post-production. But I didn't find that to pull me out of the story in any way.
Though I loved the movie, it is flawed. You have plot points resolved almost the second they are introduced. You also have characters getting very patchwork motivation for why they do things. Jyn Enso, the main protagonist, goes from being a reluctant passenger to being a leader in a very short time span with little motivation or cause for her to switch. And well that is flawed, you are still hanging onto every moment to see where it goes. Though you know there is no movie after this for her character. It's not like they can edit her character into episode four.
This is still Star Wars. It’s not going to offer up a blistering tirade against combat, nor a bromide against the military-industrial complex. The good guys are still mostly good. The bad guys are still mostly bad. There’s still a man dressed all in black who can choke you with a hand gesture, and a scrappy band who stands up to all that darkness.
What did you think of Rogue One if you saw it?