Rogue One: Fantastic ending Picks up the slack By: Adam Wenkoff


After watching the most recent addition to the Star Wars cinematic universe, I was completely torn on whether I liked the movie or not.

On one hand, I was shockingly disappointed.

Weird, right? How can you be disappointed with a movie that got an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and has already grossed over $800 million?

The answer is simple: as a lifelong fan of the series, I hold the Star Wars movies to a higher standard than others. It was disappointing when most of the film felt more like a Star Trek movie than a movie of the series I grew up loving.

One of my favorite movies when I was growing up was Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (pictured above).

The scenery and acting in "Rogue One" were awesome. The variety in colors between the planets was breathtaking. That has become the standard in sci-fi adventure movies in today's age of advanced cameras and CGI.

It was a good movie. Just not a good Star Wars movie.

Comparing "Rogue One" to the sci-fi genre is like comparing Pitbull's newest single to every single other song he's ever made. You knew what was going to happen because you've seen similar movies in the past. A certain objective takes the protagonist and their crew planet-hopping. Pitbull shouting "Miami" and "three-oh-five" about six times a song. Nothing special. Pretty much expected at this point.

Even though the scenery and cinematography in "Rogue One" was amazing, it wasn't anything that made the film stand out.

The film revolved around a dangerous quest to retrieve the internal layout of the Death Star from the depths of the Empire.

Jyn Erso, "Rogue One"'s protagonist, was played by actress Felicity Jones.

It also didn't help that "Rogue One" skipped over the classic opening text crawl that Star Wars fans have come to love, further separating the film from the Star Wars series.

A huge part of the reason why "The Force Awakens" was so successful was because there were so many links back to the original series. Characters like Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and Han Solo (RIP) were brought back, along with more references to past movies. Audiences loved the nostalgia that came with those moments.

"The Force Awakens" was so successful partially because of the nostalgia that viewers felt when original characters like Chewbacca and Han Solo (pictured above) were integral to the plot.

Darth Vader's cameo in "Rogue One" was supposed to be that injection of nostalgia into Rogue One. "I'm mainly excited for the return of Darth Vader," said Timmy Luciano '19.

One of the biggest villains in cinema history making a return to the big screen. That should have done it.

But it didn't. He made only two appearances in the film, and he didn’t bring back memories of the original Vader until the end. Harry Burke '18 agreed, adding, "I think he made a joke at one point in the movie. It was so weird and not like the original character at all."

Darth Vader's role in "Rogue One" wasn't memorauntil his final scene.

There were a few other characters brought back in "Rogue One". C-3PO, R2-D2, Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, Governor Tarkin, Ponda Baba Colonel Evazan, and Princess Leia also made appearances in the movie. Nevertheless, like Vader, they failed to bring that sense of nostalgia back the same way that "The Force Awakens" did.

It is possible that this lack of nostalgia in "Rogue One" is because we were treated with so much of it just one year ago. Fair. Even so, "Rogue One" was simply lacking that push that made it a memorable addition to the saga.

Until the end.

Darth Vader's final scene in "Rouge One" was absolutely terrifying.

Ironically, the beginning of the greatness of "Rogue One" didn't really come until after the main protagonists died. Nothing against Felicity Jones and Diego Luna, who did a fantastic job portraying their characters, but the moment when the movie's stereotypical plot took a twist was when Darth Vader's blazing red lightsaber illuminated a hallway filled with rebel soldiers.

I've seen all of the Star Wars movies countless times. I understood that Darth Vader was powerful. I understood that he was ruthless. I understood that he was willing to do (or kill) whatever he needed to get what he wanted. But I never thought of him as a scary character.

The ending of "Rogue One" changed that.

Watching Vader absolutely slaughter the helpless rebel soldiers with such a calm demeanor completely changed the way I viewed the villain. It was easily one of the greatest scenes in Star Wars history.

The movie then proceeded to shock anyone who wasn't already astonished by that scene.

Princess Leia's appearance in "Rogue One" was brief, but it was incredibly powerful.

"Rogue One"'s ending wrapped up the movie's plot very well while also directly connecting to the fourth episode of the saga, "A New Hope". By using CGI and actress Ingvild Deila to recreate Princess Leia Organa , director Gareth Edwards was able to perfectly link the ending of his movie to the original Star Wars movie.

Leia's cameo was the best-kept secret of the film, and absolutely no one saw it coming. The purpose of "Rogue One" finally became clear. Without the events that occurred in the movie, "A New Hope" wouldn't have happened.

Emma Yorkes '18 agreed, saying, "I really enjoyed the ending. It tied this specific Star Wars story with the other ones and I thought that was really interesting."

The ending of "Rouge One" was so awesome because it came full-circle with the beginning of "A New Hope" (pictured above).

The ending of "Rogue One" was its saving grace. It made a good sci-fi movie into a good Star Wars movie.

The importance of that cannot be understated. A mere five minutes made a movie that I would have been disappointed with into a movie that I could leave the theater raving about with my friends.

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