The Star Wars Franchise’s Latest Blockbuster: Rogue One
by Adrian Hackney on Friday, January 13th, 2017
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released on December 16, 2016 and fans and critics have long awaited to weigh in on this much-anticipated addition to the Star Wars series. According to Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, Rogue One “takes place just before the events of the first released Star Wars movie in 1977.”
The movie follows Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones, on her journey to destroy the Death Star. The Death Star, an extremely powerful weapon used by the insidious Galactic Empire, has the ability to demolish entire planets and cause mass devastation. And Jyn must unite rebels to accompany her in her endeavors to bring down the Death Star.
In general, the public positively received Rogue One. IMDb (The Internet Movie Database) gave Rogue One 8.1 stars out of ten, the product of over two hundred thousand viewer opinions. One IMDb reviewer said that the film “brought back hope in [him] for the [Star Wars] franchise.”
Countless reviewers admired Rogue One’s comical moments and echoes of past Star Wars films. Others appreciated its skilled acting and gripping battle scenes. There were the outliers, however, who indignantly said that their expectations were not met.
Movie critics were more split in their reviews, some glowing and some unimpressed. Mark Kermode of The Guardian noted that Rogue One “has the distinct smell of victory.”
The New York Times’ A. O. Scott disagreed, concluding that, “All the pieces are there, in other words, like Lego figures in a box. The problem is that the filmmakers haven’t really bothered to think of anything very interesting to do with them.”
Metacritic, a website that averages critics’ reviews, gave Rogue One a 65 out of 100, placing the movie’s feedback under the category “Generally Favorable.” This rating speaks to the relatively positive reviews from critics.
Many Milton students enjoyed and even loved Rogue One, saying all the hype was justified. Multiple students praised the movie’s CGI (computer-generated imagery) and appreciated the advanced technical layer it added. Pierce Wilson (III) mentioned that “Rogue One answered a lot of [his] questions and tied everything together.” However other students found Rogue One “cliché” and its ending “disappointing.”
A few students told me they were never Star Wars fans to begin with but decided to see Rogue One anyways. All were pleasantly surprised. Some now consider themselves Star Wars fans and plan to watch the previous movies. Milton was generally satisfied with Rogue One, which even managed to lure in new Star Wars followers.
Rogue One left many viewers comparing it to The Force Awakens. Erik Kain, a contributor to Forbes, believes that, “The Force Awakens was a better, more enjoyable movie all around, but not by leaps and bounds. Rogue One did plenty of things better, and wins big on originality. But in the end, I think Rogue One‘s parts are better than its whole, while I think the opposite is true of The Force Awakens, if that makes sense.”
Milton students agree that there were plenty of pros and cons for both movies, but that Rogue One was more creative than The Force Awakens. In the end, it seems difficult to decide which takes the prize.
Rogue One was a success that captivated audiences and provided a new window into the world of Star Wars. According to Box Office Mojo, Rogue One grossed almost $900 million, making it the fifth highest grossing movie worldwide in 2016. As with many others, I will wait in anticipation for future Star Wars adventures.
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