Many years ago, when computers were first used in films, someone predicted that one day there would be digital Marilyn Monroes and digital James Deans. But what, he asked, if the CGI actors couldn’t act?
We find out the answer in Rogue One, where several characters from Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi make cameo appearances. The most jarring of these was a stiff and emotionless Peter Cushing composite playing Grand Moff Tarkin. It was very good, but still not perfect. Of course, it is only a matter of time til things like this are perfect. The big question is, what then?
For me the biggest problem with Rogue One was the same problem I had with the prequels, how the hell did the Empire ever come into being? Over and over again Empirical Forces are dispatched with ease by a handful of Rebels.
While I liked seeing Darth Vader again, I found his appearance here very strange. It appears that Darth Vader has moved to the planet where Obi-Wan lopped off his arms and legs. Wouldn’t this be like Napoleon moving to Waterloo? And are we to believe he’s been floating in a healing tank for twenty years?
Then there was the annoying bit about HOPE. Hope was mentioned countless times, no doubt in reference to the re-titled first Star Wars. A film I will always call Star Wars.
It was also a bit odd that they used the same bit of business in firing the Death Star and then went so far as to reuse the same footage each time the gun was used, just like in Star Wars.
Ok, so what did I like? Lots of stuff. The effects were, for the most part, damned amazing. The acting was good, if a little over the top in spots. The story was forced and twisted, but the ending was still satisfying. The many, many people who died to bring the Rebels that information were mostly likable and I’m not sure they ALL needed to die.
Rogue One was a fun movie and well worth seeing.