“Rogue One” movie breaks mold of the Star Wars franchise

  This year, the Star Wars franchise added another chapter to their growing reputation of thrilling space operas: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which hit theaters on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. “The Force Awakens” (2015) was an epic kickoff to the franchise’s anticipated sequel trilogy, but “Rogue One” broke the mold of releases, offering a breath of fresh air between the sequel trilogy’s installments to explain the story behind the destruction of the Death Star in “Return of the Jedi.”

  This movie follows Jyn Erso, daughter of the Death Star’s inventor, as she embarks on a quest to retrieve his Death Star plans which are used in “A New Hope” to destroy this ultimate weapon. She is joined by several new, colorful characters: Rebel officer Cassian Andor, droid K-2SO, blind warrior Chirrut Imwe, and mercenary Baze Malbus. These characters were all fantastic additions to the Star Wars universe as far as their personalities and designs with K-2SO and Chirrut really shining. K-2SO could never surpass the likes of C-3PO, R2-D2, and BB-8, but he was hilarious and lovable in his own right and provided the only comic relief in the entire movie. Part of the reason why I loved K-2SO was because of his design, which seemed to be reminiscent of one of Isaac Asimov’s robots from his “I, Robot” book series. Also, Chirrut is one of the most unique Star Wars characters yet, not only due to his race, but because he has the disadvantage of blindness that he continuously overcomes.

  Although these characters all had their moments throughout the film, I struggled to connect with some of them because characters like Cassian and Baze were practically thrown into the story with minimal origin, so I failed to care when they found themselves in peril. Another setback of the movie was that it seemed to drag at times, perhaps too long in between the gritty action scenes. During its down times, the film jumped back and forth between several groups, but this boredom paid off once everything came together and made sense during the climax.

  This movie definitely wasn’t a traditional Star Wars film. While watching I definitely got a sci fi vibe, but I never actually felt like I was watching a Star Wars movie. Whether it was due to the lack of one-on-one battles, Jedi philosophy, lightsabers, comedy, and cheesy scene transitions, I can’t put my finger on; however, there sure were plenty of Storm Troopers. I definitely enjoyed this movie for what it was, yet it was difficult not to compare it heavily to the original Star Wars trilogy and “The Force Awakens,” which surpassed it in my opinion.