I’m sure that most who are even vaguely interested in this movie have seen it by now and this piece won’t be considered a spoiler anymore. If you are interested in the movie and haven’t seen it, then that’s on you.
Frankly, I was a bit underwhelmed by it. The start was a flurry of scenes that made me feel you were watching a series of short films. Important for sure but confusing and maybe could have been treated better.
The end tried to do too much squeezing in Princess Leia coming out from the damaged ship. It was supposed to be a link to Episode IV but it created problems because Episode IV, A New Hope, started with Darth Vader killing soldiers because they intercepted the transmission of the Death Star plans. Rogue One just had the rebels transmitting the plans out to a ship, which was then passed on in disk form to Leia who then made her escape. No interceptions there. I don’t think Vader would have mistaken a transmission from an intercept.
In between, there was a lot to digest. Did you know that the Death Star can actually jump through hyperspace? Makes you wonder why it didn’t pop up at the right place at Yavin and have a clear shot at the rebel base instead of having to maneuver around and give the rebels time to exploit the one weakness of the weapon.
Then there’s that itsy-bitsy scene where Senator Organa and Mon Mothma talk about getting the Jedi, which can only be Obi Wan. Nothing ever came out of that scene even if it did make the final cut.
What all these tell me, when taken together with the early teasers and trailers, was that, somewhere along the way, the story got rewritten in a massive way. I mean in the early teasers, Jyn was a rebel even against the official rebellion, which implies that she was more Saw Gerrera’s follower than just a recruit to the rebellion. Still, the mad pilot was a good character. Even the ‘bot with attitude. It’s sacrifice was the most…human…of all.
Then there were the two Asians that while I enjoyed their banter, couldn’t figure out their relevance except to indicate that there were those who still believed in the Force even if they were not Jedis but we already got that with Maz Kanata in Force Awakens, and all the people who kept saying “May the Force be with you”. Still, if they had to be there, then I wish they made them aliens instead. Would have made them more interesting.
We all know how this was supposed to end: they get the plans and transmit it until it gets to Princess Leia. What was a bonus, however, was Darth Vader in a truly Sith action scene and not just waving the saber around or telepathically but clumsily throwing things around but a real well-choreographed fight. That, at least, was refreshing.
This is just me being a fan-boy.