Whedonesque on Tumblr yesterday made the comment that "Rogue One is an excellent Star Wars film and in some ways the best Firefly movie since Serenity." Hah, I thought. Flip, I thought. Smart-arse. Also, in the event, after watching the film this morning, I am forced to conclude: correct. I loved this movie, although in a very different way to Force Awakens: it's a denser, darker, chewier, less swashbuckling thing, all political sweep and gritty, desperate acts of resistance. I very much like this review, which contends that the film basically both rehashes the manifest iniquities of 2016, and offers some sort of potential antidote. But there are also definitely Firefly echoes; ragtag team of jaded misfits and hopeless causes struggling against fascist empires, leavened with one-liners and driven by strong character interactions. Also, spaceships. Spaceships are cool.
The film doesn't merit a Pros and Cons list, because there weren't too many cons, so have a sort of random listy thing.
I will not, dammit, endure another bloody 3D movie with the 3D glasses worn awkwardly and distractingly over mine. Memo to self, personal clip-on ones at the very least. Amazon has some. If not, the whole hog with dedicated prescription 3D lenses. Because really.
No opening crawl! I really, really missed the opening crawl. On the other hand, I can see why they left it off: the tone of Rogue One is not quite that of the science fiction B-movie, it's too real to merit the tongue-in-cheek overblown portentousness of the scroll narrative.
Chirrut/Baze is possibly my OTP for this movie (blind Jedi monk dude plus gruff blaster-heavy partner, if you never got the names straight). I actually really liked and grokked and wept over Jyn/Cassian, two deeply damaged people learning both to hope and to trust (and AO3 is already blossoming defiantly into fix-it AUs where everybody lives), but the beautiful mutual dependence of the Chirrut/Baze relationship is lovely to watch. The mirrored mantra is especially poignant.
OMG the CGI Leia was terrible and creepy and all uncanny valley up in here. Aaargh aargh aargh no. The Moff Tarkin one didn't worry me nearly as much, mostly because his face is all weirdly angled anyway.
I blame Alan Tudyk for the fact that K-2SO pretty much stole the show. Tumblr joke is that the SO stands for "so over this". His sarky pessimism was perfect.
Bodhi Rook, on the other hand, is a startled fawn and needs to be patted gently and told it'll all be ok. Parenthesis: leads were female (Jyn was great and is my new girl crush), Mexican, Pakistani, Chinese, Chinese. Up yours, Trump and your noxious ilk. Diversity is important.
It was uncommonly distracting to have Major Sholto and Anderson both littering up the Alliance tac room. Someone should have warned us this was a Star Wars/Sherlock crossover. The children were startled.
Cool spaceship battles! nicely choreographed. Also, blowing up cities rather than planets is strangely better, if only because the expanding ring of debris is suitably menacing, and far narratively and visually richer.
The hammerhead ship moment made me giggle a great deal. Something profoundly satisfying in it, possibly because it reproduces in microcosm the Rebellion's whole narrative of tiny, plucky force applied strategically to bring down behemoths.
I am not sure I will forgive the movie for the Seven-Samurai, rocks-fall-everybody-dies sort of ending. Made sense, because high stakes and slim chances and none of the main characters were in New Hope, but... ow. The sads.