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Rogue One

I thought it was pretty great! Maybe this is an understatement. I need to see it again.

Jyn was about everything I could have hoped for -- fierce, complex, a strong leader. I also enjoyed her band of merry men (though it wasn't lost on me that they were only men, the featured characters were almost all men of color, which was very nice to see) and the nods to the first movie, some more subtle than others. The CGI used to recreate original trilogy the characters was a bit distracting in places. I'm not sure whether I would have preferred them to straight-up recast the roles; maybe, although having the same faces did help to ground this movie as a story that could plausibly have happened right before the first movie. I feel as though it all hung together quite well, although now I want to watch the films back to back to see whether the connections work as well as I think they might.

I suppose I should have expected the "rocks fall, everyone dies" ending, given the state of the Rebellion when we first met them in A New Hope, but I didn't fully realize that it was coming until the battle on the beachfront began. But as soon as I understood, I accepted it as the only conclusion that makes sense. Otherwise, why aren't any of these heroes of the Alliance around? But it still hurt to watch Jyn, Cassian, Bodhi, and the rest sacrifice themselves to get the Death Star plans out, even though we hadn't known any of them for very long. I understand that the fix-it fic is being written already, but (even though Jyn and Cassian had great chemistry, and for a moment there I started wondering if they might turn out to be Rey's parents) I don't feel the need for it. Sad as it was, this was the right ending for the story, especially since we know that their gamble paid off.

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