Writers: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy, John Knoll, Gary Whitta
Composer: Michael Giacchino
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Jimmy Smits, Alistair Petrie, Genevieve O'Reilly, Ben Daniels, Paul Kasey, Stephen Stanton, James Earl Jones
More info: IMDb
Tagline: A rebellion built on hope.
Plot: The Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.
My rating: 8.5/10
Will I watch it again? Yes.
SPOILERS AHEAD, YE MATEYS!!!! YARRRRRR!!!!
In a nutshell, I really liked it and I'm liking it more over the past 24 hours since I saw it. I can't think of anything that I didn't like which already makes it different than THE FORCE AWAKENS which is loaded with stuff that should've been a lot better but still managed to be a really fun picture. The pandering to fans in TFA was over the top and embarrassing. The call backs in RO are more subtle and acceptable. I'm just going to briefly hit the things that stood out for me that I dig. Bringing Tarkin back is one of the coolest things about this. I'm a HUGE fan of Peter Cushing so I'm really studying him whenever he's on. I could easily tell he was CGI but they still did a great job. The voice isn't quite there but it's close enough. It was off enough that when he says, "You may fire when ready.", I'd swear it was directly lifted from the '77 film. He's a tough sumbitch, though, and I loved it. Vader is great but you can tell Jones' voice isn't what it was. I'm surprised they didn't electronically play with it to more closely match what he did nearly 40 years ago. And speaking of Vader, did you notice that his helmet looks closer to his shoulders or that his shoulders were larger than before? It felt odd somehow. The bit that had me tearing up, though, was hearing and seeing the two X-Wing/Y-Wing pilots in the final battle. That was one piece of fan service that really touched me, taking me back to when I was a kid that summer 39 years ago.
The trailers painted Jyn (Jones) as a cocky badass to the point of making her looking like the typical Hollywood flick where she'd own the joint in an over the top way. I REALLY hated that line where she said something like, "You want rebels, don't you? I rebel.". It's just awful. Fortunately it's not in the film. I did leave my seat for 3 minutes to take a squirt during the scene immediately following Vader's entrance, where Jyn is talking to the Alliance council or something. Maybe she said it there. But I liked her a lot and the same goes for the rest of the cast. Cassaian (Luna) is terrific. He does what's necessary despite what it means to other people. Shortly after we meet him, he kills a character that's on his side simply because allowing him to live would jeopardize the cause. It's cold but I loved it and he did it without hesitation. K-2SO was hilarious and it was a welcome sight to see a prominent droid not be so damn cute or silly. Krennic (Mendelsohn) is fantastic and I kind of felt sorry for the guy having worked so hard for so long only to have someone else take the credit.
And the final few minutes with the Death Star plans making their way to the hands of Leia was fucking intense and fun as shit. I about lost it for the all too brief scene when Vader goes to town on the rebels. WOW!!! I really love how they did something different for a change. It's nice that we're going to get stand alone films because it allows us to take a break from the friggin' force, Jedi and laser swords and shit. It's nice getting to see something that doesn't involve a Skywalker (but I do loves me some Luke stuff, just to be clear). Oh, and something else, the Rebel pilots look like normal people and I was pleased as blue milk to see that one of them was a woman in her 50s that looked like she was somebody's mom. Refreshing. I'm looking forward to seeing this at least 2 or 3 more times before it leaves the theater which is a lot more than I anticipated before yesterday.