Top 10 Moments: Rogue One – A Star Wars Story
*** MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY ***
10. A New Hope
An incredibly well earned moment turned bittersweet amidst the passing of Carrie Fisher. A Princess to multiple generations of Star Wars fans, she will be truly missed.
9. Star Destroyer Down
The entire climactic space battle is visually stunning but this moment stands out as a breathtaking trophy for VFX artists. Two Star Destroyers crash into one another before taking out a gate blocking the extraction of the Death Star plans. It’s a moment that builds up as the Rebels on Scarif struggle to secure the plans and save the rebellion. Brilliant.
8. Jedha vs The Death Star
Rogue One reveals many things about the Death Star including its logical connection to Kyber crystals. The same crystals that power a Jedi’s lightsaber. We also learn the Death Star can dial back the power and destroy cities instead of entire planets. The best demonstration of this… restraint… occurs on the planet Jedha. Another brilliant sequence wonderfully realized and executed by Director Gareth Edwards and his team.
7. Tarkin Take Over
Grand Moff Tarkin’s appearance in Rogue One has generated a fair bit of discussion since the film’s release. Is it ethical to bring an actor back from the dead on the big screen? I believe the CG appearance of such a character works because of his importance in the story. His inclusion in the film is not a cheap cameo. He’s a necessary part of the narrative and a wonderful way to tie the series together. His scenes with Krennic are incredibly well done and demonstrate why Tarkin should be feared across the galaxy.
Every moment of screen time K-2SO gets in Rogue One is memorable. The writer’s struck a fascinating balance between well timed comedic quips and an endearing sense of bravery. K-2SO’s biggest moments occurs in the film’s final act as he holds off waves of Stormtroopers to protect Jyn and Cassian.
5. Darth Vader’s Castle
It’s incredible how much a location says about a character. Having Darth Vader build his castle on the planet Mustafar is a fantastic way to illustrate the inner struggle he feels. That struggle didn’t work well in the prequels with Hayden Christensen taking the brunt of the criticism. THIS is the real Darth Vader. The powerful, frightening and intimidating character is a compelling cinematic legend once more.
Also that’s a bad ass Sith castle!
4. I Am One With The Force…
One Rogue One’s biggest strengths is the supporting cast. Look no further than the remarkable friendship between Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus. These two share a number of fantastic moments allowing a limited amount of screen time to culminate in an emotional farewell.
3. The Rebel Attack on Scarif
The entire third act of this film is incredible. From the moment Rogue One approaches Scarif to the moment the credits roll, the film shines. I was a kid again watching the Rebels on the beach and in space. THIS is why Star Wars has endured for decades as one of the most important (and FUN) franchises in history. Characters we love fighting characters we love to hate bolstered by state of the art filmmaking techniques. Mmmmmmmm
2. The Star Wars Trilogy Bridge
Is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story the best prequel of all time? For any franchise? Whether you agree or not, you can’t debate it belongs in the conversation. Every reference to prior films felt earned. We now know why the Death Star had such a glaring weakness in the first place!
In the prequels, fans scoffed at the idea that Anakin built C-3P0. It felt wrong. It felt forced. Rogue One avoids these pitfalls through sheer clever storytelling. There are simply too many references and ‘nods’ to list here. Rogue One is overflowing with history and a sense of foreshadowing that usually rids prequels of any hope of suspense.
1. The Real Darth Vader
When I learned about Darth Vader’s inclusion in Rogue One I only had one wish. Unleash him!!!!! Director Gareth Edwards did just that. FINALLY, the bad ass returned in one of the coolest and nerdiest sequences of all time. Vader was deconstructed in the prequels leaving us with a mere shadow of the legendary villain. And we all cried ‘Nooooooooooooo’…
In a way, the mistakes of the prequels helped make this sequence all the more satisfying. Darth Vader enters a ship and absolutely annihilates everyone in his path. It’s a moment I’m still smiling about.