10 Reasons Rogue One Is Still The Best Star Wars Movie Of The Disney Era

10 Reasons Rogue One Is Still The Best Star Wars Movie Of The Disney Era
Disney’s era of Star Wars movies has seen many interesting additions, but none as well-crafted as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Released in 2016, Rogue One takes place immediately before the events of A New Hope, helping to bridge the gap between the prequel era and the timeline of the original trilogy. The movie follows the story of Jyn Erso as she discovers the plans for the Empire’s Death Star and delivers them to the Rebel Alliance.

Rogue One is unique among the Star Wars movies, as it was the first spin-off film to be released. Since then, Disney has released Solo: A Star Wars Story as well, though to mixed reviews. Out of all the movies released by Disney since its acquisition of the Star Wars property, Rogue One has managed to be one of the most beloved, despite its status as a spin-off. This is for a variety of reasons, the most important of which are listed below.

Rogue One Balances A Fun Adventure & An Emotional Journey

The Film Manages To Pack So Much Into A Two-Hour Runtime
Although Disney’s movies for the franchise both before and since Rogue One have often been filled to the brim with adventure, there are many times they fall short in their emotional journeys. Solo failed to grip new and returning audience members alike, unable to raise the stakes for a character so firmly established in the series’ canon. The sequel trilogy, while filled with both new and returning characters, was inconsistent with its tone and story across each different film.

Not only does Rogue One avoid this trend, but it instead actively makes an effort to tie together the action and the underlying emotional threads. Each sequence is filled with tension, and because the characters are new to the franchise, their fates are not tied to any other movie or television appearances. From families reuniting to infiltrating the Empire, Rogue One has it all and ties it into a complete and satisfying narrative.

Rogue One Began The Trend Of Bringing Characters From Animation To Live-Action

Saw Gerrera Was The First Of Many From The Clone Wars

Before the release of Rogue One, the Star Wars movies and Star Wars: The Clone Wars felt like completely separate entities. The two were both canon, but because the television series was kept so separate with its own characters and storylines, there wasn’t much tying it to the rest of canon, aside from the already existing prequel trilogy. This changed with the inclusion of Saw Gerrera in Rogue One, a character who had previously appeared in The Clone Wars.

Although he was not the first animated character to appear in franchise live-action, both Boba Fett and General Grievous have made the jump previously, he did mark the first time a character from The Clone Wars was brought to life. This paved the way for many of the show’s beloved characters, including Ahsoka Tano and later Star Wars Rebels’ Sabine Wren, Ezra Bridger, and Grand Admiral Thrawn, to name a few. Without Saw Gerrera’s successful inclusion in Rogue One, it is possible that Disney would never have brought these characters to live action.

Rogue One Led To The Amazing Andor Disney+ TV Show

Andor Exceeded All Expectations Because Of Rogue One
Out of all the shows to be released during Disney’s production, Star Wars: Andor stands out as something unique even amongst the other installments in the franchise. It covers the story of the titular character Cassian Andor, who originally appeared as one of the main characters in Rogue One. The story of the series is mired in espionage and drama, showing more of the Rebel Alliance during the time of the Empire’s reign.

Without Rogue One and the movie’s subsequent success, the Andor series would never have seen the light of day.

Without Rogue One and the movie’s subsequent success, the Andor series would never have seen the light of day. The series holds the movie at its center with countless callbacks and characters returning to make an appearance. It is even possible that later down the road, the series will lead directly into the movie, similar to how Rogue One led into A New Hope. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: the state of the series today would not be the same without Rogue One.

It Was About Time For Star Wars To Move Away From The Jedi

Rogue One Was The First Movie Without A Single Jedi

When Rogue One originally hit theaters, it was the first blockbuster in the entire franchise to not center around a Jedi main protagonist. Disney took a massive chance with this, one that inevitably paid off in the end. This offered Rogue One the opportunity to take a unique look at the franchise, focusing much more on the Rebellion itself than the ancient order that would one day assist in saving it.

By the time Rogue One was released, the Jedi had been played out in so many angles through the prequels, original trilogy, and even the beginning of the sequel trilogy with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The series needed something fresh, which Rogue One was perfect to provide. The closest characters to the Jedi in the movie are Darth Vader and Chirrut Îmwe, neither of whom are actually Jedi. With its focus on the inner workings of the Rebellion and the Empire, it offered a window into the story of Star Wars that many audiences had never seen before.

Rogue One Tied In Perfectly With The Star Wars Original Trilogy

It Led Directly Into The Opening Of A New Hope
Many facets of Rogue One’s storytelling were on point. Story beats are hit with precision, and legacy characters such as Princess Leia are treated with grace. However, one important detail in the final moments of the movie was the lead in to A New Hope’s opening and the recreation of the entrance of Darth Vader.

Somehow, the movie was able to make Darth Vader’s entrance feel even more menacing than it was in the original. Despite showing the same scene as A New Hope with Darth Vader storming the Rebel ship in an attempt to retake the Death Star plans and, at the same time, Princess Leia, the gruesome nature of his carnage is felt even further with the deaths of the Rebels. This, coupled with an updated peek at the original trilogy’s recognizable introduction, was a shot of nostalgia that sat perfectly at the tail end of a great movie.

Rogue One Is A Star Wars Movie That Isn’t Afraid To Embrace Its Darkness

Many Moments Are Darker Than The Films That Came Before
Star Wars has never been a stranger to including dark moments in its movies. The prequel era especially is filled with them, with tragedy and horror following in the wake of Anakin Skywalker and his fall to the dark side. However, in more recent years, with Disney’s many inclusions to the franchise, there have been fewer and fewer moments that really pull on this darker place in the franchise, with the sequel trilogy seeming to miss it almost entirely.

Rogue One broke this mold, with many harrowing moments and dark themes present in the movie. Death is an especially present theme, with many important characters meeting their deaths by the end of the film. The movie also holds a magnifying glass to the crimes of the Empire, showing just how brutal they were through the actions of characters such as Orson Krennic.

Star Wars Finally Tied Up A Death Star Plot Hole

Why Was The Death Star So Easy To Destroy?
One of the biggest questions that left viewers hanging at the end of A New Hope revolves around the Death Star and its destruction. How could a single shot so easily blow up an entire planet-sized space station? After decades of having nothing to draw on, Disney finally provided an answer in the form of Jyn Erso’s father, Mads Mikkelsen’s Galen Erso.

Galen Erso built a failsafe into its very design, secretly allowing the option to anyone knowledgeable enough to destroy it.

When contracted to come up with the plans for the Death Star, Galen Erso built a failsafe into its very design, secretly allowing the option to anyone knowledgeable enough to destroy it. These plans comprise the very core of the movie, adding context to one of the most important and celebratory moments in the original Star Wars film. This gives Rogue One an added importance, as it manages to answer age-old questions while also being an incredible movie in its own right.

Rogue One’s Cinematography Is Absolutely Beautiful

There Are Many Jaw-Dropping Moments Throughout The Movie
The Star Wars franchise is not one lacking in visual spectacle. Ever since the beginning, each movie in the series has its stunning moments that really grab a viewer’s attention. This is especially true since Disney has taken over the franchise and given moments such as the Holdo Maneuver and the red and white visuals on the planet Crait, both of which are from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Despite already being held to a certain level of visual excellence, Rogue One manages to take things an entire step further. The entire sequence on Scarif is a cinematic masterpiece from beginning to end, with expertly crafted battles and colors that pop on screen. Even the final shot of the final shot of Jyn and Cassian hugging before falling victim to the very Death Star they are trying to destroy, framed with a beautiful shot of the sun in the background, is filmed in such a manner where a viewer can truly feel the sense of victory over the Empire, even in such tragic circumstances.

Rogue One’s Characters Are Rich & Fleshed Out

Jyn Erso And Cassian Andor Feel Fully Realized As Characters
Even though Disney had an entire trilogy to flesh out the characters of the sequel trilogy, Rogue One’s cast of characters still remains the most fully realized out of any Disney movie or television show. The motivations for the characters in this standalone film are clear from the beginning, each receiving a character arc that feels earned and satisfying by the end. This is even true for characters with smaller parts to play than Jyn, like Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, who go on their own emotional journey connected with the Force.

Jyn Erso especially goes through an incredibly harrowing journey of learning about her father, the Rebellion, and her place in the greater galactic conflict. She goes from looking out for herself to looking out for an entire galaxy, putting her life on the line and eventually sacrificing herself in the hopes that the entire galaxy can someday be made safe from the Empire and its Death Star. After an entire life of fighting, she finally found something to fight for, making her an incredibly interesting main character to follow.

Rogue One Has An Incredibly Sad & Impactful Ending

No Other Star Wars Movie Has Come Close To Replicating Its Emotion
The ending of Rogue One is so notable for how incredibly sad it is. Most of the time, when a main character in the franchise is thrust into trouble, the viewer expects them to escape by the narrowest of margins. Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo all survive through the end of Return of the Jedi. The same should be expected of Jyn Erso and her crew as well.

This is not the case in Rogue One. Scarif becomes the final resting place of not only Jyn Erso, but Cassian Andor, Chirrut Îmwe, and countless others as well. Most of the characters that the viewer has had the chance to bond with throughout the movie are dead by the time the main credits roll, making a bold statement on the sacrifices the Rebellion had to make in order to bring down the Empire. This ending makes Rogue One not only one of the saddest movies in the entire Star Wars franchise, but one of the most compelling as well.

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