Updated: Dec 5, 2019
Streaming on Netflix
Metadata: 2016 | PG-13 | 2h 14m
Genre: Action & Adventure | Sci-Fi & Fantasy | inspiring and uplifting and beautiful
Why I watched: Well, I'll go see anything that ever comes out in the Star Wars universe. So there's that. But why have I watched Rogue One multiple times since I saw it in theaters? That would be because this movie is incredibly well done and, dare I say it, inspiring.
You might also like: The Last Jedi, the latest installment in the Star Wars saga, just came to Netflix, and fans everywhere are thanking their lucky stars! I think it's a really excellent movie, though as with any series with passionate fans, there was a lot of controversy over it. If you've tried everything—Rogue One included—and you just can't get into Star Wars, then maybe check out all the Indiana Jones movies on Amazon for some good old-fashioned action and adventure (though admittedly they are disappointingly sexist movies).
In honor of The Last Jedi coming to Netflix, this week I am recommending...a different Star Wars movie! You're probably either thinking Thanks for nothing, Grace, I've already seen all the Star Wars movies, or Thanks for nothing, Grace, I'm so not into Star Wars. Well, I'm here to tell you you're wrong either way. You may have seen all the Star Wars movies, but did you really watch Rogue One? And, if you think you're not into Star Wars, that's probably because you haven't yet watched Rogue One.
This movie is so much more than *just* a Star Wars movie (though in this fan's book, that's enough to recommend it). It is an inspiring and moving tale of strangers coming together and fighting for a common cause because it's the right thing to do, not because they'll get anything in return for it personally. In fact, they might have to give everything for it. Jin Erso (Felicity Jones), daughter of scientist/engineer Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), grudgingly bands together with the Rebellion to steal the plans for the Death Star, a planet-killing weapon created—with the compelled assistance of Jin's brilliant father—by the evil Empire. The odds are stacked woefully against the tiny but scrappy group of rebels, and a successful mission is by no means guaranteed.
In short, this is a movie about resistance. Its characters wonder whether extreme actions are justifiable to further their cause, and they struggle with questions about what they owe a crusade that they never thought was theirs to begin with. Yet they don't spend time fretting over what they might have to give up in order to achieve a better world; they just focus on doing the next right thing. As Jin so eloquently puts it (in the face of significant danger), "We'll take the next chance. And the next. On and on until we win...or the chances are spent." Beyond all of this, Rogue One is visually a really beautiful movie, and it also does an excellent job of creating visual continuity with the Star Wars films that follow it chronologically. (Rogue One fits in between Episodes 3 from 2001 and 4 from 1977.) But even if you aren't a Star Wars nerd like me, this movie stands alone really well. It's a fully contained story, unlike Episodes 1 - 8, so you don't need to know anything else about the Star Wars universe to follow and enjoy it. (Though of course knowing lots of things about the SW universe does enrich one's experience with Rogue One!)
Very happy streaming, friends! Grace
P.S. Shoutout to my sister Julie for picking gifs, etc. for this newsletter. She is a rockstar.