Here's why Rogue One is top Star Wars movie since original trilogy
I've been dying to see Rogue One since the very first trailer was released seemingly eons ago. And so it was on a Sunday morning, at a 9:30 a.m. screening, the circle was finally complete.
And I'll admit it. I was blown away. I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. The great '80s sci-fan Kevin Smith boasted publicly it was best Star Wars flick since The Empire Strikes Back. And I have to agree.
So let's get down to it - without any spoilers. Here are my five reasons why Rogue One is the best Star Wars movie since the original trilogy.
1. WE KNOW THE STORY'S ENDING AHEAD OF TIME: To tell a story where we all know the result ahead of time is challenging. But great films - Love Story, Apollo 13 - can do it. Yes, we all know the Death Star plans get stolen. But how? And at what price? You won't know until the full 2 hours and 13 minutes is up.
2. NO JAR JAR, NO EWOKS: God bless George Lucas, but sometimes cutesy characters just make fans wince. Rogue One is full of dirt, sweat, blood and enough explosions to make the Fast and Furious trailer beforehand look like a Pixar film. And it's all accomplished without the distraction of any warm-and-fuzzy sidekicks.
3. EVEN THE DROIDS ARE LIKABLE: Speaking of sidekicks, when's the last time you said: "Hey, I actually think that droid is cool!" (Let's face: Even R2 was a bit of a jerk half the time.) Wait until you meet K-2SO (voiced perfectly by Firefly's Alan Tudyk). K2 easily gets all the laughs in Rogue One and none of the groans.
4. ALL NEW CHARACTERS AND LOCATIONS: Sure, we all know Vader makes a cameo, but Rogue One revolves around an entirely almost entirely new universe of rebels and villains. That's what makes it work. (But keep an eye open for other occasional surprise - none of whom outstay their welcome.) Oh, and a battlefield scene set on a beautiful beach!? I almost expected to see Pitbull pop up behind a Stormtrooper and tweet #LoveFL, but Disney no doubt has wiser ways to spend $1 million. (Plus, that scene was actually filmed in the Maldives. Sorry, Florida!)
5. WE'RE READY TO WATCH STAR WARS ALL OVER AGAIN: My Honda CRV falls just short of light speed, but I tried my best as soon as I left the theater - not even bothering to stick around for the credits - so I could get home and cue up Episode IV.
I'd love to wax on more about the other little differences (improvements) that Rogue One makes over the three sickening prequels and the somewhat disappointing Force Awakens. But this is a Jedi best kept in the bottle a little longer.