Things I liked:
- Showing how rebels often had to get their hands dirty, even killing their own allies once they became a liability. And K-2SO lobotomizing a fellow security droid to download a map of the Imperial facility was pretty hardcore.
- This was really the first time Darth Vader had a chance to really kick some ass on screen by wiping the walls with the rebel soldiers. As in, literally picking up their bodies and wiping them all over the walls.
- Best “wiseass grumpy robot who reluctantly follows orders just because he lacks the free will to do otherwise” since Marvin the Paranoid Android.
- Not a setup for a sequel!
Things I didn’t care for:
- The story jumped around to like 15 different planets in the first 10 minutes of the movie. What am I, an astro-navigator?
- It was impressive how they were able to digitally resurrect characters from the original trilogy but they were really pushing it by giving Grand Moff Tarkin so much screen time. Still getting “uncanny valley” vibes. I think it would have been more effective to leave him mostly offscreen, facing away from the camera or partially obscured in poor lighting so his videogame-cutscene appearance wouldn’t contrast so obviously with the other actors.
- So Mads Mikkelsen was able to smuggle out a holo-recording telling everyone he had secretly built a fatal flaw in the Death Star but he couldn’t just smuggle out the plans themselves? Don’t give me the “there wasn’t enough storage capacity on the thumb drive” nonsense, because that disk the rebels had the plans on in the final scene was about the size of a playing card! For that matter, why bother with the plans at all when he could have just said “shoot a proton torpedo in the exhaust port at the end of the perimeter trench?”
- K-2SO’s impressive performance against flesh-and-blood stormtroopers was yet another reminder that the prequels didn’t make any sense.
- The pig-face and walrus-man cameo was a little gratuitous, but whatevs.
Things that were surprising revelations:
- Jimmy Smits finally got to be in a watchable Star Wars movie! Good for you, Jimmy. Now off to Alderaan with you…
- Mon Calamari come in different colors now but all have the same voice? Who knew? Of course that means now I have to question whether the guy at the briefing in The Force Awakens was actually Admiral Ackbar or just a random Mon Calamari.
- Man, all this time I thought it was Rouge One. You know, because that’s how the pilot who says “Red One standing by…” would talk if he was part of the French Resistance.