NOTE: This review contains MAJOR SPOILERS.
We know there are a set of Star Wars superfans who simply CANNOT take criticism of their beloved franchise. However, I’m NOT one of those viewers! This prequel has a female lead in Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) as we saw in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Jones does the best she can w/ the material given. There is a LOT of racial diversity among Jones’ male co-starts. However, this film sorely lacks character development! Sorry, BUT it’s rather tough to care about characters if we don’t get to know their much re: personalities, motivations, histories, etc.
I wanted to see a BIT more of Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelson) and his wife; we don’t how/why they got on the wrong track of working for The Empire. Also, why does Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) have such a big chip on this shoulder? I wanted to know a LOT more re: his past, aside from the (obvious) fact that he’s been fighting for a long time. It was cool to see Luna after MANY years! He still has that youthful face and slim body. There is a new droid working w/ Andor, K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), who provides some snarky humor.
Social media (as well as a FEW people I personally know) were esp. excited to see Riz Ahmed, a British-Pakistani/Muslim actor on the big screen. Sure, he’s part of the rag-tag Rebel band, BUT doesn’t get to do much! Donnie Yen’s character (the blind/deeply spiritual warrior) was more effective, thanks in part to his badass martial arts skills. Guess we STILL have to wait for a desi brother to get a (bigger) break…
The new baddie, Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), is pretty interesting; I think it’s b/c the Aussie actor takes relish in being a villain (check him out on Season 1 of the Netflix drama Bloodline). I esp. liked the scene where he got called to meet w/ Darth Vader, then got (painfully) put in his place.
I was impressed by the scenery, action sequences, and the “bringing back to life” of several actors from George Lucas’ original Star Wars films (thanks to technology). Speaking of the original films… This film’s last scene (featuring the young Princess Leia) has taken on a special/poignant significance following the sudden death of actress Carrie Fisher.