Okay, I hate these, but here's the quote/reply mash:
My main issue for the first half of the movie is that I had to ask myself if the Rebels were the good guys.
The problem here is that the Rebels aren't whitewashed. They ARE terrorists, they ARE rising against the legitimate (though unloved) Galactic government.
You have a Rebel intelligence officer kill another Rebel in cold blood because the information would slow him down while escaping.
Completely and totally wrong on multiple points. What you ACTUALLY have is a Rebel intelligence operative murdering an informant who is panicking and about to compromise both the informant and the handler. I would have done the same in that situation, and I wouldn't have even thought about it too much. If we are breaking the law and doing clearly illegal things, and you suddenly start talking about needing to turn yourself in, you may have a big surprise coming.
Then you have the Rebels doing a prison transport break.
Where did you think replacement Rebels come from? We can't wait for Mommy Rebel and Daddy Rebel to fall in love and spend 20-30 years making a replacement. You take the manpower you can get, where you can get it, and you just try to avoid compromising your moral stance to do so. This is WAR.
This is followed up by the Rebels performing an ambush on an Empire convoy
I see no problems here.
where again, a Rebel intentionally kills another Rebel in the heat of combat.
So I think I'm seeing the issue here. You're throwing around "Rebel" like they issue licenses and passports. You're thinking there's a High Rebel Council that approves all requests to immigrate to RebelLand. They're an insurgent movement. Saw's men are a RIVAL FACTION. They are NOT friends, not co-workers, not even necessarily allies. Getting a member of a schismatic and more militant/violent faction killed in combat is filed strictly under "Oh bummer", along with unintentional civilian kills.
Oh and a copy of K2SO is killed when it was not clear that it wasn't him.
So they had told K2-SO to stay in the ship. He had grumbled but agreed. There was no reason to think that ANY OF THEM were K2-SO. He shouldn't have been there at all, and I would have shot both, no question. They are DROIDS. You can't hold your fire because one looks just like your childhood droid nanny! It's a DROID. It will do as it is programmed to do!
Then they go try and get Galen but one of the Rebels was secretly going to assainate him. Seriously, these are the good guys?
Yeah. And? Do we only kill red coats in uniform, on the battlefield, while standing in proper lines, with opposing officers saluting properly, or do we do what needs doing, so that we win? "What needs doing" is very often some dark and terribly unpleasant stuff.
I'm all for layers of gray in story telling but the story ends to set up the scenario for this level of desperation. Otherwise the plot is asking the viewer to not like these characters.
I don't mean this to sound like a personal attack, but I think you should avoid researching any wars. I think it would upset you a great deal to find out how unclear the good guys/bad guys split can be, and I think the "shades of gray" would likewise confuse. Again, not meaning that as an attack.
Show me what the Empire is doing to the people to get them motivated to rebel.
They routinely exterminate and enslave entire planets? They performed an internal coup of a well-liked but terribly inept government? They SLAUGHTERED THE JEDI? Do you really need the list repeated in Rogue One? Did you forget it all? FFS, they are ACTIVELY building a weapon whose primary purpose is to VAPORISE PLANETS. Do you really think it would go unused, and be a deterrent?
We only have Jyn's motivation setup, not the Rebellion's cause. Sitting between Ep 3 and 4 doesn't do much in this regard either. At the end of Ep 3 you have a power hungry Empiror and the slaughter of the Jedi but is that enough to create an open rebellion for the general public to join? The galactic senate doesn't get disbanded until Ep 4.
Where do you draw the line? Sure, the Rebellion is getting up to speed, but something I think a lot of folks overlook; that's most of the Rebel fleet fighting at the end of Rogue One. At least 50% or so. Compare that to the fleet in ROTJ. It's only a few years later, and they have easily 10-20X the number of ships. Why? Because the Empire has advanced to more brutal methods. There are proto-Rebels planning for the worse case scenario as far back as Episode II. With the events of Episode III, they have the visible and clearly 'evil' acts they need to take up a flag and start resisting (Jedi purge). The Senate being dissolved in EpIV was less the shot heard round the world and more Pearl Harbor. The Rebels were already well underway, they just started getting more and more support from the general public.
Saw's character just deciding to stay behind after being setup as such an extremist made no sense. Him dying while escaping the explosion would have been fine thematically as this was going to be one of those rocks fall and everyone dies affairs.
Dude got no legs. Hard to run. He could see the explosion and the shock wave, knew there was little to no chance of surviving it. Sent the info and spies on their way and checked out as a martyr, with his army. I have no problems with that.
I liked Galen's message and the choices he made. That worked me and made me empathize for his situation.
I thought he was a real scumbag who deserved that blaster shot. Sure, he did the best he could to undermine and compromise the project, but his original reasons for rejoining were far from altruistic, and he joined for the money in the past. He was one of those flawed people trying to make up for past screwups by playing hero now. Better than sitting back and doing nothing, but even better to stand up, throw down your tools, and die shouting the truth when you first realize you're building superweapons.
The final act could have used some more polish.
The whole MOVIE needed more polish, or not to have been gutted and reshot on short notice. You missed a lot of signs that the movie was torn apart and taped back together, but noticed the overall disjointedness.
The guy who fell in the archive room should have stayed down as it was overly cliche that he came back.
Yeah well, that was one of many casualties of the reshoots. Originally Krennic did not go to the tower, Cassian did not magically get up and catch up to the action. Even further back, before the first reshoots? Cassian never fell, and Krennic waded through the shallows to the shore through dead troopers, while Cassian and Jyn ran away across the beach. Welcome to the continuity hell that is reshoots.
I personally thought it would have been more clever if K2SO copied himself into the other droid they scanned to get the facility map.
I expected that, so I'm kind of glad that didn't happen. It would have been happier, but predictable. I don't mind my heroes dying for a good cause. Having them come back next movie for 'Reasons' cheapens that.
I did like the break down of things the Rebels had to do to get the plans off of the planet. I do think having AT-AT on the beach was a bit much but the space battle was really, really good.
I didn't think the AT-ACTs were a problem. They matched up well with the capabilities of the AT-ATs we saw later. X-Wing blasters are lots more powerful than the ones on the snowspeeders. What DOES confuse me is the explanation. AT-ACTs are written up as being heavy cargo lifter variant AT-ATs. Specifically Death Star parts are mentioned. If so, why were they on Scarif? No direct connection between Scarif and the Death Star exists in the final theatrical cut. I'm guessing originally the DS was constructed in orbit of Scarif, under that shield. Just a guess, though.
Loved the battering ram technique to bring down the shield.
You mean the corvette with a suicide vest that drove the disabled ISD into the other one, killing thousands? It was like watching the USS Stark bombing all over again! (I mostly kid)
The shot on the beach waiting for Death Star's blast to destroying the base was over done. In fact I thought they were already dead as the Death Star's shot clipped the top of the tower where they were.
They weren't on the tower, Krennic was. I felt that entire bit was hammy and crappily done. I initially thought the shot clipping the tower and landing a mile behind it was a miss or something, I was very disappointed in that gunner's targetting. I guess he was trained to hit planet-scale targets only.
Vader's role in the movie should have been more of a cameo. Him rampaging at the end was cool but unnecessary for the story.
My problem with this scene was Vader transitioning from this combat monster here to the old man in a suit ineffectively flailing with Obi-Wan a few hours later. Vader's level of physical prowess has been WILDLY inconsistent through the various movies and shows.
Same for CGI Leia being literally at the battle. It would have fit better if a pilot managed to escape the battle to meet up with Leia's ship. Ep 4's start wouldn't be compromised as Vader literally saw that ship escape from the battle where the plans were stolen! This also means that Leia saw the Death Star before being taken there in Ep 4 so even if they didn't have the plans, the secret super weapon was no longer secret.
The Death Star was not at Scarif until the very end of the battle. She may not have gotten a very good look. Also, rewatch Episode IV. She isn't shocked. She is captured by Vader in the first minutes and doesn't reappear till mid-movie. She never had time to tell anyone about the Death Star, but she knew about it. The part that SHOCKED her was the main superweapon firing at full power and turning her peaceful homeworld full of traitors into a peaceful planetary dust cloud full of electrons. I was waiting for them to screw that up in Rogue One, but they very painstakingly called out "single reactor ignition" and only shot at single-city-sized targets. Thus Leia seeing the full power shot wipe out Alderaan in IV still works.
CGI Tarken would have been fine if the animators didn't exaggerate or add unnecessary facial expressions. It looked like the studio wanted to show off their software than make good performance. CGI Leia was a bit in the uncanny valley but the animation there was fine.
I agree on Tarkin. They made his face move much more than Peter Cushing did. I'm guessing the real Cushing look came across as wooden-faced.... You know, like Cushing actually looked, and the studio disagreed. I thought CGI Leia had the opposite problem. I left RO thinking she looked plastic-y and overly glossy. Therefore, as soon as I got home, I pulled up EpIV and looked at her scenes. Sure enough, she looks plastic in EpIV, and her lips in particular are so red and so glossy that they look inhuman.
Leia compare, if anything her lips were much redder in IV, though super-shiny in both:https://i.imgur.com/uHtRCVF.jpg