Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has officially landed and much like last year’s The Force Awakens, it’s getting a positive reception from both critics and fans alike. That being said, while Disney was able to sell The Force Awakens to audiences by emphasizing its ties to the original trilogy, aka the “good” Star Wars movies, Rogue One has had a bit of a stigma attached to it ever since it was first revealed that it would take place before A New Hope, thus making it a Star Wars prequel. George Lucas’ prequel trilogy is considered cinematic trash by many, so it’s understandable why some were a bit wary of another film set before the events of Episodes IV-V. Thankfully, there was no need to worry, as Rogue One is not only better than The Phantom Menace, Attack of The Clones, and Revenge of the Sith, a case could be made that it’s even better than The Force Awakens too. Here’s why:
8. The Characters Are Actually Likable / Interesting
Although Star Wars Episodes I – III are filled with familiar characters, most of them are downright boring, with only a select few such as Obi-Wan Kenobi or Palpatine registering as likable enough to be invested in (to be fair, Palpatine is likable mostly because of how delightfully evil he is). In contrast, Rogue One’s main cast is made up almost entirely of never-before-seen characters and while there is a disappointing lack of development across the board (133 minutes only gives you so much time for such things), each one is compelling in their own way and feel fleshed out enough when we first meet them that it’s actually not all that disappointing that very few of them grow over the course of the film.
Each member of Jyn Erso’s six member Rebel team are likable in their own way, with Alan Tudyk’s morbidly humorous droid K-2SO and Donne Yen’s badass, blind Force worshiper Chirrut Îmwe being personal favorites. Watching these characters forge a collective bond over the course of the film helps make their desperate mission feel poignant and necessary, as this plucky bunch of unlikely heroes aren’t all that much different from Luke, Han, and Leia’s group in the original trilogy, which might be why their dynamic ends up working so well.