chicafrom3: photo of the TARDIS (m: sw: han/leia ♥)
I got to see Star Wars: Rogue One today!

I also managed to see it relatively unspoiled. I had seen the various trailers, of course, and also the headline of one article that said "how did they manage to pull of that last scene?", but otherwise, I knew very little about it aside from the obvious implied by the premise.

Spoilers under the cut.

On first viewing, my favorite is Chirrut Îmwe, mainly for Rule Of Cool reasons. The guy basically runs on Awesome. Really Zen-like Awesome. My favorite may change on future viewings because honestly I love everyone in this bar. (Er. Of the good guys. Orson Krennic: probably not ever going to be my favorite.)

I just very quickly got very emotionally attached to a bunch of characters I was 87% sure were going to be all dead by the end of the movie, given the premise. AND THEN THEY ALL DIED. In some cases sooner than I was expecting (I genuinely didn't think K-2SO was going to die RIGHT THEN), in other cases later (Cassian, mainly, but Jyn managed to hang on a scene or so longer than I expected, thus giving me false hope that she might manage to survive the movie), but every single death (and, um, false death, in the case of Cassian) was effective and upsetting.

But especially Chirrut's. If you didn't tear up when Chirrut died, I'm not sure we can be friends.

I just can't quite get over the fact that they made a film that was essentially "this is about a bunch of people who die on a suicide mission to get some files" and successfully made it full of suspense and drama and emotional attachment. HOW.

Some thoughts about things other than characters dying in horrible and dramatically appropriate ways:

Kaytoo is possibly even worse at pretending to be a member of the Imperial forces than Han Solo is, and that's saying something since a) Kaytoo actually did used to be part of the Imperial forces, and b) Han shot a console out rather than attempt to continue the (terrible) deception.

Being relatively unspoiled meant that I knew Darth Vader was going to be in it, but was unprepared for him to be a (relatively) major part/voiced by James Earl Jones (I kind of expected we'd just see him sweeping around from a distance, tbh!), and completely unprepared for Leia and Tarkin. And I have to say, I was genuinely stunned at the level of technical expertise that went into creating them. Digital recreations so often fall into either Uncanny Valley or not actually looking much like the person they're supposed to, and both of them were dead on.

Wikipedia has informed me that "Angus MacInnes and Drewe Henley are featured in their roles as Gold Leader Dutch Vander and Red Leader Garven Dreis, respectively, via unused archival footage from A New Hope" and I'm so pleased by this information.

Speaking of technical stuff, I have to take a moment to gush about something I love about the Star Wars franchise in general, which is . . . um, everything about the design elements. Everything. Okay, less so in the prequel trilogy with the heavy and often lazy CGI, but even they had it to an extent. First of all, there's the way everthing (in the civilian/Rebellion side of things) looks real and lived in and like people actually use this stuff -- buildings are damaged and dirty, clothes are dishelveled and show evidence of wear, ships are battle-scarred and sometimes bits fall off. And that's in contrast to the Imperial side of things where everyone's in tidy matching uniforms and all the white gleams and everything is in neat orderly military lines. And following from that is the second thing, which is the sheer amount of contrast and diversity that goes into the design -- look at the scene in the Jedha city, look at all the different character designs (all of the different aliens oh my God) and the ways that even the human characters are all dressed in ways that suggest dozens of different cultures that happened to have left people in this city and everyone's doing their own thing and asseting their own way, and then contrast it to the Rebellion meetings, which still has lots of different aliens and tons of different costume styles but even when there's an argument people are behaving themselves and attempting to communicate, and then compare it again to any of the Imperial ship scenes where everything matches and everything's in straight lines.

I love it so much.

It's been a few hours since I left the theater and I'm still flailing too hard to remember everything I wanted to mention and talk about.

I want all the backstory on Bodhi. Why did he decide to defect to the Rebellion? Why is he so loyal to Galen? How did the Imperial manage to recruit him in the first place when he's clearly far too good for them on every level?

I have a lot of feelings about Kaytoo's loyalty to Cassian. And Chirrut and Baze's loyalty to each other. And Cassian and Jyn holding hands moments before they die, and then hugging in the moment they're killed.

And those poor Rebels who were slaughtered by Vader.

This movie is some of Vader's scariest work ever, I have to say.

And seriously, Disney, please keep making movies about bands of scrappy underdog rebels taking down (or, in this case, seriously undermining leading to the eventual takedown of) evil fascist empires, because we need that kind of media in the world right now.

I'm running out of words.

I wanna see it again.