I went in quietly pessimistic, because I've been burned before. I did really enjoy The Force Awakens, so I wasn't AS pessimistic as I might have been. But my enjoyment of Star Wars films has been somewhat diminished by the prequels.
The story is that Jin's (Felicity Jones) father, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) is taken after the Empire kill his wife in front of him and their daughter Jin who is hiding. Jin is rescued from her hiding place by Saw Gererra (Forest Whitaker), and we pick up with her in prison. The rebels break her out, and want her to help them find Saw, and then, potentially, her father.
Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is established in his opening shots as someone who does what needs doing in service of the Rebellion regardless of where on the spectrum of morality it might be. He and Jin are suspicious of one another. Alan Tudyk's turn as the voice of K-2S0 is hilarious.
I don't want to give too much away, but this is an amazing redemption arc for several characters. And as Danielle said, the cinematography is amazing. The actors are all excellent and the diversity of the cast was really refreshing. I'd always wondered about these writers who could come up with all these amazing things, but then couldn't imagine brown people in space with white people. And Diego Luna's thing about keeping his accent and what that meant to his father.
The film was beautifully executed, well-paced, and if it seems Jin undergoes too quick an about face at one point, the time limitations of the media, I think, may be a contributing factor.
Now, onto something that may be spoiler-y for those of you who have not seen the film:
At the very end, the shot of Leia taking the disk with the plans, where she says, "They gave us hope." I burst into loud, noisy sobs in the theater, and teared up talking about it the next day. Coming on the heels of Carrie Fisher's death, and that of her mother Debbie Reynolds, it hit me hard.
I grew up with Star Wars. I saw the original in the theater when I was six. I had an 18 inch Leia doll. I dressed as Leia for Halloween in second grade, cinnamon buns and all (I had waist length hair). Leia was the most positive, in charge role model I had at that time. She was snarky, smart, tough. I loved Leia. When she strangles Jabba in Empire, I cheered. I always felt Lucas held her back too much. She could have been so much more.
Then Carrie Fisher sort of disappeared for awhile.
And reappeared when I was an adult and really desperately needed role models for dealing with my own mental health issues, and there she was. Everyone's Space Mom, talking openly and honestly about her addiction issues, her mental health issues, the sexism she endured making Star Wars (there's no underwear in space...). I've looked up to her since I was a six year old kid in a crowded movie theater in Jackson, MI.
I am going to miss her presence in this world a great deal.
Carrie Fisher, drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.
If you'd like to contribute to my continued scribblings, please check out my Patreon page. Thank you! And a special Thank You to Mike West!!!!!!