Note on ratings:
** Below average
*** Average. Not good or bad.
**** Above average
***** Above and beyond
Content: *** (Content based off my personal level of squeamishness.)
There’s a fair amount of violence, but no swearing, sex, or immodesty. A lot of characters die, and Vader shows up with a lightsaber and slaughters people.
Originality and world building: *****
Unlike Episode VII, this film is much more original and surprising. As someone said, it’s a war movie set in the Star Wars universe. It has a new cast of characters and expands on the way the Rebels got the Death Star plans.
Characters and their Arcs: ****
The characters are fun. I liked K-2SO, who was quite funny. However, I didn’t feel a strong connection with the characters, but that’s pretty normal for me since I rarely connect well with characters. It was also neat to see a character from The Clone Wars show up, as well as some other characters from the films.
Pacing and action sequences: ****
The pacing bounced a bit in the beginning, but it quickly lined out and was easy to follow. The action sequences were good, and really felt like a war.
Addition to the Universe: *****
Its very good and a worthy addition to the universe.
Other things I liked:
The Death Star is huge and terrifying. The shots of it make it look epically massive, and seeing it’s effects from the ground is scary.
The battle scenes, on ground, are brutal and war-like, not pretty.
The space battles and scenes with aircraft look really good, with cool lighting and filming.
The setting of the planets is unique, and it was neat seeing more scenery that felt like the Star Wars universe, not just a desert for forest.
The humor is very good, just my kind of humor.
What I didn’t like:
I wish Saw Gerrera had a bigger role. He was a favorite of mine from The Clone Wars, and I was really hoping I’d get to see him fight. It was also kind of sad how bad of shape he was in. The poor guy has been through a lot. I guess I’ll just have to look forward to seeing him in Star Wars Rebels.
I’m hoping Disney doesn’t go overboard on racial diversity thing without doing some worldbuilding. I know American demographics have changed in the last forty years, but Star Wars isn’t set in the US, and this episode takes place right before the Original Trilogy.
A few characters had accents that made some words hard to understand in theaters. (At home, I like to have subtitles.)
I was also disappointed at the lack of aliens. It wouldn’t have been that hard to swap out a secondary human character for an alien of some sort.
No opening crawl.
Is it worth watching?
Yes, and even worth seeing in theaters.