Warning:  I will do my best not to spoil in this post, but there will be spoilers in the links.  Follow them at your own risk!

I decided that I would try to get tickets for the opening weekend Rogue One, A Star Wars Story.  To my surprise, I managed to score a ticket for early Thursday at a theater a few miles from where I work.  So in the middle of one of the larger storms we’ve had this year, I drove to the Great Mall, got dinner, and settled into the theater.

I had been mostly successful in avoiding spoilers, but I went in with low expectations.  I was blown away by what I saw.

I was amazed by the special effects.  I know how much both physical and digital effects have progressed. One of my biggest gripes about The Phantom Menace/Attack of the Clones/Revenge of the Sith sequence is that the CGI make ships look better and more advanced than the ones in A New Hope.  My worry was that the special effects of 2016 would be out of step with the ones of 1977. In Rogue One, I was amazed and pleased at how seamlessly the visual effects matched the ones of A New Hope.  I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I first saw [redacted for spoilers.] and the last scene of the movie.  And they reminded us in a perfect way that Darth Vader is a Sith Lord without mercy.

The plot hung together well.  I won’t say that it was perfect.  There were a few places where I thought “Why are they doing that?” which may have been artifacts of scenes being reshot. I did like the fact that they actually used Number 99 on the Evil Overlord List as a plot point, although they could have picked one of the two problems mentioned to use and be fine. I saw the ending coming the moment a certain order was issued.  At that point, I knew what the ending would be for the characters that we were following.  Even with that ending, it evoked the feeling of the last word said on screen – hope.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be seeing it again.