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How Rogue One replaced Return of the Jedi as my favorite Star Wars movie


As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a huge Star Wars fan. From A New Hope on down to The Force Awakens, I’ve seen them all. But, like most, I had a favorite that stood out among the rest to me. Return of the Jedi was by far the best of the litter but that was more geared towards how I viewed the Star Wars franchise.

Return of the Jedi was the ending of some of the best action, dialogue and emotional scenes in modern film history. Some love the action in Empire Strikes Back but it was the story behind Jedi that moved me the most. Never did I expect the franchise to tempt me to cheat on Return of the Jedi, especially after what they have released since but Rogue One did the impossible.

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Star Wars is about the action, but if you listen and watch closely you will get a lesson in life. The entire franchise is based on choices, belief, honor, and family. It’s what drives the viewers but at the end of the day, it’s still the battle between Good and Evil.

For the fans that may have seen the movie and was a bit lost let me try to explain as quick as I can. Rogue One is not a branch off from the franchise. It’s a story within a story. Let’s call it the lost footage on how the Alliance got the plans to destroy the Death Star for A New Hope. What, did you just think that they had the plans all along? Well, this is what Rogue One was based on. How a group of fearless fighters took the war to the Empire.

Now, if you’re a true fan of the franchise then I don’t need to explain what happened because well, we found out in 1977 what transpired.

But, what made Rogue stand out to me was the rawness of the plot. In earlier Star War films is was a tad on the light-hearted side but Rogue took a page out of Empire Strikes Back and went straight for the juggler. Of course, there was a backstory as we found out that the heroine, Jyn Erso’s father was the mastermind behind the Death Star’s creation. Her hatred for the Empire was already there but as she joined forces with the other Rebels, it became a war.

I will not get that deep into the story because it will ruin it for those that has not seen the movie but I will say this. Rogue One was about sacrifice and bravery. The film could be summed up with this phrase; “make 10 men feel like 100”. That’s the odds they faced as they went on what would look like a suicide mission. But, it had to be done and without their stance, there may not be a Luke Skywalker the Jedi.

Return of the Jedi was a story of redemption as the Alliance had to strike back and while the focus was on the fight its main story was still the confrontation between Darth Vader and his son Luke. Their classic showdown was the perfect way to end the series which in my eyes brought more meaning to the franchise than the non-stop action of Empire Strikes Back.

But, Rogue was different. There was plenty of action but it was the story behind the story that got my attention. It was the sacrifice of the Rebels that made this movie so special. I so want to tell the story but I won’t this time around. But I will leave you with this. There are two scenes in the movie that I wish could have lasted forever. And they both involve Vader. He is by far the greatest villain in movie history.

Rouge One won me over with the sacrifice.