Star Wars: 10 Things You Learn Re-Watching Rogue One

How does it hold up a year later?

Star Wars Rogue One

Rogue One, the first Star Wars anthology movie, hit cinemas nearly a year ago and with The Last Jedi about to drop, Star Wars mania is about to take over the world all over again.

Despite all the pre-release concerns - mostly thanks to reshoots and changes in personnel at the top - Rogue One became a critical success and joined the billion dollar club. But is it as good as we thought at the time? Since its release, there has been a slight backlash to Rogue One and the general public has been more reserved in their praise than critics, which is relatively unusual for a blockbuster.

The good news, though, is that Rogue One is still a good watch the second time round. For all the complaints about the lack of character development, CGI resurrections and the film just being another nostalgia-fest, Rogue One is a blockbuster with artistic visuals, a thought-provoking story-line and a risky blending of science-fiction action and gritty war thriller. It was a risky film, but the risk paid off.

From positives to negatives, from hidden complexities to interesting symbolism, there are new things you might notice watching Rogue One for a second time.

10. Forest Whittaker's Acting Is Awful

Star Wars Rogue One

It's something virtually no-one has acknowledged, but Forest Whittaker was terrible in this movie, which is bizarre considering he's an immensely talented and Oscar-winning actor. The character of Saw Gerrera was an interesting idea and he's a figure clearly designed to ape Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now.

Comparing the two figures, Marlon Brando's performance shows madness in a truly haunting and understated way, while Whittaker resorts to wide-eyed, raspy screeching and doesn't add any pathos to the character at all.

Luckily the character isn't in the film much but still he is incredibly distracting. Also, what on earth was up with his accent? The enormously annoying high-pitched voice Whittaker puts on makes you wonder if that mask the character keeps using really is an oxygen mask or if it's actually helium.

On the whole, the character is a completely wasted opportunity. If there's one thing Rogue One has been criticized for, it's characterization. The truth is, the characterization in Rogue One isn't wholly bad - rather, it is uneven and certain characters are served very well, while others really aren't. Saw Gerrera is the epitome of the film's characterization problems, and on a repeat viewing, when the character is blown up by the Death Star, it's a huge relief.


Film Studies graduate, aspiring screenwriter and all-around nerd who, despite being a pretentious cinephile who loves art-house movies, also loves modern blockbusters and would rather watch superhero movies than classic Hollywood films. Once met Tommy Wiseau.