While The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and the currently untitled Episode IX look to deliver on the spectacle in a whole new trilogy, Star Wars' anthology films aim to give us smaller-scale, more intimate stories from the Star Wars universe.
Released in late 2016, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story decided to show us exactly how the Rebel Alliance managed to steal the Death Star plans prior to A New Hope, as well as throw its own unique flavor into the mix.
Meanwhile, the sophomore entry in the anthology series, Solo: A Star Wars Story, has just recently hit theaters worldwide. This film details one of the greatest adventures of infamous smuggler Han Solo, showing how he got his start as a criminal, picked up some of his famous trademarks, and even how he managed to make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
With both films now available to the world and more on the way, let's compare Rogue One and Solo beat-by-beat (and with spoilers) to find out which better represents what the upcoming anthology films should aspire to be.
Gareth Edwards and Ron Howard both attempted to do something different with the Star Wars franchise when it came to directing Rogue One and Solo, respectively.
With Rogue One, Edwards was very much trying to make a proper war film. And he clearly knew what he was doing when it came to showing all-out combat. The action scenes are intense and intimate, the film's overall tone is very grim, and despite how much happens in Rogue One (especially in the final act), everything is presented in a way that's easy to follow.
Meanwhile, Solo is a space western through and through. And Ron Howard did the best he could to combine the high-octane action sequences Star Wars fans know and love with shots and filming techniques that wouldn't look out of place in an old Clint Eastwood movie.
Winner: Edwards and Howard both tried to do something different with the visual style of their respective Star Wars anthology films and both hit the mark. That being said, Solo's flow is occasionally hindered by awkward cuts and transitions, whereas Rogue One's is much more fluid. Rogue One takes this category.