What can I say about Rogue One... Rumors abounded that it would be yet another Leftist propaganda piece eschewing plot and story for a "message". I'm happy to say those rumors were unfounded. The story was front and center - there are still individuals who will fight tyranny and sacrifice all they have in the name of Liberty.
This is the prequel that Episodes 1-3 could never hope to be. Oh, the acting in 1-3 from likes of Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Liam Neeson was better than average, but they were surrounded by so much mediocrity that it didn't help. The acting in Rogue One was fine - not stellar but more that good enough. The story was excellent, and yet, it lacked a little something, that little bit that made me want to really care about the protagonist Jyn Erso.
Jones did a fine job, but the director played up her lack concern for the fate of the republic in the early scenes a bit too much. She was perhaps a bit too cynical, too jaded; especially given her history with the empire. I would have expected a bit more willingness early on rather than finding her purpose only at the end. Then again, that might just be me.
Rogue One has significantly more complex characters than the other Star Wars movies. It would have been nice to see a bit more character development. I think both Jyn and Cassan deserved more time to explore, but that time was spent dazzling us with somewhat overenthusiastic CGI. It's not surprising since Hollywood is a consumer of media and message. They managed to avoid the message and hold on to the story, but they couldn't pass up the flash.
Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang were excellent as comic relief. But in truth, Alan Tudyk stole the show as the sarcastic K-250. Diego Luna was very believable playing the part of the jaded rebel, too long in the trenches, having done things he knew would haunt him forever. He added quite a bit to the darker flavor of the story.
Rogue One is well worth seeing - Heck -it's worth the agony of seeing in the theater with all the annoyances that come with that venue.