I can't even express how much I love this movie. It is exceptional both as a Star Wars film and in the way it treats the Star Wars universe.
Rogue One far outshines The Force Awakens, which was fun on first viewing but it left a bitter taste in my mouth and utterly failed as a Star Wars film.
After watching The Force Awakens a second time with clearer thoughts it became noticeable that, although there were amazing moments, it wasn't a Star Wars movie. Disney had taken a safe Marvel plot and hired a canned director to film it. The Force Awakens lacked all of the gritty, desperate feeling the original series had, and in a lot of ways, it belongs more with the prequel trilogy than the Originals.
On the other hand Rogue One is THE prequel to A New Hope. It does the seemingly impossible and actually enhances the story. It vastly increases the weight of that original film. The plot is exceptional, especially considering you always knew about how it was going to end.
On top of that the movie is ripe with gorgeous planets that feel alive and expansive, unlike The Force Awakens which felt constricted and small.
The characters aren't all heros as the rebellion is desperate and the main villains equally so. This movie carries a weight that all the movies since the original have failed to, this is Star Wars movie.
I experienced, watching this film, what I experienced watching Star Wars and the Empire Strikes Back for the first time. It is amazing. Go see it, seriously.
The Rogue One team is full of fantastic characters.
Jyn is one of the most believeable Star Wars protagonists.
She's not a prodigy, not some child of the force. Just a girl trying to get by.
"I am the force and the force is with me."
Director Krennic is almost as desperate as our protagonists, trying to make political gains while those above him take credit for his actions. It really adds a dimesion to his character.
Krennic's Death Troopers just look COOL. They can aim too.
Vader Like You've Never Seen
Although is presnese in the film is small, he's always there in the back of your mind. His very presense is terror, it adds a weight to Vader's character that the prequels took away from.
A truly exceptional scene. We see what Vader has truly become and what his existence now is... Wallowing away in a bacta tank with nothing his hatred, pain, and loss.