KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters this weekend, and the Chiefs locker room buzzed with talk of the film just like many other other workplaces around the world.
Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley, a noted film enthusiast and Stars aficionado, attended an advanced screening of the film and wrote a review for The Players’ Tribune.
Conley gives Rogue One a solid 8.5 on a scale of 10, ranking it in top half of the eight live-action Star Wars films.
“I can’t say it’s the best,” Conley said. “I’ve had a bunch of people tell me, ‘Oh, this is the best Star Wars movie ever.’ I’m like, ‘No, it’s not.’ That’s going to be Empire Strikes Back. Come on, you can’t do that.”
Linebacker Ramik Wilson attended the critics’ screening with Conley. He also gave the film a positive review.
“It was a really good one,” Wilson said. “If you follow Star Wars and you know the time it takes place and the way they did it, awesome job.”
Conley said staunch traditionalist Star Wars fans who didn’t care for the prequels might not like Rogue One. The movie paints a gritty picture of the rebellion against the Empire.
“It’s not like anything you’ve seen before,” Conley said. “It’s different. They took risks, and I think they’re going to pay off.”
Rogue One tells a story relating to the first Star Wars film. The opening of the original film (A New Hope) begins with Princess Leia delivering stolen plans for the Death Star to Obi-Wan Kenobi on the planet Tatooine. Rogue One establishes the official story of how rebel infiltrators captured the plans in the first place.
Among the well-publicized highlights of the film are brief scenes featuring the original villain of the series, Darth Vader. Conley called Vader’s final scene in the film “epic.”
“I think for so long people have been waiting to see Vader do something other than just lumber around with Ben Kenobi,” Conley said.
Wilson wanted to see more of Vader.
“Vader’s in his prime too,” Wilson said. “When Vader comes, he gives you 30 seconds worth it. It’s worth it.”
The beginning of A New Hope starts minutes after the end of Rogue One, making it a challenge for the filmmakers to maintain continuity between the two films, Conley said.
“They kind of found a good balance of making him a little bit more limber and dangerous,” Conley said, “but then not going too far out where it doesn’t look like the same Vader who’s going to appear in the next movie.”
Next up in the Star Wars anthology film series is a standalone film featuring a young Han Solo. Conley hopes to see future filmmakers continue to take risks and tell stories from the saga’s expanded universe.
“I think in the these Star Wars stories there’s a great opportunity for them to tie-in some of the stuff that we’ve never seen in the movies but we’ve read about,” Conley said.