[Review] Rogue One Blu-Ray

I’m reviewing the French edition of Rogue One on blu-ray.

The Blu-Ray 4/5
The French version has a different slipcover than the US version. The slipcover here is the IMAX poster, which I think is great considering Galen Erso is also on the picture and despite not having a lot of screentime, he was an important character in the movie. When you remove the slipcover, it is the same cover as the US – it’s the same picture as one of the Asian posters. It’s actually a good choice to have put this one on the cover because I think it was an amazing poster even better than the one we got in the US and France. It’s a basic blu-ray, they could have done something better on that part like Warner Bros had done for the LOTR and Hobbit movies. Unfortunately, Disney doesn’t do that much.
There two discs – one is the movie and the other contains the bonus features.

Audio 5/5
If you watch the movie in its original language (English) it is in DTS-HD 7.1, which is absolutely perfect a stereo system. I watched it yesterday and it felt like being in the cinema again. French language is in DTS-HD High Res Audio, not as best but that’s not really important, what matters is to hear the real dialogues and the real voices of the characters and not a incorrect translation with some strange voices.

Video 5/5
Watching movies on blu-ray is the ultimate experience at home. It’s the perfect high quality. Colors, details, it’s all at their best. It’s simply gorgeous, the textures are excellent, it’s the way it’s meant to be watched.

The Movie 5/5
For the movie itself, you can read the review had done when it was released in cinemas here.

Extras 3/5
That’s the problem with Disney – the bonus features. The featurettes are very interesting, it’s worth watching. There are a lot of things to learn but it’s not enough, there should be more of it. And I would have loved to have a gallery of never-before-seen concept arts. The big surprise is that there are no deleted/alternative scenes, that’s strange but it’s Gareth Edwards’s choice so I respect it.

Overall 4.5/5
Despite being a simple blu-ray and not having a big amount of bonus, Rogue One is a must have for the fans of the saga!

[Review] Star Wars Rebels “Double Agent Droid”

“Double Agent Droid” was written by Brent Friedman. I honestly think, this wasn’t the best moment to have this episode. It would have been better after “Warhead” as it would have been two episodes with the AP-5, Chopper duo while here it cut the pace of the last episodes that were really intense and important for the overall plot especially when we know what comes next as well.

It doesn’t mean that this episode was bad. It was definitely fun, there was a lot of humor brought by AP-5. Wedge, AP-5 and Chopper were sent on an ISB base to get clearance codes for Lothal in preparation of the rebel operation on the planet (strangely it was the first time they ever needed to get clearance codes for Lothal from the ISB) when Imperial spies took the opportunity to take control of Chopper in the hope he would lead them to the rebel base. Obviously, it didn’t work and these imperials died with their ship so no one knows they had Chopper or even were close to get the location of the base. So, this episode didn’t change anything for the Empire and their search for the base.
The chief Imperial spy was voiced by Josh Gad.

Him being controlled by the Imperials could have been a suspenseful event with the audience wondering if he would survive but we have seen him in Rogue One so there was nothing to ever worry about in this episode, we knew he wouldn’t die.

AP-5 was the star of the episode – the annoying droid who was actually right from the beginning, which brought many laughs. In many ways, he is similar to C-3PO, both are extremely irritating and also not very brave. AP-5 even got a singing moment in the middle of space at the end.

It was definitely nice to have Wedge on the mission, I hope that we would see him more next season!

An advice, don’t ever mess with Hera’s crew because she won’t be happy about it. She made the Imperials pay the price for taking control of Chopper, she sent a strong frequency back to them that blew up their ship and destroyed all the data they had. That’s badass for sure! And Chopper is probably stronger than any other droid, he was still in one piece after he transmitted that frequency.

6/10 A fun episode that brought a lot of laughs.

[Review] Star Wars Rebels: “Secret Cargo”

“Secret Cargo” was an important episode for the series. It featured the first appearance of Mon Mothma in the show and Genevieve O’Reilly returned to play the character once again after recently being in Rogue One.

If you read the Rogue One Ultimate Visual Guide, you probably heard about Mon Mothma’s speech at the Senate against Emperor Palpatine, which lead to be on the run and abandon her seat at the Senate to lead the Alliance. When I first read about it, I really wanted to hear this speech as I’m interested in this side of the story with Mon Mothma and Bail Organa and how they formed the rebellion … So I was obviously so excited to see that her speech was in this episode! This speech really showed Mon Mothma’s bravery, she knew she’d be a target by attacking the Emperor but she did it anyway, she did it to call for people to unite and stand against Palpatine. The episode couldn’t have started better than this!

It was up to the Ghost (Hera, Chopper, Zeb and Hera) to protect Mon Mothma and bring her on Dantooine to transmit her a call to unite the rebels on the Holonet. They received the help of Gold Squadron meaning we had Gold Leader, Dutch Vander in the episode! The Gold Squadron wasn’t as big as in Rogue One or in A New Hope but they had a few Y-wing starfighters. These pilots didn’t last long except for Dutch who survived obviously. Ezra got to pilot one of these Y-Wings again fighting along side Dutch escorting the Ghost. A big part of the episode took place outside and inside a nebula. These sequences were beautiful, lots of work done on the visuals, some of the best visuals we’ve seen in the series so far! And of course, the rebels were chased by the Empire who were using their prototype Tie Defender, quite deadly! This part of the episode could have totally been taken from a Star Wars video game – protecting a ship and make sure it reaches its destination.

So far, we only saw different rebel cells of the Rebellion but never saw a truly united front but with this episode we witnessed the proper creation of the Alliance To Restore The Republic at the end when all the different cells gathered on Dantooine after Mon Mothma’s call on the Holonet. The ending was spectacular – an inspiring speech by Mon Mothma and the rebel fleet gathering! I really see this episode as a turning point in the series because now the rebels are united, they’re showing they’re getting bigger and more organized! It promises great things to come, right now the rebels are on Dantooine so I think with season 4 we will definitely see the Alliance going to Yavin IV to build their base.

9/10 An amazing episode with Mon Mothma and some good space action!

[Review] Star Wars Rebels: “Legacy Of Mandalore”

After a one-month break, Star Wars Rebels has finally returned on Disney X.D. This episode was a continuation of the previous one that featured Sabine’s training to use the dark saber.

I just need to say it now “Legacy Of Mandalore” was brilliant! I absolutely loved the episode and I didn’t see the end coming! Since the beginning Sabine’s story was leading up to this moment where she would confront her mother (and no despite some theories she is not Rook Kast!) and the Mandalorians and it finally happened! We got to meet Sabine’s mother, her brother, Fenn Rau was also there along with Gar Saxon. The action took place on a Mandalorian snowy planet at Sabine’s mother outpost, which featured the beautiful Mandalorian architecture. The episode was divided in two acts, the first act Sabine reuniting with her mother and her trapping Sabine and the Jedi, and the second act the Mandalorians having to fight against the Mandalorians Imperials and Sabine facing Gar Saxon.

At first, Sabine’s mother was portrayed as a cold character along with Sabine’s brother who was part of Saxon’s soldiers. Sabine wasn’t very well welcomed there but quickly, we saw that Sabine’s mother was only doing what she thought was best to protect her family and her husband being held prisoner on Mandalore. There’s one word to describe the Wrens – family. That’s what they believe in and their actions were all based on helping, protecting their family in the episode. But by doing so, Sabine’s mother brought Gar Saxon on the planet and what he brought was only violence. Her mistake only made her realize more than ever that she had to fight instead of accepting the Empire only to protect her husband.

The action sequence was really well done, Ezra and Kanan fighting the Mandalorians and Mandalorians vs Mandalorians was pure beauty! It reminded of The Clone Wars so much! The best part of the action sequence was the big duel between Sabine Wren and Gar Saxon, she fought him with Ezra’s lightsaber. It was intense, a bit like Maul vs Vizsla, it was done in the same rules. It started in the building and ended outside with amazing visuals! Sabine won honorably but she didn’t kill Gar, though her mother did when he tried to kill Sabine, proving that she was now standing with her daughter, and not just doing what she thought was right to protect her.

The ending was a surprise for me, the Mandalorians didn’t join the Rebellion, they decided they had to rise on their own to become strong again and Sabine finally accepted who she was, making the decision to stay with her family in order to find the one who will be worthy to rule Mandalore as she didn’t want of that position. So yes, Sabine left the rebels and stayed with the Mandalorians.

What does this mean for what happens next? Sabine is leaving the Ghost crew to continue on her own path for now. The interactions between the Ghost crew will definitely feel different now with one of its core members gone. However, I do believe she will be back for the season 3 finale as among the rebel fleet, you can spot a Mandalorian starfighter in the mid-season trailer, which leads me to think the Mandalorians might come to help the rebels in their battle against Thrawn.

9/10 A brilliant episode that concluded Sabine’s story arc about Mandalore in an amazing and explosive way! That duel was intense!

[Review] Star Wars Rebels: “Trials of The Darksaber”

“Trials of the Darksaber” is airing tonight on Disney X.D. (or you can also watch it now on the Disney WATCH app). The episode is written by Dave Filoni which makes it extra special!

This episode was a very interesting one in my opinion. It was the training of Sabine to use the darksaber. It had this Samurai movie vibe that I loved, the music, the atmosphere, how the story unfold, the training, everything reminded me of that. Kevin Kiner did an absolute amazing job on the soundtrack, lots of beautiful cues.

Kanan being the blind master added a lot to the Samurai vibe. Kanan was a great master in this episode, he really pushed Sabine to accept her own truth and fight herself. This was a saber training but so much more than that for her character, it was her fighting herself, what was deep inside her and accepting that what she did was trying to save her people, not disappointing them even though they joined the Empire in the end. Her final fight against Kanan was brilliant, when she was finally speaking about all of this and accepting it. Tiya Sircar delivered a beautiful and emotional performance there. In the future episodes, I would love to see more of Kanan like that in this role of this kind of wise master, it fits him so much with him being blind now. Sabine learned from him but he learned from her too because he is not the perfect Jedi, he was a padawan when Order 66 was executed so he still had so much to learn before being a Jedi Knight.

There wasn’t much action, it was training but it still was a very good episode because of its deeper content for the characters and how it was presented to the audience.

We got to learn more about this darksaber that was first introduced in The Clone Wars, we learned the legend of the saber and it had this King Arthur vibe, this saber that could unite everyone. And the fact that there was once a Jedi Mandalorian was excited, I would love to see his story told through a mini comics series.

Fenn Rau had a brand new armor, the top was reminiscent of Satine’s Royal Guards from TCW with a mix of the typical Mandalorian armor which looked great!

This episode feels incomplete though but it will be complete with the next episode (next month) about the Mandalorians again, I think we are finally reaching the end of Sabine’s arc to rally her people.

7.5/10 A very good episode exploring characters in a deep and interesting way.

[Review] Star Wars Rebels: “Warhead”

You can watch “Warhead” on Disney WATCH app or tonight on Disney X.D. and in the UK it will air next week.

So this episode was really the weak point of season 3 so far. I didn’t like it. First, the droid infiltrator, it was a design taken from McQuarrie but it didn’t look Star Wars-y, it didn’t fit at all within this universe (and it’s not the first time we see this design used in the series) and looked more like something that could come out of Battlestar Galactica and the fact that it could also transform into a deadly droid was even more weird. And the droid was an important part of the plot. The plot, it wasn’t interesting, having this infiltrator that Zeb and Chopper have to stop before he could reveal the location of the rebel base and in the midst of that they can blow up an Imperial Star Destroyer. The excuse to have the rest of the Ghost crew out of the base did not seem convincing to me either.

There was a lot of comedy in this episode with the AP-5, Chopper and Zeb team. There were some good punch lines and I think Chopper/AP-5 make a good team and more of AP-5 in future episodes would be nice! Though Zeb doesn’t seem to have a purpose and be just the muscles. I would like them to give him more of a proper role than these kind of episodes. It reminded me a lot of the episode “Fighter Flight” with Zeb too which was to me boring and didn’t bring anything to the story. The little difference here was that it brought something to the story – the ending scene with Thrawn who has now narrowing down the planets of where the rebels base could be and with the mid-season 3 trailer we know a battle is coming!

Kallus was also featuring in this episode, he was there mostly to play his Fulcrum role at alerting the rebels about the infiltrators. What interest me the most about this storyline now is how long before Thrawn tries to stop him and how will it all go down for him.

4/10 A not really good episode in my opinion except for its ending scene that gets us closer from that big confrontation with Thrawn.

[Review] Star Wars Rebels: “Ghosts of Geonosis 1 & 2”

Star Wars Rebels is back on Disney X.D. tonight! You can already watch it on the Disney WATCH app or if you live in the UK the double episode aired this morning. It was written by Steven Melching and Matt Michnovetz, two clone wars veterans.

After seeing Geonosis from afar last season, this double episode took us on the planet and acted as a follow up of last season episode. Indeed, the reason the Ghost crew goes on Geonosis is to figure out what happens to Saw’s team who went to investigate and gather clues to show the atrocities the Empire did to the planet so Bail and the rebels could have proves to show to the Senate. Bail Organa was voiced by Phil Lamarr once again (like in Rebels season 1 and in The Clone Wars). I really liked that we saw him again and really looking forward to see him again in upcoming episodes along with Mon Mothma, they need to have more episodes.

Compared to their last trip on Geonosis, the rest of the space stations were gone and on the ground, there was a big storm similar to the one we saw in TCW S02E07 “Legacy Of Terror.” I saw it as a nod to the series especially that most of the episode takes place to the Geonosian temple that we saw in that same TCW episode. This time no undead Geonosians, just one Geonosian and his egg along with battle droids. This Geonosian was the last survivor of his kind (one of the last three to be more precise as there was the egg and in the Vader comics, we know the Queen is still alive). He was only protecting his egg and wasn’t a villain in the end even though he provoked the death of Saw’s team.

After seeing Forest Whitaker in the role of Saw Gerrera in Rogue One, he voiced the character in this double episode as well! He had his normal voice in this episode, not yet his strange voice from RO but it’s his time on Geonosis in contact of the insecticide that was spread on the planet that gave him that voice (this was explained in the RO Ultimate Visual Guide which is a good reading in addition to the episode). Having Saw in Rebels featured a lot of feels from TCW. First, the reunion between Saw and Rex and mention of their time on Onderon along with a mention of Anakin Skywalker. We saw an hologram of Steela, Saw’s sister who died on Onderon. This made me tearful bringing back these painful feels from TCW and seeing Saw still kept something of his sister with him. The holoproject had the symbol of Onderon’s rebels on it. So it was great having all these references to TCW and re-watching the Onderon arc would be something I recommend before watching “Ghost of Geonosis.” They definitely showed us a harsh side of Saw who was ready to destroy the egg if he hadn’t got what he wanted. Eventually the egg and the Geonosian survived and went deeper in the tunnels. Hera even mentioned Saw having a reputation of being extreme. It’s something I would have liked to see more explored as it was a period he was still with the Rebellion, he hadn’t distanced himself so I would have liked to see more of his extreme side. However, Saw was great in this episode!

We were introduced to two new Imperial officers, it’s always good when it happens as it changes from the usual Imperial officer who always has the same head only his hair color that changes and we don’t see his head. This episode also features the Imperial Rocket troopers which is a different kind of stormtroopers but who don’t know how to shoot either. Sabine had a great badass action scene killing them.

I loved how close the rebels were to find out what happened on Geonosis but where too focused on the egg to understand that the Geonosian had drawn the Death Star and not the egg. And they also lost the canisters of insecticide/poison which was a defeat as they were supposed to gather information. And I liked that, rebels don’t always win and this time they failed, yes they got Saw but they lost the canisters. I also liked the pace of the double episode, the first part was trying to find Saw and little by little we realized that all of his team was dead and he was the only survivor. The second part was mostly about gathering proves of what happened and figure out what happened.

Having Rex in the episode was obviously good, he doesn’t get enough of screentime so I was really glad he got some action in these episodes. Going to different planets is something the show is starting to do more often and that’s important because always being on Lothal could be boring so see different places is better.

7/10 A good return for Star Wars Rebels, a great double episode that connects nicely with Saw’s story in The Clone Wars and Rogue One.