Rogue One

Emily's reasons that I liked Rogue One more than I expected to.
1) It looks like "my" Star Wars paracosm. In my head, the Star Wars universe is grimy, old, and populated by imperfect scoundrels who may still be irredeemable despite doing a good deed once and a while. (Which, I admit, is a lot like Joss Whedon's Firefly universe.) This might be the first film that inhabits something close to what I imagine when I think of Star Wars.

2) It was super tight backstory. Literally, they took the Episode IV opening crawl and from those 4 sentences, extrapolated out characters (each with backstory of their own) and settings (also with backstory), and a political climate and then they made a movie of it! How is that not one of the best things ever?

3) It felt like a war movie. I liked showing the Death Star in progress with sinister weapons testing, human rights violations and everything. In Episode IV, we learn the Empire is bad because a bunch of snooty guys sit around a table talking about it. Then later, we know they’re bad because the Rebels fight them and the Rebels are good. In this, the Empire is ACTUALLY doing bad things to people who AREN’T belligerents.

4) It felt like a war movie. The Rebellion wasn’t exactly perfect either. They were terrorists and spies. The fracture of the Rebellion from Saw Gerrera’s guerrilla band shows that the Rebellion itself is in flux. (Though it felt like this story ended up mostly on the cutting room floor.)

It lends an urgency to the cause that wasn’t present in Episode IV. Yavin 4 looked pretty organized and well equipped before the Battle of Yavin. In Rogue One, you can see that it’s a mismatched cobbled collection of old stuff with squabbling desperate people fighting for freedom by the seat of their pants. It’s even better if you watched Rebels and you knew how they got some of those ships and pilots.

5) None of the main characters survived. I think that’s really gutsy writing. These characters serve the purpose of getting Princess Leia the plans and starting the OT. In other words, their role is to bring 4 sentences of text to life. They aren’t meant to show up later. Again, it lends an even greater urgency to Star Wars. People DIED for this Rebellion. People you just met, who have started to grow on you, and who you wanted to survive. Get angry dear viewers!

6) Jyn Erso never got to look pretty. It doesn’t see like a big deal but it is. Jyn Erso is a text book Mary Sue Warrior Orphan Princess. She is the frumpy mysterious “orphan” of a very important father, she’s tough and knows how to take care of herself, and she starts out not caring about anything but herself until she sees the light and supports the cause. Pretty standard.
BUT! These characters almost always have some kind of make over after all the fighting is over when they are suddenly revealed as the delicate and feminine princess they really are. Like, there has to be a princess under all those drab clothes. Jyn Erso died frumpy and it’s cool.

Jim's what I don't like about R1

Rebuttal to #5, I don't think it was gutsy writing at all
This is from an interview from Gareth Edwards about the character deaths: "The very first version, they didn’t. In the screenplay. And it was just assumed by us that we couldn’t do that. ‘They’re not going to let us do that.’ So I was trying to figure out how this ends where that doesn’t happen. And then everyone read that and there was this feeling of like, ‘They’ve got to die, right?’ And everyone was like, ‘Yeah, can we?’
We thought we weren’t going to be allowed to but Kathy [Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm] and everyone at Disney were like ‘Yeah it makes sense/ I guess they have to because they’re not in A New Hope.’ And so from that point on we had the license.
I kept waiting for someone to go, ‘You know what? Could we just film an extra scene where we see Jyn and Cassian, they’re okay and they’re on another planet?’ And it never came. No one ever gave us that note, so we got to do it."
To me, it sounds wishy washy. A kind of "Oh, maybe we shouldn't. Should we? Maybe we should ask permission" And Kathy Kennedy's resonse is kind of clueless to me. The ending was cool, tying in to the opening of Ep. 4, but I would rather have seen an ending where Leia and Mon Mothma walk out of the war room after the Death Star is destroyed and go to sickbay and find Jyn recovering in bed and tell her she saved the Rebellion.

That was quick work
The Rebellion finds out Galen Erso is working on a secret superweapon and they track down his daughter, a criminal arrested under an alias and rescue her in a few days.

Space octopus torture
Really? Who came up with that shit? I've seen enough hentai…

The U-wing jumps from Jehda's atmosphere and Vader's Star Destroyer appears in low orbit with no problem. And they change course mid jump, also a no-no.

Can you take this call?
The U-wing has a hypercom, which is normally only found on capital ships and planets. Also, they try to call the X-wing squadron attacking Edo, which means even X-wings have hypercoms. And Cassian used it in hyperspace.

Ergonomic controls
Nice positioning for important functions for the "master switch" and antenna alignment controls.

Planetary Shields
They exist in the EU, no problem. Why does a minor base have a full planetary shield??

Gravity optional
They disable a star destroyer and it just hangs there. It should have fallen into the shield.

Wussy SDs
The Star Destroyers were pretty easy to take out it seemed. When the two of them collided, the second one came apart like it was a pinata instead of a heavily armored warship.

Flight time
Star Wars has always been crappy about this, R1 is particularly so. Krennic flew to see Vader for a five minute conversation.

Did they come to watch?
The Rebel fleet doesn't seem to do anything, seems like they had enough firepower to waste 2 SDs easy. Or maybe pound the gateway station? Instead they just hung there. Not as good a battle as Endor, or even Coruscant in Ep3.

Base? What base?
How many troops did Tarkin kill destroying the base on Scarif? How many millions of credits in equipment?

Backup backups?
For that matter, what about all the data in the station on Scarif? All those records were destroyed and the weapon team was killed on Eadu. How did they make another Death Star in Ep6??

I was talking with my boss, who is a classic Star Trek fan. My comment was "Star Trek never ignores their rules. They may come up with some stupid ways to get around the rule, but they never ignore it"