Diego Crespo’s review published on Letterboxd:
"We have hope (embargos). Rebellions (reviews) are built on hope (embargos)."
(UPDATED WITH DIEGO'S NOTE: This is going to be a smaller post since I did a podcast for ReelFilmChatter which you can check out in video format on YouTube later today and audio format at Podbean. I'll also be doing an extended write up over at AudiencesEverywhere so stay tuned).
Less of a story about keeping hope alive than it is about establishing hope in the first place. But it's not only about hope (a theme more than familiar to fans of the franchise of a galaxy far, far away), it's about the scale of overbearing darkness as it engulfs every trace of light in the galaxy.
What Gareth Edwards accomplished with GODZILLA was a story about people being inconsequential to the natural order of the world as nature and it's hosts reclaim their rightful throne. In ROGUE ONE, it's all about how inconsequential people can feel in the face of unjust order and/or terror, depending on where you stand (one guess as to which side is a big fan of the "order" route).
Now Edwards focuses in on the bonds that make people stronger, together. That inconsequential feeling? It's a scary thing. Numbers, averages, calculations; all odds are stacked against the Rogues, but mathematical estimates can only take you so far. It's in the willpower, the belief that people can achieve the impossible and that something is worth fighting for. If they can't achieve it, they'll sure as hell die trying. People of all color stand united, appearing mightier than any AT-AT even if they're under 6 feet tall.
With the one-two punch of GODZILLA and ROGUE ONE, I find myself firmly in the camp of "GARETH EDWARDS CAN SINGLEHANDEDLY SAVE MAINSTREAM BLOCKBUSTER CINEMA" I'm sure a third near-perfect blockbuster will solidify this claim but ROGUE ONE stands on its own as the definitive blockbuster of 2016 and a jaw-dropping achievement for cinema.