Why ‘Rogue One’ is the best Star Wars Movie for Military Veterans

Rogue One is a war movie in a way that no other Star Wars film is.

rogue one

Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose/Rogue One: A Star Wars Story/Lucasfilm.

After serving 21 years in the military and retiring, I saw Rogue One for the first time, walked out of the theater, and exclaimed to my son, “That’s the finest Star Wars film ever made!” It was a big statement from someone like me who is a life-long Star Wars fan. He can tell you which season and episode of The Clone Wars it refers to.

For me, I’ve been fighting this battle since I was five years old, apologies to Alliance Officer Cassian Andor. That was my age when my mother dropped off my brother and me for the first time on a nearly daily basis for the original run of A New Hope in our tiny Tennessee town’s small, single-screen theater. We had always followed tradition by believing The Empire Strikes Back to be the best film in the series.

Since then, my confidence in Rogue One’s quality has not weakened. It’s unusual for me to like a film — be it any film — as much as I love this one. My spouse asked, “What is it with you and that movie?” (Warning! Major plot leaks ahead.)