For Hollywood, record-breaking 2016 meant giving fans what they want

Comfort-seeking audiences flocked to the familiar in 2016, and movies like ‘Rogue One’ seemed expressly written to reward them.

Published Dec. 30, 2016

— Spoiler alert: This article discusses characters and plot points in “Rogue One.”

By most standards, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is a smashing success.

Box-office figures show the film has the fourth biggest 12-day total in history, attesting to the enduring appeal of nostalgic reference.

Yet for all that its plot revolves around a band of scrappy rebels taking on the Galactic Empire, “Rogue One” falls short of revolutionary, some critics say. Underdeveloped characters and unexplored plot lines take away from the charged action sequences and cameos from familiar faces. Instead of adding to the richness of the Star Wars universe, writes Peter Suderman for Vox, the film only “reinforced what’s already there.”

“It’s a kind of timidity,” he continues, “an unwillingness to break the franchise mold – even in an installment supposedly meant to do precisely that.”

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