Inhale...Now Exhale...That, was a breath of fresh air. Sci fi air, and it smells so damn good. Best movie I've seen since Avatar.
You know what I like? That Disney actually learns from their mistakes. They don't make them very often, and when they do, they emerge smarter, and stronger.
I still think, with confidence, that J.J. did a great job, given the circumstances. I wouldn't be quick to pin Episode VII's shortcomings on Mr. Abrams, but where The Force Awakens fell short, Rogue One triumphed.
The film succeeds in character development, emotional investments, in addition to all things Star Wars, and it's the combination of good story telling with sound Star War-ish elements that really pushes Rogue One into monumental territory.
The film's got a solid run time, and as far as Star Wars is concerned, I think most of us would agree, better it be a few minutes too long, than a few minutes too short. I feel like they took everything that worked with Episode VII, but paid extra close attention to people's issues with it, and made sure they addressed those issues in Rogue One.
One of my biggest concerns with Disney grabbing the torch was whether or not they would beat the franchise to death, but if Episode's VIII and VIII, or the future stand-alone films, are of this grade, please, do bring it on.
Rogue One is a superbly executed Star Wars movie, as well as an excellently crafted science fiction film in general. Not quite as good as Avatar, IMO, (hard to compare an 8th installment to a 1st film, anyway) but it's up there. Way up there. And to the production team behind Rogue One...Thank You.