So before we went and watched it Sunday we watched A New Hope on Saturday night.
When seeing Tarkin and Leia in R1 after seeing them in ANH it holds up really well. I think a lot of the problem is that the R1 versions of them have the old film grain quality to them like they did in ANH. As much as I liked seeing them in my initial R1 viewing I loved it even more the second time because my mind was fresh with what they looked like. Not saying it's perfect but boy it is damn close. 50% of the time that Tarkin shares the screen with others in R1 he looks a tad off but still good but at other times, especially when alone, it is great.
As for Vader, I liked that he only had a few minutes of ass kicking. Just enough to leave you wanting more and get a glimpse of how awesome and terrorizing he was.
As for the rest of the film I was quite impressed with the overall story and plot and how well it's constructed.
I've heard some folks say they have enjoyed EP7 more than this and I get it. But understand a few things before making the comparison. Folks have a ton of emotion invested into those characters and the Skywalker legacy and it's story. This is something completely new with new characters so of course it's not gonna be there. Not at first. But if you look at the two they have one major line in common and to me that is the story of redemption and hope. Plus EP7 really had nothing to lose because how could it possibly be worse than EP1-EP3. Those brought the bar down so low that it was easy to jump. The franchise needed that reboot.
Rogue One is the prequel that me and my friends wanted as kids. I'm sure a ton of kids acted out the stealing of the Death Star plans with their Kenner figures or sticks for guns in the backyard. This is the one movie that I think had more pressure on it than EP7. If this had sucked then where does Disney go from here? I think they nailed it.
Here's an interesting piece of info. Felicity Jones has an option in her contract to play Jyn one more time. I have a feeling though that her fate wasn't known at the time but now some are speculating that she could have a run in with a famous smuggler in her past life as a criminal and maybe have a small cameo in the Han Solo movie. I highly doubt it but man that would be fun