Since Disney purchased Lucas Films, they have promised science fiction fans something big. That is more Star Wars films. After The Force Awakens, comes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first in independent storylines apart from the main series.
Directed by Gareth Edwards, this movie takes place in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It stars Felicity Jones, James Earl Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen Forest Whitaker, and features cameos from some fan favorites.
Jyn Erso is brought to the Rebel Alliance base on Yavin 4 to discover her long forgotten father Galen helped build a super weapon for the Galactic Empire. That weapon is none other than the Death Star. Together with a rag tag group of rebels including Rebel spy Cassian Andor, reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO, defected Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook, blind warrior Chirrut Imwe, and ruthless mercenary Baze Malbus they band together to try to stop the construction before its too late.
However, Governor Grand Moff Tarkin seizes command of the Death Star and is doing his best to take command from Director Orson Krennic. The Empire also has a secret weapon lurking in the shadows: Darth Vader.
This new Star Wars film definitely had the feel of the original trilogy. While I felt the first few minutes were rushed, it steadied in pace as the plot thickened. Felicity Jones was great as the lead. Her portrayal of Jyn is what made the film. Her character was impressive and Jones herself really showed some acting skills.
A few mainstream movie critics are trying to push social messaging onto the film. However, I thought the film did a great job of avoiding placating to the SJWs, you know, social junkie wimps (as I call them). Do not listen to these opinions on the film, while it had strong characters, including an excellent female lead, to me, it was just a great story.
My main complaint about the movie is that there were scenes hinted at in the trailers, but were left out completely out of the film. Also, Darth Vader’s role was way too small. Instead of a CGI recreation of Governor Tarkin, providing Vader with a bigger role would have been a far superior choice.
Apart from those complaints, the visuals were stunning, the plot compelling, and as a Star Wars fan, I felt that it fit well into the greater continuity. Now, time will tell if other fans will accept it. I have written on several occasions about the fickleness and outright ungratefulness of the fandom.
I wish Gareth Edwards had been chosen to direct the upcoming Episode VIII: Echoes of the Dark Side instead of the hack Rian Johnson. From how great Rogue One came out, I believe that he would have mastered that upcoming film.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Make ten men fell like a hundred.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong science fiction violence and thematic elements
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