‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ – Movie Review

Category: Movies

Avid Star War fans will be thrilled with the storyline of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It fills in the gap that no one really thought about before. That gap is how the rebels got the plans for the Death Star. All of that is answered in this film, which basically could be episode 3.5 because it takes place between episodes III (‘Revenge of the Sith’ -2005) and IV (‘A New Hope’ – 1977).

Producer Kathleen Kennedy said, “George [Lucas] was excited, not only about doing more Saga films, but also about the potential of doing standalone stories that lived and breathed inside the Star Wars universe,” explains producer Kathleen Kennedy.

The Star Wars episodes (I-VII) follow the Skywalker family and tell a continuing story. The standalone movies, which can occur anyplace on the timeline, will introduce new characters and explore a wide variety of genres,” Kennedy adds.

While Rogue One can be a stand-alone film, it does connect aspects of the franchise, however it is not until the last third of the film when viewers see many familiar faces. The visual effects are what guide the film as the characters move from one dangerous situation to another while defining the base between the alliance and the empire.
The main character in the film is Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) whose father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) was taken by the empire to plan and build the Death Star. Galen was not a fan of the empire but knew he had no choice. In the meantime Jyn was left to grow up on the fringe of society. She aligns herself with the rebel alliance and through a holographic message learns what she must do to stop the Death Star.

Her accomplice is Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and several others, including K-250, a droid who speaks his mind, soon join them.

The filmmakers are intent on the idea that these “stand alone” films are just that – stand alone films. However this is definitely a chapter in the Star Wars story, as the title reflects. Those who are fans of the franchise will appreciate the effects, the characters, and the story, however if you aren’t into Star Wars, you most likely will not be entertained by this film.

Talking about the stand-alone films, director Gareth Edwards said, “We’re the first one out, so knowing these films could be different was exciting, but how different was the big question and what does that mean. I love Star Wars. I grew up with the original trilogy and to me they’re the ultimate movies. I feel that a massive upside to not being a part of the saga is we have a license to be different. And hopefully we took that license and ran with it.”

As with the other Star Wars films, the female characters are strong. “We talked about the fact that Jyn isn’t just a woman—she’s a person,” Edwards explains. “She just happens to be female. We always tried to treat her like that. I wanted to make a character that I would want to be. Not to fancy her or want to marry her, but want to be her. It was just a cool person. We tried to make the film in such a way where the issue of boy or girl never came into it.”

The film takes place on several planets and the filming took place in several locations around the world. And yes, there are plenty new creatures and droids, however don’t expect to see a café with music playing. Kennedy explained, “The great thing about Gareth, and the great thing about the filmmakers we’re bringing in, is they’re all fans. They all have a deep, emotional connection to Star Wars. That’s something that’s really important as we look around and identify the people who will direct these films. We’re looking for caretakers—people who genuinely care and accept a responsibility around the franchise.”

What else can be said about this film without divulging any spoiler alerts? Just that it is one special effect after another and adds just one more piece of the puzzle to the story of a galaxy far, far away. And more Star Wars films are scheduled for the next few years!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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