This week we saw Rogue One, billed as a Star Wars story and fits in between the events of Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV – A New Hope.
Unlike The Force Awakens, our expectations were not as high for this release, as whilst we enjoyed the low-budget Monsters from its director Gareth Edwards, in all honestly, we were very underwhelmed by his Godzilla reboot.
The film opens with the capture of Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) by the empire, led by Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn)
During this time, his wife, (Valene Kane) is killed. However, his daughter, Jyn manages to escape and ges into hiding, where she is protected by family friend, Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker).
We skip forward 13 years on and see Jyn (Felicity Jones) has been captured by the empire. However, the rebels free her, as they believe from information gathered by Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) who has since been captured, that her father is building a weapon for the Empire. The rebels believe Jyn will be useful to getting too him.
Jyn had thought he was dead so agrees to accompany rebel soldier Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and droid K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) to the planet Jedha, where the fight is being taken to the empire. They find unexpected help in a blind warrior called Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and his friend, Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang)
They find Saw, who has Bodhi captured as prisoner, but find the information he has is a hologram from Galen, which shows he did all he could for the Empire so as to protect Jyn. He believed this saved her from being captured. We also learn that the weapon he is building is the death star and that he has built a design fault into it, which can be its downfall.
With this information, they plan to free Galen, during this escape mission, he reveals he has hidden all the schematics to the Death Star within an Imperial Research facility on the planet Scarif.
Yet with no one to confirm this, the rebels will not risk many lives to take the gamble on getting the information, but the team of 5 team up as ‘Rogue One’ and defy the rebels to try and get this vital information, at what could be the cost of their lives.
Now what should be straight forward, as we know they get the plans has been turned into a real treat for Star Wars fans, the film is littered with references to the other movies, some big from the Death Star, Stormtroopers and Darth Vader, which we knew from just the posters to others which are much smaller, which we don’t want to spoil for you.
Yet you don’t need to be a Star Wars fan to get immersed in this one, as feel of a war or even a heist movie.
Jones and Luna make good leads but it is the 4 behind them of Yen; Jiang; Ahmed and Tudyk who hold the film together. Tudyk is outstanding as K-2SO, he will win hearts in the way that BB8 did during the force awakens we’re sure.
The film does have faults, it is slow to start, but it’s ending is outstanding and ties up so well to Episode IV, you’ll probably want to watch it straight after.
If we did find one let down, we think the use of Darth Vader was a bit disappointing, this is by no means a film about him, it is about the team of Rogue One, but that would be just picking. This is by far one of the films of the year, the force is certainly strong with this one.
After the 3 uninspiring prequels, Star Wars, now in the hands of Disney, seems to be an event to look forward to now so bring on Episode VIII
You can see the trailer here
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