Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Fans and filmgoers rejoice! Rogue One: A Star Wars Story rocks, setting a new high standard for the space fantasy franchise and exceeding fan expectations. Rousing adventure and exhilarating spectacle are back in cinemas in time to make your Christmas wish list come true.

Gareth Edwards – Monsters (2010), Godzilla (2014) – is part of a new generation of filmmakers who grew up with the mythology of the Star Wars Saga and is now able to play in the Universe that George Lucas created and bring their own sense of fun and reverence to it. 

Edwards clearly has a passion for the series being a fanboy himself, and still very much in touch with the awestruck child inside of him. Able to draw from 40 years of Star Wars lore, he has brought to the screen everything that people love about the original films as well as the acclaimed animated Clone Wars series. 

Darker and grittier in tone than previous films in the series, Rogue One follows a young woman, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), taken from her parents at an early age whose father Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) was recruited by the Empire to help build a secret weapon that will bring order to the galaxy. 

Everyone knows about Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia’s adventures with the help of Han Solo to smuggle stolen plans of the Death Star back to a secret rebel base and mount a successful attack that would destroy the Empire’s most feared weapon. Well… Rogue One is the first new Star Wars film which is an adjacent story, not part of the Skywalker saga, with never before seen characters that fills a time gap just prior to the events of A New Hope (1977), revealing the story of who and how those plans were stolen and delivered into the hands of our legendary heroes.

As outlined in the opening crawl of Episode IV: A New Hope, “Rebel spaceships, striking out from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the Evil Galactic Empire” and in fact the Rebel Alliance’s secret base on the fourth moon of Yavin plays a much bigger role in Rogue One as we get to see more of the ancient temple ruins hidden among the jungle forests of Yavin 4 where the rebels regroup and plan their next move.

“Rebellions are built on hope” according to one of Rogue One’s most dedicated members Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) whose morals have suffered due to having seen too many bad things and having done things he’s not proud of in the name of the Rebellion. But hope is in short supply at this crucial time in the Star Wars saga; the Jedi, guardians of the peace and justice, are a distant memory after the Emperor’s purge in Episode III some 20 years earlier, and the growing power of the Empire is on the verge of completing a superweapon capable of destroying entire planets.

Against such a threat the Rebels have no defense or any power to stop such an attack unless they can find a way to destroy it from within before it can do any harm. But this will not be easy and will require much courage on the part of many over the course of four films.

Armed with only vague information about a critical design flaw in the Death Star’s construction covertly sent by her father, Jyn eventually inspires a small rogue band of freedom fighters, extremists, Imperial defectors and reprogrammed war droids to infiltrate a secure Imperial archive facility to steal highly sensitive plans that could save the galaxy from certain destruction.

Much like World War II where the Allies were out classed by superior weapons of the German Empire, Rogue One is very much a war film about a small but courageous ragtag band of warriors coming together by fate for a common cause to fight a more advanced enemy against all odds.

Rogue One skillfully pays homage to moments and characters from previous Star Wars films and other media especially Episode IV: A New Hope which Rogue One directly precedes, and much of the fun for fans will be recognizing those moments which resonate with earlier films. The locations are once again chosen from many parts of the world, with Iceland, Jordan and the Maldives standing in for an array of unique otherworldly planets.

Rogue One also does a great job of creating memorable new characters and matching the look and feel of the original classic films. It has a rousing and spectacular ending that plays right into the beginning of A New Hope, which had audiences on their feet and cheering as the final credits role. 


No comments: