Rogue One Review
This review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is spoiler-free. If I consider myself an expert on anything, it’s this incredible saga that was my first love as a kid (and I have yet to grow up). It’s always exciting to see the newest installment when it hits the big screen. This one was no exception.
So this is what a Star Wars prequel is supposed to look like.
OK, so Rogue One isn’t officially a prequel to the original Star Wars. It literally is a “Star Wars story.”
Want to know what the connection is for Rogue One to the original saga? Simply watch the beginning verbiage crawl from Episode IV: A New Hope and the first two paragraphs basically describes what this movie is about.
It tells the story of how the newly formed rebellion stole the plans to the Death Star and delivered them to Princess Leia. We all know what the results are, we just don’t know how they get there.
Rogue One has what none of the prequels have – good acting, characters we grow fond of quickly and care about, a story that is interesting, and most of all – it feels, sounds and looks a lot like 1977’s Star Wars. I really appreciated the familiar sounds of the X-wings, TIE fighters, laser blasts, and especially those darn stormtroopers’ voice dialect and cadence. Even binoculars in the movie had the same look and feel as Luke’s.
Star Wars is known for its strong female characters, and Rogue One delivers the latest in Jyn Erso, whose scientific engineer father is taken away from her as a little girl and forced by the Empire to oversee the development of the Death Star. Felicity Jones does a good job as the tough-as-nails Erso, who has the same tenacity and edge as Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia.
Erso gets introduced to the rebellion, as they wish to use her family relationships to gain knowledge of the Empire’s new weapon and find a way to destroy it. Along the way, Erso gains the trust of Cassian Andor, a rebel leader who has to deal with making hard choices based on his faith in the overall cause.
One by one, Erso and Andor form a rag-tag group of rebels who eventually embark on the primary goal of finding the Death Star plans and delivering them to the rebellion. The movie’s main bad guy – Imperial Director Orson Krennic – is a perfect villain. He’s smart and focused and there isn’t an ounce of humanity in him.
In true Star Wars style, the character who steals many scenes is K-2SO, a former Imperial droid who has been reprogrammed by the rebels to work for their efforts. His personality and one-liners are perfectly placed and add great comic relief.
The second half of the movie is outstanding. Much like A New Hope, the first half sets things up, introducing the characters and storyline, before opening up the action for the final mission and connecting the dots until the Death Star plans are finally delivered.
This movie can easily stand alone without the support of the saga itself. It’s entertaining and would be appreciated by any moviegoer whether they’ve seen a Star Wars movie yet or not. For most of us who have seen the original trilogy as kids, it simply fits and adds fantastic color and personality to the original 1977 story.
This is the Star Wars backstory we waited over 17 years to see. It’s better than any of the prequels. Maybe because there is no Jar Jar Binks. Nah. There’s a better reason.
It simply feels like Star Wars.