Rogue One – A Star Wars Story……..with a difference (Review)

Rogue One Logo

Being the in-house cinema nut (and a little bit of a Star Wars fan) I decided to don some of our Star Wars merchandise, specifically one of our Rogue One TShirts and head to the cinema on release day.

CAST Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen
DIRECTOR Gareth Edwards
GENRE War, Science Fiction, Adventure
SYNOPSIS Set between Episodes III and IV, we get to see the Rebellion in a new light and follow the story of how the plans for the Death Star were obtained, setting up the epic saga to follow.
RELEASE DATE 15th December 2016
DURATION 134 mins
RATING 12A Rating

*Warning contains some spoilers*

Let’s start at the beginning……or at Episode 3.9 (depending on where you think it fits). The story of Rogue One comes courtesy of the opening crawl to the original 1977 Star Wars film.

Below are the lines taken from the original opening…….just in case you haven’t watched the original in a while, if you are too young to remember, or just simply never watched Star Wars.

It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.

Star Wars 1977 Opening - Rogue One

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Rogue One sits itself nicely into a gap between Episode III (Revenge of the Sith) and Episode IV (A New Hope), with the opening sequence being set at the end of Episode III. Here we are introduced to Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), an Imperial Science Engineer who was working on a top secret project. Whilst working on this project, which happens to be the first Death Star, his conscience gets the better of him leading him to live on the secluded planet of Lah’mu with his wife Lyra and daughter Jyn.

As expected the Empire come to get their engineer back…..where the decision is not optional. Galen is taken away to continue his work, his wife Lyra is shot dead and Jyn runs and hides to a safe location to be rescued by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker).

This sets the baseline for Rogue One to center around the relationship between Jyn and her father Galen.

We then flash into the future, where Jyn (Felicity Jones) has become an adult and the atmosphere changes to give you the action of a Star Wars film.
During this part of the film we get to meet the rest of the cast, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) a Rebel intelligence officer, Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) a defected Imperial Pilot, K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) a witty reprogrammed Imperial Droid, Chirrut Inwe (Donnie Yen) a blind force believer, and Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) who has a very big gun.

Star Wars Rogue One Cast
Disney

Between them all they bring something to the party, they are all likeable characters but we just don’t get to know much about them or their back stories.

With this team working together we get to see a group of people fighting for a common cause, in a way that the Star Wars franchise hasn’t shown us before. You get a real feeling that the rebellion leadership is struggling, disorganised and has internal turmoil when up against the organised and terrifying Empire. You get to see a group of people that take action in a situation where there is no other option available.

Thrown into Rogue One are beautiful visuals and incredibly realistic planets, vehicles and fight sequences. With trips to the planets of Jedha (the home of the Jedi), Lah’mu (a baron planet where the Erso’s were hiding), Eadu (a refinery planet) and Scarif (a tropical planet that contains something key to the story).

When you get to the planet of Scarif you are immersed in a world of action, suspense and incredible fight scenes.

Scarif
Disney

One surprising thing to see in Rogue One is the full CGI creation of Imperial Officer Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing), where the actor has been dead for over 20 years. It is a wonderful thing to see however it is slightly creepy.

Another character is given a full CGI creation too…..however I will leave that one for you to find out.

Overall it was a very good film to use as a blueprint for future Star Wars movies. It contains action, excitement, a link to the characters and overall it has a different feel that will appeal to a larger audience. There is a little bit of humour thrown in by K-2SO who seems to have had his filter removed, making for interesting quips and the spot of needed relief.

It also isn’t your typical “Hero” story, not everyone gets to be celebrated and there isn’t always a way home.

“Rogue One: a Star Wars Story” scores a strong 4 / 5 star rating!

So have you seen this epic new adventure yet? If so what did you think? Let us know below.

P.S. We had a little bit of a bonus at the cinema…….

Band at the Cinema
We had a Live band playing Star Wars Music
Obligatory Star Wars T-Shirt
I had to wear one of our Tees 🙂

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