In the continuity of the Star Wars story, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) leads directly into Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Rogue One is about the stealing of the plans of the Empire’s sinister weapon, the Death Star.
The first ten minutes of Rogue One points to the seriousness of this Star Wars event, as Galen Erso (Meds Mikkelsen), who knows the technical readouts of the Death Star, is having a change a heart in completing the battle station’s design. It’s not without a fight as the Empire will force him to do it, but Galen’s daughter Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) becomes instrumental in the fight against the Death Star. Rogue One tells an important story, but it’s done with a lighter touch than one might expect for a serious Star Wars moment as this.
Rogue One is intriguing entertainment, nevertheless. As well: Darth Vader blazing on all cylinders is something we have never seen before. Grand Moff Tarkin coming back to life is impressive although the actor who played him is dead. Just replace the dead Peter Cushing with actor Guy Henry and add CGI to virtually resurrect the old Tarkin. Princess Leia coming back as she once was is again another impressive computer trick. The Admiral Ackbar look-a-like is a bit of nostalgic fun from the days of Return of the Jedi.
The crew stealing the Death Star plans is a hearty bunch. To name a few: the noble heart and soul of Jyn Erso as played by Felicity Jones is transparent. Jyn’s shipmate Cassian Andor is played by Diego Luna appropriately straight and steady. Donnie Yen is very likeable as the mysterious yet reliable Guardian of the Whills. K-2S0’s programmed rather than human which is the butt of the film’s humour, delivered deliciously dead-pan by Alan Tudyk.
Insertions of the x-wing fighter pilots from the New Hope film is amusing, in a good way. Aliens are gorgeous fun and visual presentation is an image feast. Action as well. And so on. It’s also good in the sense of sacrifice and heroics being a strong theme. Although convoluted, Rogue One is a Star Wars film that presents a grand moment in Star Wars with a sense of entertainment value and even emotion.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Meds Mikkelsen. Director: Gareth Edwards.