Right off the bat I’ll tell you to go see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s safe to say that it is by far the most highly anticipated film of 2016. After the huge success of 2015’s The Force Awakens and the mouthwatering trailers in the lead up to this release, fans of the storied franchise just couldn’t wait for the first ever anthology film in the series.
The story of Rogue One is adapted from the opening title crawl of the original Star Wars, A New Hope which follows the story of how rebel spies managed to steal the plans of the Galactic Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star. The movie is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones as the main protagonist, Jyn Ersoa. Alongside her is Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed.
With all the hype and anticipation surrounding this film, does it manage to hold its ground and deliver a captivating story? You bet it does! If you have been waiting for a chance to dive into the Star Wars universe, this is the perfect movie; and for the long-term fans, a fresh perspective to the old classics.
The darkness that pervades this movie is evident from very early on in the film. This sets a menacing tone for the rest of the film as we see a young Jyn Erso hit by personal tragedy and her world turned upside down. Fifteen years later after a message is sent by somebody close to Jyn, she is thrown into the mix of things by the rebel alliance to assist in carrying out an important mission. This all unfolds in a story that is as captivating as it is visually stunning.
This movie delves into the inner sanctums of the Rebel Alliance that Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker will later come to support. Rogue One shows the sacrifices and the hard choices that had to be made during this intense time. This is exceptional storytelling and directing Gareth Edwards. He not only manages to tell a good original story, but also remind us why so many people love Star Wars. There is also slight foreshadowing of the events that take place in the original trilogy that will likely make you want to watch them.
The pacing throughout the film is a huge plus. With all the excitement surrounding a rebellion, the risk of rushing through scenes is high but the film slows down in key moments to build characters and deliver some wonderful emotional punches. We’re also introduced to an all new set of characters that are willing to die for the cause. The third act of the film especially paints this out brilliantly as we see how Jyn and her band of rebels execute their mission in a grand finale.
Of course, the film does have its flaws. One in particular involves a digitally created character called Governor Tarkin, played by Peter Cushing who passed away back in 1994 and is digitally revived for this film. The CGI does become uncomfortable in scenes involving his character.
Overall though, Rogue One hits all the right notes and tells a dark story deserving of the big screen. It definitely is a welcome addition to the collection.