A new tradition started last year, thanks to those smart people at Disney and Lucasfilms, and it’s one I can definitely get behind. Now, and for the foreseeable future, we will receive a Star Wars film before every Christmas, a new trend that started with last year’s Episode VII: The Force Awakens. This year, we get something we’ve never had before, a standalone film with no sequels to come afterward in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The film is a prequel, which in the Star Wars universe may throw up a lot of red flags and cause many to feel trepidation about the adventure sci-fi film but this is a film that directly ties into the beginning of the whole franchise in 1977’s A New Hope.
For the plot details, I will try to be as vague as possible, much like I was last year with Force Awakens to not stir the rage pot from you Star Wars fans. The story follows Jyn Erso, the estranged daughter of a weapons builder taken by the Empire to build a world destroyer we know as the Death Star. Banding together with a Rebel intelligence officer, his droid, a blind warrior and his assassin best friend, Erso receives a message from her father through a defecting Imperial pilot that this new super weapon has a fatal flaw in the design for the Rebels to exploit. The mission is deadly simple. Retrieve the plans and get them to the Rebel command by any means necessary.
Again, without going into deep detail on what appealed to me for spoiler reasons, I will say that I enjoyed Rogue One a hell of a lot more than I did The Force Awakens on my first viewing. Granted I warmed up to Episode VII more on subsequent watches but I was enthralled with this new standalone story right away, even if it felt like it jumped around a lot between planets for the first part of act one. Gareth Edwards and cinematographer Greig Fraser make a beautiful looking film that fits in beautifully in this massive mosaic of space operatics.
The thing I loved was how Rogue One nestles up to A New Hope, also recreating scenes that us Star Wars fans remember watching over and over again but not only does it give you that extra back story for how the Rebels were able to obtain the information about how to defeat this plan of the Empire but it gives a deeper development for background characters and stories within the universe. With many references and easter eggs, Rogue One is destined to be a treasure trove of Star Wars lore for fans to discover. If you want a damn good Star Wars film that is fun, exciting and will leave your jaw on the floor at times, Rogue One will not disappoint you. Don’t get trapped in any spoilers and get out and see in now! 5/5