Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a superb entry into the already expansive universe.
The film revolves around the Rebel Alliance attempting to steal the plans for the Death Star in a hope at destroying it and saving the galaxy from a terror like no other. Jyn Erso (played by the wonderful Felicity Jones) struggles with her own place in the universe, she’s flung into a rag-tag group that must somehow work together. And it neatly bustles it’s way in before the original first film, A New Hope. It’s an action packed thrill ride from start to finish.
Star Wars has been known for bringing whimsical humour in places across the 7 other films, but Rogue One is the most grounded out of the lot. It emphasises heavily on the ‘War’ aspect in the title, and it gets down and gritty. And although it seems to outweigh the fun at times, it manages to retain a lot of that classic heart and humour that fans know and love. This is largely down to the brilliant K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk), a reprogrammed droid with sarcasm. Perfect. He has some of the best lines in the film, and steals the scene on more than one occasion.
However, the film does seem to lack in developing it’s characters as it goes on – mainly in favour of speeding up the plot. The only real development that contributes to the main plot is Jyn’s past. None of the others are given a particular story that we explore. It’s a shame really, given that they’re each so intriguing in their own ways. We would’ve loved to learn more about the friendship between Chirrut and Maze, or even just a little more backstory on Chirrut himself. It’s such an expansive universe that it’s disappointing this spin-off doesn’t give us space to explore it more. Even though it hops between planets pretty frequently, we’re barely given the time to get a feel for these places before the group are chased away.
Aside from that, Rogue One proves to be completely exciting. There are some fantastic performances scattered across the film, with Diego Luna and Felicity Jones completely owning their screentime. It’s a shame we don’t spend more time with Galen Erso, A.K.A. Mads Mikkeslson. His character’s opinions and reasoning felt like they needed a little more exploring given how well founded they were. With some extremely brilliant use of CGI and repurposed footage from the original trilogy – it’s hard not to become immersed alongside the Rebels. But, it’s not just the Alliance that prove to be a crowd pleaser, but the villains too. Darth Vader makes an intimidating comeback to the franchise. With a truly terrifying sequence towards the end of the film, Vader proves just how evil and villainous he can be. And whilst it’s not for long, fans will certainly get a kick out of it. Keep an eye out for another classic character brought back every so often too.
We loved Rogue One. Whilst it does have it’s problems, this grounded war flick feels perfect amongst the rest of the franchise. Whilst this one-off science fiction adventure will resonate with audiences regardless of their previous knowledge of Star Wars – this is definitely one for the fans.
- Darth Vader