Rogue One is finally here, and it was refreshing….. where do I begin?
The Rogue One story
Rogue One tells the story of how The Rebels got a hold of the evil Empires Death Star plans in Episode IV A New Hope. Given the massive scale of such a powerful battle station, it is difficult to see how a rather small army compared to the Empire could possibly get their hands on blueprints for this new planet destroying space ship.
Felicity Jones plays the lead role of Jyn Eros. Jyn is the daughter of a weapons scientist that goes by the name of Galen Eros. Galen designed the Death Star, and in particular, its destructive weapon which took 19 years to build before they finally perfected it. She is recruited by the Rebels to try and find these plans that the Empire possess. Although it is the first standalone Star Wars film, it’s pretty much a direct, and I mean a direct, prequel to A New Hope. If you are planning on having a Star Wars marathon it would fit comfortably as the first film is to watch. Or the fourth if you plan on watching them chronologically.
That Star Wars feel
Rogue one is a refreshing take on Star Wars. For the first time in 7 films, the story does not revolve around the Skywalker family (assuming Rey is related to Luke or Leia). We get a futuristic take on guerilla warfare, filled with plotting, ambushing and an epic battle scene in the third act. One of the best third acts I’ve seen for as long as I can remember.
Without giving much away, we see a lot more pew-pewing and less vroom-vrooming as we have seen in previous films. As we are told in A New Hope, the Jedi are considered to be wiped out, so try to imagine D-Day in Saving Private Ryan, but with lasers.
No, this film isn’t filled with light sabre battles, but it doesn’t have to be and is brilliantly executed.
One of the best characters in the film is the introduction to the new protocol droid K-2SO. It’s very hard not to compare him to Sheldon Cooper in the Big Bang Theory. He is blunt with his words, but they come across hilarious which helps break some of the tension in what is a gritty war film. And to be honest, he gives R2 a run for his money as a lot of people’s favourite droid.
Cassian Andor plays the character K-2SO protects throughout the film. Having lost his parents to the Empire at age six, he is hell bent on destroying the Empire and is willing to do anything to get the job done. He’s a strong character who takes a bit to warm up to, but becomes one of Jyn’s closest allies as the film goes on.
Chirrut Imwe is a blind monk. He is a believer in the force. Whether he’s is one with the force or not isn’t made clear in the film. But he certainly worships the religion so to speak and believes in its powers. Not only that, but he is a badass who does not let his lack of sight take out Stormtrooper or two throughout the film. He’s also a very witty character that comes out with a couple of one-liners that the whole cinema enjoyed together.
Another new character we meet is Director Krennic. He is one of the main officers in charge of getting the Death Star’s weapons system up and running. He comes across of a rather incompetent Admiral who really is just having a string of bad luck. The Rebels don’t help by causing him hassle time and time again. Hes a powerful figure, but not the man in charge on the Empires side in this film.
Some old friends
Throughout the film we are introduced to some characters from past films. But they are not shown in trailers so I won’t spoil it for you. But one character we do know who makes an appearance is the man in black himself.
Darth Vader. I don’t want to say too much on him as there is so much anticipation as to how long he’s is in the film. What I will say is I wasn’t disappointed by the appearances he did make.
In Rogue One, we see Vader in his most ruthless and destructive form yet. In the sequels he was evil, but didn’t come across as very scary on the screen. This time, it’s incredible to see how evil he is. Anakin Skywalker is well and truly dead as far as Vader is concerned. Imagine the main villain in an old school slasher film kind of evil. No pity, no remorse, just a man hell bent on ruling the Galaxy. In Darth Vader fashion, he isn’t going to let anyone get in his way. I want to go see the film again for many reasons, but to see Vader once again is my main one. Prepare yourself.
Some of the battle scenes in this film are the best I’ve seen on the big screen. We get to see a weapons test by the Death Star and get a birds eye of view the sheer scale of unparalleled destruction it is capable of. We also get to see some AT-AT and AT-ST walkers we see in the trailers. You can’t help but smile with nostalgia similar to when we saw the X-Wings in The Force Awakens. And as always, we are given an epic space battle with one or two things we haven’t seen before.
Rogue One gives us everything we expected. A futuristic war film and an under dog story. We get cameos from old films and answers questions that were only covered in canon. Although it is a prequel to A New Hope, you could watch it if you haven’t seen Star Wars before. After 2 films Disney have release now, I very much like the way they are going. I would be perfectly happy if they are still releasing spin offs in 20 years time. In fact, I hope they are.