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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: First Stand-Alone Star Wars Film Holds its Own

  • Diego LunaFelicity Jones...
  • Science Fiction
  • Gareth Edwards
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Rogue One: First Stand-Alone Star Wars Film Holds its Own

Taking us back to events that takes place sometime between the Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, the latest entry into the Star Wars anthology, which is also the first stand-alone film in the series, might not be as grand a space opera as its predecessors, but certainly holds its own.

Working from a script written by Chris Weltz and Bourne Trilogy’s very own Tony Gilroy, director Gareth Edwards masters this inevitably challenging undertaking like, delivering both heart and character as well as an abundance of exhilarating action set pieces, placing Rogue One as one of the most exciting – and definitely gutsiest – films of the franchise.

The story opens with a young Jyn Erso (Jones) seeing her father, research scientist Galen Erso (Mikkelsen), being taken away by the Empire under the orders of Director Orson Krennic (Mendelsohn), in order to complete the construction of a powerful new space station, a.k.a The Death Star. Left behind to fend for herself, Jyn is soon adopted by extremist rebel Saw Gerrera (Whittaker) who decides to raise the little girl to be a fighter.

Fast-forward fifteen years later, Jyn finds herself imprisoned by the Empire, before being freed by a Rebel spy, Officer Cassian Andor (Luna), and his droid, K-2S0 (Tudyk), who are also looking to find Galen, having heard that the scientist is planning on building a flaw in the Death Star’s system. Agreeing to aid the rebels in their fight against the Empire’s fascist regime, Jyn – along with the help of former allies, Bodhi Rook (Ahmed), Chirrut Imwe (Yuen) and Baze Malbus (Wen) sets out steal her father’s special data and save the galaxy from impending doom.

Whilst many of the iconic Star Wars elements, such as the light sabers and the opening ‘in a galaxy far, far away’ text crawl may be missing from the picture, Rogue One still manages to embody the mood and the overall tone of a Star Wars film, while still quite deliberately offering a sense of distinctness as a spin-off. It’s a risky endeavour for the production sure, but Edwards succeeds in bringing together a whole new vision for the franchise without ever compromising its cinematic qualities or origins. The film boasts plenty of drama and thrilling action, as well as a long-list of fun references that will please devoted followers of the franchise.

The setup to the big finale – an explosive and an arousing intergalactic battle where the movie takes its moment to shine the most – however, is slightly lagging in energy with Edwards taking his time to get the ball rolling.  That lag, however, is made up for by the fact that there’s a real story to tell here and new characters to get to know, with Jones delivering a perfect balance of feistiness, toughness and fragility to the role of Jyn, rounding off Rogue One as an almost-perfect platform for all things Star Wars.

Like This? Try

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) 

360 Tip

Before Felicity Jones was eventually cast, some of the bigger names to audition for the role of Jyn Erso included Tatiana Maslany, Rooney Mara and Kae Mara.

Waseem El Tanahi

A great addition to the franchise. I mean, come on, who wont love another Star Wars film!

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