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  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

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    The Star Wars series has been a pop-culture staple for nearly 40 years.  I had to pause and take that in for moment as I considered that immense popularity that the franchise has.  Even before Disney started raking in the dough on this fatted cash cow, every few years or so, there was a Star Wars revival. Between each release, re-release, prequel, and sequel, the critical eyes of the Star Wars fans were squinted, and with the internet, they were poised and ready to attack.  With such a beloved series, there is high-pressure to do it justice. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story did just that.

     

    A Long Time Ago

     

     

    Rebellion Gone Rogue One: Spoiler-Free!

    Our story bridges the gap between Revenge of the Sith and New Hope. The Imperials are gathering up scientists to construct a space station so powerful it will eliminate planets in a matter of minutes. Upon it's completion, the struggling rebellion gets wind of a rumor that there may be a way to destroy this mass killing machine. The rebel Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is tasked with locating the Imperial defector carrying the very information could turn the tide of the war.

     

    Jyn Erso and Companions

    Bridging The Gap

    The film makers had a difficult task ahead of them when they began putting together Rogue One. They had to strike a balance between established Star Wars lore, fan service, and create something that fit perfectly into that universe. (It was almost as hard as making this a spoiler-free review!) Adding too much fan service can take away from the story continuity, while not having enough lore could make the film feel like it's not part of the original series. There was a thin line to walk, and Rogue One manages to do just that.

     

    While the film has bits and pieces of 'fan service,' it doesn't waste a ton of time on it.  For instance, Darth Vader makes an appearance in the film - but though his presence is noted, it's not forced and it makes sense for the story. There are also a few other throwbacks that fit within the story frame. The nods to the past make sense. Much of what happens in the film also clears up loose ends from the established series.

     

    Jedha

     

     

    Jyn Erso

    The Jedi, The Sith and The Rancor

    While the story is slow to begin, it's necessary to establish the new characters in this exciting adventure. And I do mean exciting. There were moments when I was literally leaning forward, grabbing the arms of the chair to hold myself back. The film does a great job drawing you in. The slow start helps establish the scene and it really does amp up the tension as the movie reaches its climax.

     

    Short of stepping into spoiler territory, I was so drawn in that even as certain events happened, I tried to convince myself otherwise. (So vague...I'm sorry. Go see it. You'll get it.) The film manages to not only look like a Star Wars film, but most definitely adds to its legacy.

     

    Rogue One Cast

    The Rebels of Rogue One

    Each of the roles are balanced and well thought out. I found myself rooting for each individual character and despising the villain. It was also an interesting look at the rebellion. Rogue One muddies up the line between "good" and "evil" a bit, showing that not everyone on each side is so strictly aligned.

     

    The cast was made up of mostly unknown actors. Felicity Jones really kills it as the strong and capable Jyn Erso, while Diego Luna makes a compelling counterpart as a rebel with a less than savory past. Though I usually have problems with the villain, Ben Mendelsohn does an excellent job portraying the sinister Orson Krennic.

     

    Short of mentioning all of the actors in this film, every character introduced fit the story so well! From the defective Imperial cargo pilot to the Guardian of Whills, they all managed to win me over in the short time we spent together. (Though I'd hate not mention Alan Tudyk's awesome voice acting!)

     

    Of course, the final character is the score! It's like a character at least. Michael Giacchino (Up, Call of Duty franchise) followed the footsteps of the great John Williams, and doesn't disappoint. He took a lot of influence from the legendary composer and truly helped take us to a galaxy far, far away.

     

    Rogue One: Death Star Laser

    Final Thoughts

    I found it very hard to find criticize this movie, because I went in knowing what it was. It's a missing puzzle piece. It's not a "new series." It captures the spirit of

     without throwing in a ton of lightsabers, ewoks, or Jedi. It takes a perspective we haven't seen before, and it has a surge of action that is definitely worth seeing.

     

    So what do you all think?  Have you seen Rogue One? What's your favorite part of the franchise? Let us know in the comments below! Stay deadicated!

     

    Rogue One Poster



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