Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Film Review

If you’re the first spin-off film from a multi-billion dollar franchise, you better hope you’re good. The future of the ‘Star Wars Story‘ subtitle rested on the performance of this film. Luckily for those millionaires over at Lucasfilm, ‘Rogue One‘ does a more than adequate job. It’s made heaps of money and it’s a good film to boot.

We all know the story of ‘A New Hope‘ (presumably), where rebels managed to destroy the Death Star with the aid of some stolen plans. But how did they get those plans? That’s where ‘Rogue One‘ comes in to answer all your questions. A group of ragtag unlikely heroes band together to become rebels and steal the plans for the Death Star so that the Alliance can have some hope of destroying it. Now, a ‘Star Wars‘ prequel may sound scary, and we’ve been burned before, but rejoice! For this is a good one.

Felicity Jones is the lead here, and she does a solid job as criminal turned rebel Jyn. She is aided by rebel scoundrel Diego Luna, blind force believer Donnie Yen and his mercenary pal Jiang Wen, Imperial pilot defector Riz Ahmed and sarcastic reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO, voiced by Alan Tudyk. All do a great job and present some darker, more conflicted character than we’ve seen in this universe before. They’re not wholly good or bad, they tread the lines in between. This makes it a little more interesting and seeing them becomes heroes is quite rewarding. The bad guy here is Ben Mendelsohn as Director Krennic, an angry Imperial officer with a point to prove.

The effects, both practical and special, are fantastic. Everything looks great. Director Gareth Edwards has done a great job of recapturing that original trilogy aesthetic, but also throws in some new stuff just to keep things fresh and interesting. The action is also really good, offering enough variation to create new excitement each time. Plus, not to mention that this films fits in very well as a precursor to ‘A New Hope‘. There’s some great Easter eggs for fans and some really cool stuff for new ones too. Did I mention Darth Vader was in this film? Well he is! Boy is he!!

Overall, ‘Rogue One‘ is a pretty solid film, not only as an entry to the ‘Star Wars‘ universe and a prequel, but also as a fun sci-fi film. It’s got action, humour and adventure that’ll make you want to watch it at least once more. It’s a promising start to these ‘Star Wars Story‘ spin-offs and I have faith they can keep the good films coming.

JACK’S SCORE: 4/5

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