Director: Gareth Edwards
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Wen Jiang
Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
Released: 15th December 3016
Rogue by name; rogue by nature the first standalone Star Wars film to venture away the Skywalker Saga. Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards brings to life a story based on one sentence from the opening crawl of Epsiode IV: A New Hope ‘Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet’. What a better tale for the studio Lucasfilm to explore than one that does not need all the knowledge of the previous movies to get but can introduce new fans to the Star Wars Universe.
In the midst of a war between The Empire and The Rebellion, The Rebellion recruits criminal Jyn Erso (FELICITY JONES) and together with Intelligence officer Cassian Andor (DIEGO LUNA) they must retrieve a mysterious message sent by Jyn’s father Galen Erso (MADS MIKKELSEN) that will aid them in this fight. Hot on the heels of Jyn, Cassian and their rag tag team is the Empire director Krennic (BEN MENDELSOHN), a man desperate to hold onto his power on the Death Star and will do anything to do so.
Rogue one’s story whilst is one that is self-contained yet because it flows on onto the events of Episode IV, there is involvement of a couple of characters from Episode IV (to help with the continuality of these events). Since it has been decades since Episode IV was released (1977), there is the problem of how do you have characters show up in a film years later when those who have played them are either haven’t drunk from the fountain of youth or no longer alive. The wizards at Industrial Light & Magic (who has done the special effects of every Star Wars film) have pushed the envelope once more with their use of CGI; they have been able to replicate the appearance of these faces with such realistic quality that you would think Episode IV was made this decade not 40 years ago.
Having a predominantly fresh set of characters in Rogue one, the cast all bring interesting qualities to the table. As Jyn, Felicity inserts her with a Strong Steely presence with a touch of vulnerability that slowly seeps through as the film progresses. Diego has a palpable intensity as Cassian, presenting a man hardened by years of being a rebel, but his newest mission that tests his morality. As great, as Diego, Felicity and the rest of the cast are there is a standout performance in Donnie Yen as blind monk like warrior Chirrut Imwe. Donnie steals scenes with snappy memorable dialog and puts his martial arts prowess to good use, knocking back stormtroopers as if they are pins in a bowling alley.
Whilst Rogue One feels more like a war like heist film than the more traditional Star Wars film, there is still elements of classic Star Wars: the humour, epic aerial fights, that one line that appears in every film and of course Darth Vader. That one epic fight scene involving Vader is one for the books as one of the best Vader scenes in Star Wars history. For those who have not drunk from the Star Wars kool aid, get ready to quench that thirst you never knew you had with a heart wenching adventure across worlds that will make you want to explore more of that galaxy far far away.