It’s December and since last year that means: a new Star Wars movie hits theatres! Leave it to the guys at Disney to completely milk this cashcow, and I don’t blame them. Give me more Star Wars! This time around, we’re given the first Star Wars Anthology film. In the future these will also include Star Wars films like the Han Solo and Boba Fett stand-alones. Rogue One is set just before A New Hope, so fans can figure out what to expect. Read our spoiler-free review here.
Of course, Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope starts with this iconic opening crawl:
It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, 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.
Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy….
Rogue One in the Star Wars Universe
Rogue One is about those rebel spies who are after the plans of the Death Star. So while it’s no surprise they will somehow succeed, this is the first time the audience will get the whole story about how they managed this. And, also quite important: who exactly these rebels are.
Star of Rogue One is Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso. Jyn is a former criminal with a past which links her directly to the Death Star. Together with Rebel Alliance Intelligence officer Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and wiped Imperial droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) she is set to find the legendary but dangerous rebel Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker). When things go very, very sour, it is up to her to lead a ragtag group of rebel scum to get the plans of the Death Star on the tropical planet of Scarif .
Rogue One gets to put its own stamp on the Star Wars universe, by being just slightly different from the main trilogies. It doesn’t have an opening crawl for instance. Though the decision to not put one in can be understood. The anthologies are seperate films after all. But still I really missed the crawl as it always gives me goosebumps. Also quite different: the score is composed by Michael Giacchino. This makes Rogue One the first huge Star Wars film not to be scored by the legendary John Williams. Although, ofcourse, some iconic Williams-themes resurface during the film.
Fans will not be disappointed as several characters from the first two trilogies will make an appearance. Some in just a short cameo, others in larger and more important parts. It’s no secret that Darth Vader has a small role in Rogue One. His introduction is unsettling, even though you know who he is and what he is capable of. And while he could have been left out of the middle bit of Rogue One, it’s great to see this legend back on the screen again. Thanks to some wickedly done CGI some old and well known characters can also return. Fret not, there is no Jar Jar in Rogue One, nor are there any Ewoks.
Let’s take a minute to praise the diversity in Rogue One. Just like in The Force Awakens, the main character is a badass woman who can more than handle herself. Felicity Jones is cast perfectly and Jyn Erso is a great character with a nice backstory. Diego Luna, Donnie Yen (blind KICK-ASS warrior Chirrut Îmwe), Riz Ahmed (defected Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook), Jiang Wen (Chirrut’s friend and mercenary Baze Malbus) and Forest Whitaker all play pivotal characters.
These guys are all so amazing. It’s quite the accomplishment for both the screenwriters and actors that you get to love and feel for these guys so quickly as they’re all completely new to the Star Wars universe (except for the character of Saw Gerrera, who was first seen in the animated series The Clone Wars). All the love for these awesome new characters. “The Force is with me and I am one with the Force” will be a new mantra for many.
Final Act of Scarif
Rogue One delivers on all fronts. Besides the amazing (new) characters, there are epic fights in space, amazeballs action scenes on terrific new planets and great dialogue. Thanks to K-2SO there is some much needed sarcastic humor. K-2 is a big contender for ‘favorite Star Wars robot’ besides R2D2, C-3PO and BB-8. But best of all of this movie is the third and final act on the tropical planet of Scarif, where the Death Star plans are kept. No words can describe how amazing the final part of Rogue One is and how incredible it is tied to A New Hope. You’ll just have to see it with your own eyes. Be prepared for an epic battle with so many great scenes and moments. This film is one for the fans, who will not be disappointed at all.