That’s all I can really say about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Wow.
It was both very much Star Wars and its own movie at the same time. The movie opened with the traditional “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” but instead of the familiar “crawl” of words to introduce the film, it had an action packed opening sequence followed simply by the title “Rogue One.” That kind of summed up the film. Both very Star Wars and still something different.
For long time Star Wars fans there are LOTS of tributes to the other movies! See how many you can spot for yourself and compare it with my blog post later this week (don’t want to spoil it for anyone – you have to enjoy the whole experience yourself). But even if you’ve never seen any Star Wars movie (I know some of you exist out there), you’ll still enjoy this film. It’s just so well done, so filled with action, wit, humor, and thrills. It’s like riding a roller coaster!
The story revolves around the opening crawl and just a few lines in the original Star Wars: A New Hope. Darth Vader opens the 1977 movie by strangling Captain Antilles on board a Rebel Blockade Runner and says to him, “Where are the transmissions you intercepted? What have you done with those plans?” Antilles croaks out, “We intercepted no transmissions. This is a consular ship. We are on a diplomatic mission.” Vader responds angrily, “If this is a consular ship where is the ambassador?!” Then he snaps Antilles neck, throws him aside, and shouts out, “Commander tear this ship apart until you found those plans and bring me the Ambassador, I want her alive!” That small exchange is the basis for Rogue One.
What was ingenious was how the movie integrated different aspects of the Star Wars universe into this movie. Rogue One brought together the prequel era of the saga (Episodes I-III, Clone Wars, and Rebels) with the original trilogy (Star Wars, Empire, and Return) with character appearances, dialogue, locations, and story. And with all of that, it wasn’t just some filler movie to bridge the gap. It was a movie of real substance and story. It added some depth, backstory, and character to an already rich Star Wars legacy.
Felicity Jones brings spunk, gravitas, and grit to Jyn Erso the film’s hero. Jyn is a character with a troubled past and with a legacy that has haunted her. She is recruited by the Rebellion but both are wary of one another. She meets up with Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) who has his own troubled past. Along the way, they gather together a motley crew of rebels to attempt the theft of the Death Star plans. Alan Tudyk does a great job bringing irony and wit to K-2SO, the repurposed Imperial droid who now works for the Rebellion. He is probably my favorite Star Wars droid (although BB-8 is way up there). It is a much darker story than most Star Wars films so know that going in, but it is also extremely well done.
Without giving too much away, I hope I’ve encouraged you to go and see this amazing film on opening day (or whenever you can get around to it, but the sooner the better so no one spoils it for you). It really is a film worthy of the Star Wars name.