Movie Review – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Watch the trailer to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story here:

 

This is my last Star Wars review for a long time, I promise.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or simply Rogue One was the last Star Wars movie to release before Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While it is not a part of the current trilogy, it holds an important story about how the original trilogy came to be. The beginning seemed riveting enough that it made me watch 20 minutes more than I wanted to at the time. (It was 3 AM and I wanted to hold off, but I watched the first 20 minutes anyway.)

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is imprisoned in a labor camp for her “crimes” against the Empire. Her father, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) has been working as a scientist for the Empire against his wishes for fifteen years now. He sends a holographic message to Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) through cargo pilot Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) telling him how to bring the Death Star down. Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), a Rebel intelligence officer, learns of this and frees Jyn from the camp. She is taken to the Rebel leader where she is told to find Galen. While Jyn wants to find her father, Cassian’s orders are different. He is ordered to kill Galen, not to bring him back.

And when Gerrera, who’s based on planet Jedha, shows Jyn the message from her father, she realizes what he has done to keep his world upright. Meanwhile, Imperial military strategist and weapons man, Orson Krennic has launched a test shot on Jedha. Now, Jyn along with Cassian, Bodhi, spiritual leader Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), and his friend Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), must get out of the crumbling planet and extract the Death Star plans to save the galaxy. This is against what the Rebel leaders have decreed, so they name their project Rogue One.

First thing about Rogue One that I found disappointing was: the scroll at the beginning of the movie. WHERE IS IT? It is one of the things I have come to expect from a Star Wars movie. Without it, the entire movie seems lost and desolate. But that is not an issue when you put the scale of the movie in perspective. [I am still miffed, but the movie sort of redeems it for me. ;)]

The setting up of the story, the visuals, and the acting is so good, I didn’t look for Han Solo anywhere yet. They have brought in Grand Moff Tarkin from the original movies through CGI, mapped to Guy Henry’s face. The effect is almost animated (quite literally), because you can make out the difference, almost as if his face is leaping at you to say, “Notice me! I’m not Peter Cushing!” This happens with another character at the end of the movie, too. It’s almost comical to see. Almost. But it doesn’t become so. Because I was so eager to make the connection, it filled me with glee to watch the late actor’s young face projected on screen.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is as good a movie as The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi. The story gets off to a good start and develops well, and so does the acting. For example, Felicity Jones didn’t impress me at first. I almost felt like Hayden Christensen was back again. But I am being unfair to her. She was nowhere near as bad as him and redeemed herself early on in the movie. [Read my review of the prequel trilogy to see what I mean.]

I liked the movie enough to give it a 4. So until the next episode of Star Wars that is scheduled to release in December 2019, you won’t hear (much) from me about the franchise. [Or not! :D)

Rating: 4/5 stars

Picture Courtesy: starwars.wikia.com !

P.S. My chronology of reviews of the movies (as explained in my review of the original trilogy) looks something like this, based on timeline:

  1. Star Wars – The Original Trilogy (1977-1983) – Because it all started from there.
  2. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens – Because it is the chronological sequel to the original trilogy.
  3. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi – Because it is the sequel to episode 7.
  4. Star Wars – The Prequel Trilogy (1999-2005) – It is here that the series jumps back before the events of A New Hope.
  5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – (This post) Because it is the chronological sequel to the prequel trilogy.

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