You have probably heard this tired cliché about a million times, but I just have to say it: the Force is strong with Rogue One. Rogue One is the latest foray into the Star Wars universe.
The thing that separates this entry from all of the others is that this movie acts as a spin-off with no familiar characters as the focus. No Jedi, no Skywalkers, no opening text. It is all new and all different, taking place as sequel to the prequels, and a prequel to the original trilogy.
The movie stars a rag tag cast of characters who team up to steal the plans for the Death Star which, at the time is just being built. The thing that really shines in this movie is the central band of misfits.
All with their own very distinct personalities and quirks. The team is lead by Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, a girl whom at the beginning of the picture wants no part of the war between the Rebellion or the Empire after losing her mother and father in the war.
She is then pulled into the struggle by the Rebellion, specifically by Diego Luna’s Cassian. Cassian plans to track down Jyn’s father to stop the building of the Death Star. Rounding out the rest of the gang is Rook, a former imperial pilot turned traitor, and Blaze – a hulking tough guy with a massive machine gun who acts as protector to Chirrut.
Chirrut, played by my personal favorite martial arts actor Donnie Yen, is a blind monk who believes in the force, yet is not quite a jedi. He is, however, still quite capable with a bow staff and a giant freaking laser crossbow and in my opinion, one of the coolest Star Wars characters in some time.
Speaking of cool characters, we need to talk about the real show stealer, droid K-2SO (or as my friends call him, Sass Bot 5000.) Alan Tudyk steals every scene he’s in with his hilarious banter and always pessimistic attitude.
Rounding out the rest of the main cast is Ben Mendelsohn as the villainous and very three dimensional Director Krennic, Mads Mikkelsen as Jyn’s father, Forest Whitaker as the crazed extremist Saw Gerrera, and a surprising number of classic Star Wars characters.
Many of whom were background or side characters in the originals, which is a real treat for hardcore Star Wars fans. I can’t stress enough how well the special effects department for this movie pulled off many characters who have passed, or have grown too old to play these characters.
Overall, with this amazing cast, grounded approach, bucketfuls of fan service, amazing special effects, and score, I would say that this is one of the best Star Wars movies to date.
The only problem I had is the opening sequence, which I feel spent going from one planet to the next over and over again far too quickly. It’s not movie breaking, but this little detail is why I give it four reels out of five.