Rogue One puts the Wars into Star Wars. In 1977 in the opening crawl to Star Wars Episode IV, George Lucas wrote of a battle won by the Rebel Alliance and how a group of spies had stolen the plans to the Death Star, Rogue One tell the story of those Spies. The Film takes place just days before Episode IV and focuses on Jyn Erso played by Felicity Jones as she works with the Rebels to find her Father and stop the Empire war machine. This is the first time we really feel the effects of War inside the Star Wars universe, with massive ground assault pieces, incredible space battles, espionage style operations and the evil rule of the Empire. Keep in mind this is more of a war movie and not appropriate for the younger Star Wars fan. It is great to see Disney take a chance and make this kind of movie and it pays of perfectly.
As a massive Star Wars fan, I loved this movie. The effort by Director Gareth Edwards to connect this film to the events of Episode IV is phenomenal with so many details and characters in place from the 1977 film. These are often small details that enhance the experience of the Star Wars fans but is not an over flow of nostalgia that would ruin the movie if you are just as casual film goer. As mentioned this film has a war style to it, with great action so the non Star Wars fan can also enjoy Rogue One. The biggest draw back for me was the score; it feels as though it lacked the same effect that John Williams’ scores bring to a film. There was no stand out score for any character and despite some iconic moments the only track that worked was the Imperial Motif that was composed by John Williams originally. The score was good but did not have the same feel that would be expected of a Star Wars movie. Rogue One presents the audiences with the first real look at the War against the Empire, with some epic battle sequences. Whilst we have seen the Rebels and the Empire fight before in previous films but there was definitely a different feel too conflict we see in Rogue One. The audience can see the oppression by the Imperial Forces on different planets and how small groups of rebels and freedom fighters push back against their oppressive rule. The space battles that take place feel similar to a World War II movie featuring Air Force and Navy engaging in conflict and it is incredible to watch. Again drawing back to Edwards and how he linked this film to the Original Trilogy there are so many moments during the conflicts that draw back to the technology and characters from A New Hope.
So far Disney is 2 for 2 with their new Star Wars movies, 2 for 2 at bringing on strong female leads and definitely succeeded with their first stand alone film. Rogue One brings a new element to the world of Star Wars despite exploring a part of the universe we are already familiar with. This movie was 100% necessary as a means to build the Star Wars brand by picking an interesting time to explore with new characters whilst paying homage to familiar ones. Rogue One should be seen in cinemas to fully experience the epic scale of the film, though IMAX is not required.
Rogue One scored 90%