The Prequel We Always Wanted
Rogue One, the first of many Star Wars spin-off films, throws together a ragtag group of rebels in a dangerous adventure that pushes them to the edge of the universe and back.
The film is set between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope and largely tells the story of the Rebels who stole the Death Star plans that you read about in the opening crawl of A New Hope. Written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, and directed flawlessly by Gareth Edwards, the film definitely cements itself as one of the best Star Wars films made to date. You can tell how much Edwards loves the material and the universe George Lucas created 39 years ago. Directorially he has perfectly walked the fine line between the film feeling and looking like a Star Wars film while bringing a fresh originality to the characters and the universe.
Thankfully all the performances are solid. The stand out performances for me were Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, who take you on this journey and are the emotional heart of the film. Donnie Yen’s performance as the force sensitive warrior Chirrut Îmwe brings back that core ethos of the force and how it flows throughout the galaxy. In the past the Star Wars films have offered some pretty poor comic relief characters (Jar Jar and the Ewok’s) but surprisingly Alan Tudyk as the no filter droid K-2SO brings smart and perfectly timed witticisms that will have you chuckling to yourself. Finally, Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic brings an ominous film presence that creates the perfect main villain of the film.
From the trailers you might be expecting Darth Vader to have a lot of screen time. The movie definitely doesn’t heavily focus on Darth Vader, but the scenes that he does appear in are breathtakingly badass and restores the sheer terror of the character that the prequels have slightly destroyed. The third act is something to behold, Gareth Edwards has created some of the best action sequences you’ve ever seen in a Star Wars film. You will not be disappointed in the slightest.
If you are deeply into the mythology of the Star Wars universe you will love the subtlety in how they incorporate little golden nuggets for you, and if you are a casual fan, the chemistry of the Rogue One crew and action will more than keep you entertained. Simply, this is the Star Wars film I’ve always wanted to see.
words JAYDON MARTIN
Experience Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in IMAX from December 15