Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a spin-off film in the Star Wars franchise, and takes place between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. We’re all very familiar with what happened to Darth Vader and his Empire when Luke Skywalker found R2-D2 in Episode IV, and Rogue One shows us how that all became possible with the theft of the Death Star plans.
How to Stream or Download Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The film is available as an iTunes download. To get it, click on the button below the review.
The Film Review
The movie follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a young rebel, held in captivity by the Imperials. During a transport, Jyn Erso is rescued by the Rebel Alliance, the group of soldiers fighting against the oppressive Empire. Jyn quickly becomes tied up in a Rebel plot to steal the plans for the Death Star, a new super-weapon that is rumored to destroy entire planets. Although the plot might sound a bit standard for a Star Wars film, Rogue One exceeds with a gripping tone, brutal battles, and its effective characters.
Rogue One feels immediately different from other Star Wars films due to its gritty tone and more grounded cinematic style. The narrative is smartly focused on its characters and main plot, rarely wasting time on insignificant romances or unnecessary humor.
The battle between the Empire and Rebellion always felt like a larger-than-life affair, but Rogue One makes that fight feel personal by drawing us in with world-building and character development. As Jyn and her comrade Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) investigate outposts and execute their espionage, they encounter a variety of interesting characters. This includes Churrit (Donnie Yen) and Baze (Wen Jiang), two protectors of an ancient sanctuary.
Churrit, a blind monk with force powers, has some exceptionally cool quotes and kicks some significant butt during combat as well. The film also gets a proper antagonist in the form of Imperial general Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), a near sociopath with deep ties to the Death Star.
Rogue One has some exceptionally well-shot action and combat scenes, made doubly effective by the film’s gritty and grounded tone. By the climax of the film, you can expect to see plenty of Empire versus Rebellion action, including dogfights, AT-AT attacks, and infantry battles.
The film does a great job in displaying the scope of its setpiece battle, weaving in and out of the action while building narrative tension. Since the movie lays significant groundwork in developing it’s secondary characters, I found myself invested and sympathetic in their survival. Generally speaking, the violence in Rogue One is surprisingly brutal and realistic, despite its sci-fi setting.
Generally speaking, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story delivers the expected spectacle of a Star Wars film while also providing a rich narrative with compelling characters. It’s a great combination of the new and familiar, resulting in some wickedly cool takes on the galaxy far, far away.
The action and overall quality rival even the original Star Wars films, firmly placing Rogue One as one of the best modern Star Wars movies. Time and time again, Rogue One manages to surprise and delight, whether through cool and inventive ideas or impressive battles and characters.
- Compelling characters with interesting sub-plots
- Intense battle scenes with a gritty visual style
- Great cameos and references to the original films
- Bittersweet ending that feels a bit cheap
- Many sub-plots lack closure