James McCraw, Online Reporter/Office Manager
One of the most famous, untold stories in the Star Wars franchise is how the Rebel Alliance got their hands on the Death Star plans. After many years of non-canon tales, the official story of the daring theft of the plans have been revealed. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, tells the tale of the brave band of rebels who changed the course of the resistance.
The film wouldn’t have worked if it wasn’t for the main character, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). Jones shows off her acting chops as the daughter of the man who was one of the main engineers who helped originate the plans for the Death Star.
The movie begins with Erso as a young child, seeing her father get brutally taken by the main antagonist Orson Krennick (Ben Mendelsohn), as well as the murder of her mother.
Fifteen years later, The Galactic Empire has tightened its grip on the galaxy, destroying all who stand in its way. The Jedi are gone, many of their old temples lying in rubble. The Rebel Alliance sits in secret, trying to figure out ways to defeat the Empire.
Word floats around the galaxy that Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), a cargo pilot working for the Empire, has defected, carrying with him secret plans that everyone in the Galaxy wants to get their hands on. The Rebel Alliance’s top spy, Cassian Andor, is sent to find this deserter and find out what information he has.
The film jumps to Erso as a woman in prison, being broken out by the Rebels in order to find out if or where she knew where her father was. The plot is pretty basic once all the characters are introduced. Get the plans for the Death Star, get the plans back to the Rebel Council, try not to die.
After the stereotypical death sequence of an important character, Erso must decide what her path in life will be, and the ideas of revenge and rebellion become one. As the movie goes on, many of the plot twists and team dynamics are a bit reminiscent of the old-school team movies in which groups of different people get together for a common goal like The Dirty Dozen or even The Magnificent Seven.
Mendelsohn is another fantastic stand-out in this movie. Mendelsohn is a veteran character actor, who has a habit of playing the stereotypical bad guy and he uses this to his advantage, portraying a man who will stop at nothing to advance his career in the Empire.
K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) and Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) are small, yet vital characters, played by genre favorite actors who add much needed comic relief and essential human emotion in their respective parts.
Tudyk’s role is unlike other droids audiences have experienced in the movies. His performance was motion captured and the droid figure was computer generated over Tudyk’s performance, much like Gollum in Lord of the Rings films.
In a Star Wars movie without any Jedi, it seemed odd that they would bring Darth Vader into the mix. His scenes seemed almost unnecessary, like they were thrown in for fan service.
Almost all his appearances, not including the one at the end, could have had another high ranking Imperial official inserted, and have had the same effect. It only made sense having him in the final scenes, which leads into the opening scenes of Episode IV.
There were rumors of major reshoots during the post-production stages, which usually makes a film falter. If those rumors were true, that wasn’t the case.
The film fits excellently in the canon of Star Wars, and perfectly lines up to the start of Episode IV: A New Hope. The total package is a highly enjoyable, albeit dark blockbuster that holds up almost as well as The Empire Strikes Back and The Force Awakens.
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