I can honestly say I had no clue what to expect going into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I had avoided spoilers, interviews, and other reviews at all costs only watching the trailers. Having said this, I did have expectations going into this film, but they were loosely set expectations. I was blown away by this film! Not only was it action pact, but it had an interesting plot, phenomenal acting, and blended in with the original series incredibly well.
For those of you who don’t know, Rogue One occurs between the events of Episode III- Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV- A New Hope. If you are confused as to how this works I’ll explain. (Warning this is a Spoiler Alert for Episode 4!) In A New Hope the council explains how they got the plans to the Death Star in order to destroy it. (End of spoiler) This is the story of how they got those plans. Fans of the franchise will find numerous nods to the original series and find themselves noticing all of the set ups for New Hope (especially in the last scenes).
The cast of this film helped bring the story to life with their fantastic acting and undeniable chemistry. At the helm of the cast is Oscar nominee Felicity Jones (Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything) as Jyn Erso. Jones delivers an enticing performance as the leader of a rebel band on their quest to find the Death Star plans. Joining Jones is Diego Luna (Enrique Cruz in The Terminal) as member Cassian Diego. Luna and Jones bring amazing chemistry to the team, creating a fascinating and entertaining dynamic. Playing the necessary droid named K-2SO is Alan Tudyk (Wash in Firefly) provided hilarious comic relief with amazing comedic timing. Joining their team in smaller, yet still important roles are Chirrut Îmwe played by Donnie Yen (IP Man in IP Man), Baze Malbus played Wen Jiang (Teacher Tang in The Sun Also Rises), and pilot Boodi Rook played by Riz Ahmed (Aaron Kalloor in Jason Bourne) as they join forces against the Empire and Orson Krennic played by Ben Mendelsohn (Draggett in The Dark Knight Rises).
The fight scenes in this film are reminiscent of the original series with elaborate fights in space as well as with blasters. The last fight sequence seems as if it was taken directly out of the first film. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, there were no lightsaber duels due to the fact that there aren’t any jedi in the film. This added a sense of uniqueness to the film that isn’t present in the other ones. It adds new dimensions to the franchise showing that you don’t have to be a jedi to achieve greatness. The fight scenes between ships however heavily resembled the original series even down to the types of ships used. From tie-fighters to x-wings, everything was there.
The fight sequences obviously required special effects. These effects have obviously improved since the release of the original series, but they improved the film in magnitude. While the film felt like an original film from the franchise, the effects took it to the next level.
The score also closely resembles that of the original films, adding to the nostalgia and enchanting quality of the film.
If I had to say something negative about Rogue One, it would be that there were too many fight scenes. It felt like more than fifty percent of the film was comprised of fight sequences.
In the end, I have to say that Rogue One is my second favorite film in the Star Wars franchise (the first being Empire Strikes Back).
Overall I give Rogue One a 9/10 stars.