Image Credit: Comicbookmovie.com From left Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and right Alan Tudyk as K2SO in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Despite no verbal acknowledgement of events preceding George Lucas’s saga starter Star wars (1977), aptly subtitled Episode 4 A New Hope after the creation of the prequel trilogy, does one begin to ponder Rogue One’s inspiration. For those unfamiliar with the franchise’s famous crawl summating events prior to those taking place in the viewer’s choice of an episode. A New Hope’s crawl describes the Rebellion’s first major victory against the newly formed empire. That withstanding insurmountable odds a group of rebels pulled through and secured the plans to the Death Star, the Empires most fearsome weapon. Rogue One defiantly excels expectations and tells a more than satisfying story to a forgone conclusion.
Former Imperial scientist Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelson) is summoned by newly minted Commander Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) to complete work on the Death Star. Leaving his young daughter Jyn on a farming planet she knows nothing about, an orphan. Rebellious Radical Saw Guerra (Forest Whitaker) friend of Galen finds the young girl and raises her as his own. Jumping ahead twenty-five years jyn (Felicity Jones) is thrust into a galactic civil war that she could care less about. Fighting alongside her is slippery Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Reprogrammed Imperial Droid K2SO (Alan Tudyk), the trusty Baze malbus (Wen Jiang), recently turned rebel pilot Bodhi Book (Riz Ahmed), and the force mumbling blind monk Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen). Jyn is the ragtag group of rebel’s not so obvious leader, as her father’s choices ultimately became her burden to bear as events have been forced upon her. Unlike Daisy Ridley’s Rey where the situation was more less rolled into her lap via stubborn Astro Droid BB-8. Jyn’s stance is her birthright, providing her the upper hand when it’s needed the most. Allowing Oscar nominee Felicity Jones to be the leader as her other roles were strong in support. This opportunity also paved the way for her to be the second consecutive empowered female in the ever-expanding Star Wars Cinematic universe.
Rogue One is the darkest Star Wars film to come around since The Empire Strikes Back (1980) closely followed by Revenge of The Sith (2005). Although children in droves will be seeing the film, its Jedi free atmosphere may leave them wishing they just stayed at home and watched A New Hope instead as this will play better for adults having viewed Star Wars when it revolutionized cinema back in the late 70’s.
Rogue One achieves many things, but for certain it’s a pure anthology film harkening back to decades old cannon in need of burying old plot holes. Gone are the days of fans constantly relying on the publication of a new book or video game that would further expand upon such a vast universe, when the Disney engine is now pumping out a new film for fans to chew on every December. Granted, this won’t stop the need for it, but will add a certain authenticity Star Wars has never had the benefit of. With that said, that anything written before The Force Awakens is not considered part of the expended universe.
Monsters (2010) Director Gareth Edwards delivers a film worthy of multiple viewings albeit his lackluster attempt at revamping Godzilla (2014) two years prior. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy saw to it that Edwards watch Twelve o” Clock High (1949), as the classic Academy Award winning film deals with the perils of war and the effects of steadfast leadership under pressure. The Gregory Peck starrer also incorporated real footage footage of soldiers in action combined with authentic flying shot to match it.
Rogue One is a winner in every way imaginable and its re-shoots proved to be nothing if nominal as every film undergoes re-shoots in the middle of post production no matter the size or scale. What Disney and Director Gareth Edwards have shown here is that if enough care is taken franchises can expand infinitely if enough latitude is present from past installments. Much like Cinderella (2015) Rogue One is stunning companion piece that far surpasses episodic fanfare of yesteryear while making a sturdy existence rooted right at the heart of it.