On December 16th I was transported back to a galaxy far far away as I went to see the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, the newly released Rogue One. It’s a stand alone adventure which fits neatly before the events occurring in Episode IV: A New Hope. It was going to be interesting to see how all the new characters fit in and how they were going to tie it in with a film that was released almost 40 years ago.
So we settled back into the action right away. The beginning is a little bit choppy and bitty as we are introduced to many new and interesting characters such as new heroine Jyn Erso and her scientist father Galen (Felicity Jones and Mads Mikkelsen respectively). There’s our dashing new hero Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and sassy new droid K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk). We also have our supporting cast of Chirrut Imwe, a blind spiritual warrior who believes strongly in the Force and his sceptical companion Baze Malbus, pilot Bodhi Rook and Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera. Then you have your bad guys of course and here it is Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic.
There are some surprising cameo’s as well helping to tie the whole piece and drag it in line with the original stories. Once the introduction segments are out of the way and everything starts running in some sort of order, the action is non stop and fast paced. The plot is centered around the building of the infamous Death Star and the rebels plans to destroy it.
The cast really make you care about their characters. You straightaway get gripped by their plight and are constantly willing them on in their quests, all of which seem to be at odds with each other until finally reuniting in the third and most thrilling act which continues to cut between the different characters as they race against time to find the plans for the Death Star. My favourite has to be K-2SO, he has no social filter, he just says whatever comes into his head, often quoting high odds for failure and is extremely comical. His line to Jyn made me chuckle out loud when he says “I’ll be there for you…..Cassian said I had to.” And Cassian himself is very adequate eye candy however he does have a very stirring speech which really makes you feel everything he is fighting for.
The film was visually beautiful with wonderful new planet locations and the final battle took place on a wonderfully tropical planet of Scarif, filmed on location in the Maldives and provides a deceptively contrasting paradise setting for a storming final battle. The other locations are all again visually stunning, all with the right setup and look for the Star Wars universe.
The ending was surprising and I wasn’t expecting it at all given the Star Wars franchise but I was happy with it and Rogue One was a welcome addition to the Star Wars storyline and I can’t wait to see it again, especially if watched in chronological order with the other 7 films.
A wholly enjoyable experience all round and may the force be with this franchise as long as it continues at this standard.