After stuffing myself silly over the past week or so, I thought I’d finally get off my arse and give my thoughts on the new Star Wars flick.
Rogue One follows the story of rebel fighter Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her quest to retrieve the nascent Death Star’s blueprints. However, the revelation that Erso’s father (Mads Mikkelsen) is the galactic mega-weapon’s lead engineer makes things that much more complicated. What ensues is a tale of trust and sacrifice that attempts to fill an intriguing hole in the Star Wars story.
Perhaps the main concern I had going into this film was whether or not it’s a story that needs to be told? By the time it was over, I happily had an answer. Sure, it doesn’t feel like a tale that absolutely must be put on the big screen, but through solid writing and well-executed performances, Rogue One manages to justify its place in the franchise.
(On a side note, even though I don’t think the film is absolutely necessary, die-hard Star Wars fans will undoubtedly love it and will get far more of the references that flew straight over my head.)
As with The Force Awakens, Rogue-One successfully pulls off the feel of a lived-in universe. Ships are dirty, robots are grubby and the whole thing just feels like it was smeared with oil and sprinkled with dust. It’s exactly what you want a Star Wars film to look like.
It’s a little darker in tone than its record-breaking predecessor, though, as is made apparent from the opening scene. That’s not to say you’ll want to tie a noose from your bedroom ceiling as soon as you get home, but it’s easily one of the more grounded entries in the series – it’s essentially the Casino Royale of the Star Wars franchise.
Despite scant character development, the majority of the cast serve their role well. Whether it’s the comic cynicism of defective android K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), the stoic tenacity of hero Jyn Erso or the unhinged volatility of Imperial Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), each character is interesting to watch – if not especially unique.
We also get to see some fan favourites return, and although their appearances are only fleeting, they are arguably some of the most enjoyable.
In a few words…
Rogue One is a competently constructed spin-off that successfully affirms its place within the Star Wars saga.