Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Why so serious?!
Verdict: 
7/10 - Rogue One is a solid addition to the Star Wars franchise but is lacking in the enjoyment stakes.
Release Date: 
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Written by: 

Felicity Jones and her band of rebels must embark on a mission to steal the plans for the Galactic Empire's Death Star."

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Stars Wars fans may remember the line in the opening crawl of 1977's A New Hope which reads, "Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon the Death Star".

This forms the inspiration for spin-off and prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first stand-alone movie in the franchise.

Felicity Jones stars as Jyn Erso, the daughter of Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), who helped build the Death Star against his will, under pressure from Empire officer Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn).

Galen created a weakness in its design so it can be easily destroyed, so Jyn goes on a mission to find the Death Star schematics.

She can't head to the Imperial-occupied planet of Scarif alone so she is joined by Rebel Alliance officer Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), defected Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), droid K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk), blind warrior Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and assassin Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen).

Because these are completely new characters, it does take a while to introduce everybody and their backstory and the film doesn't really get into full swing and become entertaining and exciting until the showdown on Scarif in the third act.

The settings are completely new to what Star Wars fans have seen before, the old characters, including Darth Vader, are used sparsely, and it has lost that fun, slightly camp vibe of the main franchise in favour of a more serious war movie.

The only real comic relief is from K-2SO, who is one brutally honest and sarcastic robot.

The supporting cast feels more perfectly cast than Jones, who isn't given much opportunity to shine and prove why she was given the part.

Jyn is a strong female character and Jones has a couple of scenes to show off her new fighting skills, but she doesn't really get to be the lead that often and is overshadowed by others a lot of the time.

Mendelsohn was ace as the newest villain, Ahmed played a nervous and funny pilot and the warriors were also entertaining additions.

Mikkelsen and Forest Whitaker, whose character Saw Gerrera helped raise Jyn, are not in it as much as expected.

The Gareth Edwards-directed film comes only a year after The Force Awakens and it is a challenge to not compare the two.

Ultimately Rogue One ends up falling short, especially in the enjoyment stakes.

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