Director: Gareth Edwards
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whittaker, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk
Disney and Lucasfilm gave every Star Wars fan a ton of excitement when 33 years later they brought back the biggest franchise back with The Force Awakens in 2015. The movie received mixed reactions the gigantic fanbase it has. This holiday came with another film titled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which has made the strongest entry in the franchise.
Set immediately before the events of New Hope, Rogue One follows a story of a Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Rebel Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and their crew of Rebel scum trying to steal the construction plans for the planet-destroying Death Star. The new rugged heroes paired with fan favorites like Darth Vader and suspenseful moments ensure Rogue One is never boring and keeps you glued to the screen. While the story visits some familiar planets like Yavin IV and features some familiar faces from the past films, the major storyline focuses on the news faces and their mission which brings a refreshing take to the franchise. Every franchise fans get excited when Rogue One brings plenty of references from the original trilogy which keeps the generations of the fans excited. Where the previous six Star Wars films focus on the Skywalker family and their allies, the new faces or the new heroes of the film are an ordinary group of people who come together by circumstance and join hands to stop the villainous Empire.
The best part of this movie is that it features diverse cast featuring Forrest Whittaker, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen and others. Academy Award nominee Felicity Jones portrays the character of stubborn yet devoted Jyn Erso. Having a charming persona onscreen, Jones always makes sure her work talks for herself instead of her emotions through the film. What she misses are the rawness and likability.
Diego Luna plays Rebel Captain Cassian who manages to have some of the best monologues and moments in the film. But, the comparisons with iconic characters like Harrison Ford’s Han Solo is bound to happen as his character traits are very similar.
A Star Wars film is never complete without a snarky droid and well, Alan Tudyk as the droid K-2SO steals the show. The major humour in the film is delivered by this droid who one eventually falls in love it.
Forrest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera is supposed to be a fearsome war veteran but does little more than wheeze about people conspiring to assassinate him for a few minutes, leaving the audience wondering why people fear him other than his imposing set of armor. The lack of screen time and backstory inhibits the audience from getting emotionally involved.
Chirrut Îmwe, played by international Kung Fu star Donnie Yen, is only given one impressive yet brief fight sequence but he definitely owns that scene. That one scene is enough to prove why he is a beloved character. Although his character should have all the wisdom of a mystic blind man in touch with the Force, his meditative mantra is, “I’m one with the Force, and the Force is with me.”
One can’t miss Riz Ahmed who plays Bodhi Rook, a former Imperial pilot who defects to the Rebels. This definitely was his year with the success of his TV series The Night Of and getting the nods from the critics around the world. He plays his character with an ease and one just can’t miss his screen presence.
In terms of visual beauty and action, Rogue One is a joyful ride. A loyal follower will get giddy seeing some of the most planetary views, landscapes, deserts and well spaceships. The battle scenes and space dogfights are filled with danger. The aerial fights, epic shootouts, and the climax are worth it.
In all, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a film for every fan who have been wanting a good movie. TThe engaging action sequences, the new characters, unexpected appearances and Star Wars universe have a set a standard for the upcoming movies. Director Gareth Edwards brought a good addition to the franchise and all we can do is wait for more to come,