When the purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney was first announced, the powers that be also announced that, in addition to the Episode films, they would also be shooting and releasing, in alternate years, anthology films that would take place in the Star Wars universe but not necessarily involve the main storyline or characters. They then bandied about ideas like a young Boba Fett movie and a young Han Solo movie. I personally favoured the idea of an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie because, unlike those other two, he has so much unknown story that we can explore. Boba Fett is a horrible idea. They are made a young Han Solo one though and I am not really excited at all about it at the time of this writing.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of those new anthology films. Set before the original Star Wars film, this is the story of the rebels that stole the Death Star plans and got them to Princess Leia at the beginning of A New Hope. This is the story of Jyn Erso, a rebel of sorts, whose father designed the Death Star. She is broken out of an Imperial prison by the Rebellion and tasked with finding extremist rebel leader Saw Guerrera to get hold of her father, allegedly to bring him before the Senate to testify, but really to assassinate him. What she, and her compatriots, learn is that he designed a flaw into the Death Star to make it easy to destroy. She sets out to recover them. Lots of chaos follows.
The cast is uniformly strong and I appreciate the new approach to diversity in this universe.
This one is allegedly grittier than the other Star Wars films but I don't know. Everyone is meaner, so I guess that counts.
The Guardians of the Whils were cool. I also enjoyed the story point of the Empire working to erase the Jedi from the galaxy by systematically removing all memory of them, including their monuments.
The Not So Good...
All the silly callbacks to A New Hope. I now question how the two on Jeda'ii got off planet and over to Tatooine before the city was destroyed and in the limited time before that movie begins, especially when you consider that there was a flight embargo at the time.
The cgi faces on Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin look silly. Making Jeff Bridges look young in Tron:Legacy worked but here it doesn't.
It was fun but not as memorable as the Episode films.
-all photos via IMDb.com.
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