Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story {review}

Some days I especially love my work. Like when I get to check out huge movies before the general public, so I can tell you all about them. Boo and I went to see "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" on Wednesday night. I think that made me mother of the year in his eyes :) What did we think? Read on!

Rogue One is the first of a planned series of stand-alone Star Wars films that will be coming out from Lucasfilm. These will present new characters and new stories that take place in the Star Wars universe, at different points along the saga's timeline. I think it will be interesting to see how they all intersect (or not) with the main storyline.

This first story takes place just before Episode IV, and deals with the set-up featured in the scrolling text at the beginning of that iconic film, thereby filling in a gap. Rogue One tells the story of a group of rebels, ordinary people, who take on the task of stealing the plans for the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star. A key player in this is another strong female character - Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. She's defiant and independent and tough. But she presents a very rounded character. According to Jones, "The thing about Jyn is that everyone should relate to her. It doesn’t matter whether she’s female or male. She’s not just tough; like all human beings she can also be vulnerable.”

Here's some further insight:

I was pretty stoked to see this one, as a big Star Wars fan, and I wasn't disappointed. The action and story are firmly within the Star Wars universe, and so it all feels familiar. The story is set at a particularly volatile time, as civil war is brewing. Because of this the film is much darker and grittier than other films in the saga. It is definitely darker than The Force Awakens. It also shows a lot of influence from old war movies. For instance, there is an extended battle scene on a beach that could easily come from a WWII movie, except with more space-age weapons.

Rogue One is action-packed, gritty, and filled with tense moments. We know the big picture of how the movie ends, since this is the set-up for Episode IV, but not the details. How do we get to the start of A New Hope? It's exciting for a fan of the saga, but will be enjoyed by anyone who's a fan of action flicks.

There are enough references to the broader Star Wars universe (i.e., allusions and mentions of events and characters in other movies) to thrill the Star Wars mega fan, and there are at least a couple I wish I could share. But spoilers are no fun, so I'll keep quiet. Just know that you will feel satisfied.

One thing I think it's safe for me to say - there are no lightsabers, as you've likely guessed from the trailers. We know any remaining Jedi went into hiding after Episode III, so this makes sense. Boo, however, was disappointed. I think he missed the lightsaber battles. I didn't even realise it though, until he mentioned it.

Rogue One opens Thursday, December 15. It is rated PG-13 for extended scenes of sci-fi violence and action. Younger kids may find the battle scenes a bit scary. Lots of noise and explosions. No blood.

Disclosure: I received complimentary access to a preview showing of this film, for review purposes. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog remain my own, or those of my family.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to seeing this at some point. (Judy Cowan)


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