Review of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

Christopher Kipp

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To much fanfare, Lucasfilms recently released their first standalone film, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, only a few years after the filmmaker’s purchase by Disney. Opening weekend showed $155 million earned domestically, a respectable total. However this was still short of the $248 million made by The Force Awakens, the first movie produced by Lucasfilm since the acquisition. Directed by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One precedes all other Star Wars stories but still focuses on the destructive war between the Rebellion and the Empire.

The autonomous nature of Rogue One becomes obvious very quickly, as none of the main characters were ever seen in the earlier Star Wars movies. I was able to recognize a few minor characters in the film such as Admiral Ackbar, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia, all of whom had little screen time. It also seemed that the movie was half-spinoff and half-prequel, as the plot sets the stage for A New Hope, the first Star Wars film, which was released 40 years ago in 1977. Despite this, Rogue One can still be enjoyed by those who have no Star Wars film experience. 

The two main characters, unlikely partners Jyn (Felicity Jones) and Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), are at a critical point in the desperate battle between the struggling Rebellion and the Empire. Jyn’s father was captured by the Empire and put to work on a planet-destroyer, which happened to be the infamous Death Star seen later in the Star Wars storyline. Working with the help of a robot, K-2SO, and a handful of unplanned and unusual renegades, the two must rush to uncover  information about the Death Star  that could one day be used to save the Rebellion. But as the darkness of the Empire encircles their small band of fighters, they must choose to put their heroic cause over their own selves, for the good of the entire galaxy.

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