Rogue One review – Rogue One a Star Wars Story – great movie tailor made for the original fans

Posted on 23 December 2016
By Abbie Rooney
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The hype surrounding last year’s Force Awakens was unbelievable, leaving a buzz that lasted well into the New Year. With new fan theories still rolling out, regarding the storyline of Kylo Ren and Rey, many were left questioning whether Rogue One could live up to last year’s extravaganza.

Rogue One is the first of the Star Wars stories to not rely heavily on the Skywalker/Vader storyline arc. Although Vader does make a much-anticipated return, his appearances are both short and sweet. Although Disney could have done more with Vader, it was a superb choice to keep his appearances infrequent. This story was never about Vader, this is a story about a world rife with civil war, on the brink of a galactic battle.

(Watch our video review of Rogue One in the video portal here) >

To summarise the storyline, the film follows female protagonist Jyn, daughter of Galen Erso. Galen lives a peaceful life as a farmer but the equilibrium is soon disturbed when the evil Orson Krennic lands with his gang of storm troopers and demands that Galen returns to aide the Galactic Empire in building a new world destroying weapon – no prizes for guessing which weapon this could be.

Disney, although known for its cute, fluffiness has never been one to shy away from the morbid subject of death, especially death of a parent. This storyline is no different and when Jyn’s mother stupidly and pretty randomly pulls a blaster on Krennic, there is only one way the storyline can go.

Jyn flees her home whilst Krennic takes her father away. We see her hiding away until an unknown male rescues her to which the storyline flashes forward to present day Jyn, who is sat in a jail cell.

This wouldn’t make for a good story so her sudden rescue from jail is inevitable. From here the storyline follows Jyn and her unlikely allegiance with the Rebel Alliance. However this allegiance is built upon each party using the other to achieve their individual motives.

Interwoven between this storyline is the classic ensemble of characters that do not disappoint. We have lovable K-2SO, a reprogrammed Imperial droid with a dark sense of humor, which will inevitably Force choke the audience with laughter.

Force aligned warrior-monk Chirrut also steals the audience’s hearts with his quick wit and utter devotion to The Force. Plus his skills with a staff are pretty badass.

Although the initial half of the film feels pretty clunky with the constant planet hopping, the latter half of the film will have you gripping the edge of your seat.

Darth Vader makes his much anticipated return and, full of sassy and witty remarks- ‘Careful not to choke on your aspirations Director!’

The film itself is full of odes and nods to the original trilogy, in the form of Easter eggs, further reinforcing the homage to the original fans. For example there is a glass of blue milk in the Erso home, just like Luke drinks with his aunt and uncle. Reinforcing storyline continuity we even see Dr. Cornelius Evazan and Ponda Baba, who got into a scuffle in a cantina with Obi-Wan and Skywalker in A New Hope.

During this scuffle, many may remember the latter losing his arm thanks to Obi Wan’s light sabre. Rogue One shows how the characters were still up to no good before this scene when we see them rudely bumping into Jyn and Cassian in Jedha.

There is even a nod to arguably one of the most legendary games of all times, Knights of The Old Republic, with the Hammerhead Corvette, which is used to push the deactivated Star Destroyer.

The CGI use in the film is both marvelous and weird. There is no denying the Death Star is hauntingly beautiful in its CGI aesthetics. Likewise a young Princess Leia is remarkably reworked.

But although the return of Grand Moff Tarkin was a welcome and pretty much integral part to the storyline, at times the CGI was just plain creepy. Although the film does honour the original actor, Peter Cushing, no doubt ten years from now we will look back and comment on how poor the graphics are- but for now it does do the job, even if at times it is painstakingly obvious CGI.

The storyline itself is full of deaths on a magnitude even Disney does not usually favour but in this instance it works. From the original films, to spin offs to even Knights of The Old Republic, Star Wars lore is full of tales of how messy the battles between The Republic and The Empire were.

Deaths were and are inevitable when you’re fighting for freedom. There is something very poignant about how death is displayed in the film. We know the sequels, we know the tales of the heroes to come but until now we did not know the individual stories of those who sacrificed themselves for a greater cause.

Although Rogue One lacked epic displays of Jedi battles like it’s predecessor, the film still oozes nostalgia. The final scene is arguably one of the best moments of film, we won’t spoil it for you… but it concerns Vader in all his dark glory.

Rogue One is undeniably very different from Force Awakens. It’s a story that we already know the conclusion for but unlike Force Awakens, everything about this film feels like it has been created as a special Christmas present for original fans.