Rogue One: a Star Wars story
A long time ago... again
Village Jam Factory - Thursday 15 December 2016, 12:01am
Village Jam Factory - Sunday 25 December 2016, 12:30pm (ME)
Running time: 134m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Science fiction violence)
Release date: 15/12/16
Rating: 8/10 (ME 4/5, DP 4/5)
Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has teamed up with the rebel alliance to find her mysterious father (and weapon designer) Galen (Mads Mikkelsen). But Galen has secretly hidden a clue to the destruction of the Death Star which has the potential to threaten the Empire’s stranglehold on the galaxy.
The first in what Disney are calling the 'Star Wars Anthology' films (don't even think of Caravan of Courage: an Ewok adventure), Rogue One takes place just prior to the events of 1977's Star Wars episode IV: A New Hope. Presented as a stand-alone adventure, there are more than enough references and brief appearances of familiar characters and themes (good versus evil, sassy robots, daddy issues) to place it comfortably within the broader story arc. Rogue One has a clear and purposeful narrative, and while it adds detail to the broader story arc without contributing anything significantly new, the clear and uncomplicated plot (and the fact that it has a resolution) was refreshing and completely enjoyable. There are a few surprises, but there’s also a sense of the inevitable with the story going exactly where it needs to go to connect it to the larger story.
The writing is good and so are the performances (Donnie Yen, Diego Luna and Ben Medelsohn are particularly good alongside Felicity Jones) but it’s the special effects on a grand scale that makes the simple story so epic. Purists may complain about the lack of ‘crawl’ (the scrolling text that begins the seven films in the series) or the inclusion of text overlays to indicate locations, but this efficiency allows the story to breathe and just get on with it.
It’s hard to see if this will have the same broad appeal as The Force Awakens, but Star Wars fans will turn out in their millions for another piece of the story to keep them going until the release of Episode VIII next December.
89th Academy Awards
2017 BAFTA Awards