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Movie review: ROGUE ONE
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ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Movie review by David Blackwell

 

133 minutes, Rated PG-13

STUDIO: Lucasfilm/ Walt Disney Pictures

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 12-16-2016

ROGUE ONE is the first of the STAR WARS anthology films and it acts as a prequel/ side story to STAR WARS Episode IV: A NEW HOPE.   It is the story of how a band of rebels were able to steal the plans to the Death Star.  It starts with Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) being taken away by the empire to build their ultimate weapon known as the Death Star.  He leaves behind his daughter Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) who grows up to be captured by the Empire (who are unaware of her identity), but she is rescued by the Alliance (aka the Rebels) because they want her help to talk with an extremist rebel who has contact with a pilot who defected form the Empire that has a message from Jyn’s father.   Jyn and a group of rebels band together after some of them witness the destructive power of the Death Star in what may be a suicide mission to get the plans which details a weakness that Jyn’s father has built into the design of the Death Star.

 

ROGUE ONE shows the high cost of the rebellion and what one must do to help bring down the Empire.   It is the darker side of the Alliance where the original trilogy shows the more heroic side of the story.   ROGUE ONE is the war movie which is equal parts Dirty Dozen and The Wild Bunch compared to the space opera scope of the original trilogy many grew up with years ago.  There is also a plot dealing with the politics of the Empire as director of the Death Star project, Orson Krennic, wants to be in charge of the weapon where Tarkin will just take it away.  Plenty of Easter eggs and appearances from familiar characters (including Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, General Dodanna) liter this STAR WARS movie in addition to mixing it with humor and character development.  You might know the end result, but ROGUE ONE is more about the journey instead of the end.   Epic battles and action scenes are scattered throughout this movie as it saves the best for last on the planet of Scarif.  The black stormtroopers are a great addition along with some other variations.   The Jedis are becoming myth with introducing a Jedi Temple and the former guardians of the temple which include a blind swordsman (think Zatochi) who is sensitive to the Force.    ROGUE ONE expands on the universe created by George Lucas and Gareth Edwards delivers a much more solid movie than his previous directorial effort GODZILLA. Michael Giacchino delivers a score that fits in and honors the music of John Williams (who has composed the music for the seven films in the STAR WARS saga) while the production design is right on target with the other STAR WARS movies.   Fans of the other films will love some or all of ROGUE ONE, but you have to remember this movie isn’t for little kids as it is a little darker than some of the other movies.   All the detail that has went into this movie will reward people on repeat viewings.

 

This review is 12-20-2016 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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