Imagine a Steven Spielberg war film. They are full of action, emotion and powerful messages. Now set that story in a galaxy far, far away and you are pretty close to what Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is.
Rogue One has no Jedi showdowns, no mystical chosen one, but it has something the other Star Wars movies don’t: a beginning and an end with a sense of closure.
It can only be described as an explosive war story. It is raw, way more than the original films. It is meant to be a story of its own, even though it is connected to the main events.
The hero of the film is Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), whose father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) has been reluctantly working for the Empire to build the Death Star. When the rebels rescue Jyn from prison, it is up to her to find out from her estranged father how to destroy the imperial machine.
For this quest, she is joined, among others, by effective rebel officer Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), former imperial pilot Bodhi (Riz Ahmed) and enforcer droid K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk).
This movie is purely a war story, and every war has casualties. A few months ago, the cast and crew were forced to reshoot some scenes because the final cut had actually been deemed as too much of a war movie.
When you watch Rogue One, you can see that they have introduced here and there some of the typical lighter sequences you can find in a Star Wars film, but don’t be fooled: this is war. This is Platoon. This is Apocalypse Now.
This is Saving Private Ryan, albeit with the setting being George Lucas’s world instead of France. There is even a sequence at the end that resembles D-Day. And oh, what a powerful ending Rogue One has.
Even if that wasn’t enough to love the film, there are plenty of knowing nods for Star Wars fans, from famous lines to welcomed cameos and, of course, the constant talk of the Death Star’s weak spot.
There were so many people last year worried when The Force Awakens came out. Worried about how their beloved characters might have evolved, about plots that could ruin the saga… And they might have had the same worries about Rogue One, but this film only serves to further enrich it enrich Episode IV.
Never mind Rogue One, this should have been dubbed A Star Wars’ War Story.