Written by Lewis Mainwaring & Benjamin Gummery
Spoiler free !!!!
Following 2015’s continuation of the Star Wars Saga The Force Awakens comes the second Disney-produced Star Wars film.
This is the first in a new series of ‘stand-alone’ Star Wars ‘Anthology’ films which will tie-in with the existing universe but not form part of the main story saga. With that being said the events of Rogue One are set directly before Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope.
Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones); a Rebellion soldier and criminal, is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly – reprising her role from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith) sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With help from the Rebels, a master swordsman (Donnie Yen), and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks.
Also featured in Rogue One is rebel intelligence office Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) who fights alongside Jyn. We also see Jyn’s father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) who has become involved with the construction of the death star. Alan Tudyk also appears as Rebel-owned Imperial Droid K-2S0. Ben Mendelosohn also features as Imperial officer Orson Krennic.
The film also sees the return of Darth Vader (voiced once more James Earl Jones). It was announced recently after much speculation that British actor Spencer Wilding was taking on the physical role of Vader which was previously played by David Prowse.
Rogue One is planned to be the first in what is known as the Star Wars Anthology series.
Kathleen Kennedy explained that the stand-alone films will not cross over with the films of the sequel trilogy, stating:
George [Lucas] was so clear as to how that works. The canon that he created was the Star Wars saga. Right now, Episode VII falls within that canon. The spin-off movies, or we may come up with some other way to call those films, they exist within that vast universe that he created. There is no attempt being made to carry characters (from the stand-alone films) in and out of the saga episodes. Consequently, from the creative standpoint, it’s a roadmap that George made pretty clear.
Lewis: This is the 4th ‘Star Wars’ film I have seen in the cinema (Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith & Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) and this film is by far the superior.
It has a nostalgic feel and is full of Easter Eggs and throwbacks to the previous saga instalments that fans of the franchise will love.
This instalment is extremely well performed both onscreen and behind the scenes. Felicity Jones delivers an exceptional performance as the female lead. The new characters are in my opinion going to become instant fan favourites especially Rebel droid K-2SO who encompasses the quick wit of C-3PO whilst delivering something new to the ‘droid companion’ role.
The use of special effects throughout and also CGI for cameo appearances is so good you forget it came straight out of a computer.
5/5 Lightsabers – I NEED to see this film again !!!!!
Ben: This film brings something slightly different to the Star Wars universe while at the same time giving us a lot more of what we already know and love.
The battle and action sequences here are on on-par or in many cases better than those in previous films and it certainly packs a lot of thrills while still maintaining an emotional core to the story and characters which has always been a crucial ingredient of the Star Wars films. The film even explores the moral dilema of the rebels who must sometimes carry out questionable tasks in order to achieve their goals; good and bad is not always black and white.
But this new model is perhaps bittersweet as we already start to get attached to these new characters despite the fact that Disney have made it clear there will no sequel’s to any films from this series though there is always the chance the characters may re-appear somehow within in the newly expanded movie universe.
The film is littered with references to the original saga however I feel like the film-makers get the balance right of pleasing the fans whilst putting together a compelling film that can stand on it’s own.
4/5 Lightsabers – A worthy introduction to the Anthology series.
So whats next for the Anthology series?
The film is centered on a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich). It also features Chewbacca in what has been described as an “origin story” for the two characters. Also confirmed for this movie is Donald Glover who will be playing the part of Lando Calrissian.
It will be directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord and written by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan. The film is scheduled to be released on May 25, 2018.