Review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Joseph Matuella, Staff Writer

Rating: 8.5/10

A robot, a rebel pilot, a drifter, a defected imperial pilot, a blind man, and a gunman are on a spaceship. Sounds like some sort of bad joke, but its punchline is nothing if not spectacular. Rouge One takes place between episodes III and IV of the Star Wars series. For those who aren’t familiar with the story, episode III portrays the rise of Darth Vader and episode IV takes place well into his tenure as a Sith Lord.

The vast dynamic of characters was introduced effectively despite time constraints as the story escalated. Each character was incredibly unique and brought an aspect that was all their own to the film. As always, droids are inevitably a common sight in these films, but the droid, K-2SO, paired with the crew’s Captain, Cassian, is incredibly witty despite his main function to be statistical analysis. Chirrut, a blind force-fanatic, and Baze, his gung-ho protector armed with a canon rifle, are yet another quirky duo amongst the characters. The protagonist, Jyn, is a headstrong heroine who has enough heart to do what is right for the entire Rebel Alliance as she leads her misfit crew on a path to make right with the harsh things they have done in the name of freedom.

Despite the title “Star Wars”, no other film really addressed the fact that the series was fundamentally about a galaxy devastated and torn apart by war, that is until this most recent installation. In fact, this untold story from the birth of the Empire’s Death Star, the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. It was the first Star Wars film to not feature a Jedi in the main role, or really at all (Darth Vader counts as a Sith Lord, not a Jedi). This meant that the rebellion really relied on ordinary people who had extraordinary ambitions and selflessness, giving us more realistic characters to aspire to be.

Action was not hard to find, and very easy to enjoy. The level of explosions and fighting, featuring guns, ships, and hand-to-hand, were as pleasing as watching Michael Bay’s “Transformers” movies. On some levels, it also parallels war movies like “Fury”, “Saving Private Ryan”, and others. Rogue One opens up a mature version of Star Wars that I hope will stick around, replacing the almost “Power Rangers” like movies in the past.

Director Gareth Edwards also took the liberty of differentiation Rouge One from the other Star Wars installations because there is no famed text crawl at the beginning of the film. All of the other Star Wars movies started off with a brief summary of what the viewers should expect in the form of yellow text that appears to float across the galaxy. The intention was to specify the difference between this installation and the other movies.

I highly recommend anyone to see this movie, whether if you have watched all the films or none, it is incredibly enjoyable. The introduction of new characters and a new atmosphere really made up an epic war movie that spanned outer space and across a galaxy far, far away.