I saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story twice over the weekend and loved it both times. This the type of prequel fans were hoping for when the prequel trilogy was announced. It explains things fans have wondered about for years while still showing us something new. Which is hard since there have now been three movies to focus on a Death Star. Four if you include Attack of the Clones, and Five if you consider The Force Awakens’ Starkiller Base to be just a bigger Death Star.
Rogue One follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) as she tries to find her father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) who was in charge of designing the Death Star. This quest will take her all over the galaxy with a rag tag crew of misfits. It is the Star Wars equivalent to The Dirty Dozen, except there are only a half a dozen of them.
I enjoyed how they made a story about a giant flying death ball personal. While soldiers trying to find a way to take out the Death Star is an interesting premise. A woman doing it to fulfil her father’s legacy is even better. Plus Rogue One was fine living in the gray areas of the Star Wars Universe. There are no white knight heroes here. Just people doing what they have to in order to defeat The Empire.
The cast was fantastic. Of course I am biased towards anything featuring Alan Tudyk as a back-talking reprogrammed murder bot. Felicity Jones leads this film perfectly as a conflicted soldier who is unsure about fighting for a cause that has only brought her loss, and Diego Luna as a fighter who is wondering if he has crossed too many lines in his fight for the Rebellion. They all just work really well together.
The film is not perfect though. It bounces around too much in the beginning, so it is hard to focus on what is going on. I understand that Gareth Edwards wanted to show that this was a galaxy wide war, but there are just a few too many planets. Also Rogue One pandered to our nostalgia just a little too much.
All in all Disney’s second Star Wars film is a rousing success. It is like they made an adult version of the Star Wars: Rebels cartoon. Which is something I can fully get behind. Rogue One is the best prequel film that has been made, and while that may have been an easy bar to clear, it is still a great film that was fun to watch. I can only hope the Han Solo film is as successful as Rogue One.