Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

Daniel Oden, Writer

After last year’s box office destroyer Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and hype for the next episode already starting to build, there is no better time to be a Star Wars fan. While the early death of Carrie Fisher –the actress who played Princess Leia in the original films– is indeed tragic, we fanboys and fangirls still look forward to the next movie in 2017. Until then, we have Rogue One to fill the void.


Directed by Gareth Edwards, the story of Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars IV: A New Hope. In this new installment we see the Resistance attempting to recover plans for The Death Star, which would lead to it’s destruction in A New Hope. We follow Jyn Erso– played by Felicity Jones– as she meets up with a colorful cast of characters who will eventually become the members of the ship Rogue One. As the title implies, this ship and its crew go against the orders of The Resistance and attempt to infiltrate the empire in order to get the plans.


Even before I saw the movie, I love its concept. There is about 18 years in between episode three and four, during which most  events are currently unknown. This leads a big window of opportunity for interesting and original stories in  the the Star Wars Universe, and Rogue One seizes it, answering a question I didn’t even know I wanted answered: How did the resistance get ahold of The Death Star plans? Well, now I know, and it’s fun been a lot of fun finding out how they did it.


My only criticism of the latest Star Wars movie is the build-up. As the title of the movie implies, Jyn and her crew goes rogue and makes the decision to recover the plans on their own. And while they eventually do that, the buildup to that point was a bit weak. Before the execution of the plan, we follow Jyn and her tragic background, the scattered future members of Rogue One as intel is passed from character to character, and semi-random interruptions for exchanges between some of the empire’s officers.


There wasn’t much in terms of foreshadowing that Jyn and her companions would come together to create Rogue One. Though it is the main focus point of the movie, initially the movie does very little to build up to that moment. That’s not to say that the turn is forced, but just slightly rushed. As for the imperial officers’ exchanges, besides an awesome Darth Vader cameo, most are basically just saying how amazing the Death Star is.


Luckily, great acting and the highly enjoyable personalities of the characters –especially K-2SO, a reprogrammed imperial droid–more than save this section of the movie being completely monotonous. And as for the actually execution of the final plan, man is it a fun ride. With the stakes so high, the suspense was more than enough to keep me well-engaged without being feeling cheap. The scene was also really well paced, so it didn’t feel like an elongated action sequence. I won’t spoil the ending here, but it does well to wrap up the journey of Rogue One and its crew.
All in all, despite the slow start, Rogue One instantly became one of my favorite movies of 2016. As Sophomore Trevhor Haar says, “The Visuals are mind boggling and the execution of the story is incredible.” I would highly recommend this movie to all Star Wars fans and non-Star Wars fans as a fun way to wrap up 2016