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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story | Film Review
Destruction, survival, change and a ray hope; the latest addition to Lucas Films' popular Star Wars franchise - Rogue One, is all this (and more), rolled in to an exciting, action packed 134 mins fare. Technically, it is a forerunner to the very first film, directed by George Lucas, almost 40 years back. Helmed by film maker George Edwards, Rogue One is the first standalone film (part of an anthology) from the Star Wars saga and is set several light years before the premises of Star Wars IV - A New Hope (1977). Here, the fearless Alliance rebels fight it out against the Empire, amidst heavy action, aggression, ruination, exterminations and a raging war.
The story follows a group of unlikely heroes, mainly led by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), who
come together on a mission to destroy the Death Star. It is the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction, that has the power to cause massive destruction and annihilate an entire planet with just one proliferated blast. Jyn is sought after by the Rebels as she is the daughter of a brilliant scientist - Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), who was the architect of this destructive weapon. One incident leads to another and Jyn realises that the Death Star has a flaw, that can be used against it; thus giving hope to the rebels.
In this mission to destroy the Death Star and fight against the evil Empire director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), Jyn is joined by - Rebel captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), who is on a mission of his own, but changes path midway. Pilot Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), who is an Imperial defect. A blind samurai Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) with an incredible sixth sense. Ferce rebel Baze Malbus (Jiang Wien) and one of our favourites, the droid helper K-2S0 (voiced by Alan Tudyk), who brings in a few laughs with his wit and sarcasm. It is interesting to note that the main cast includes actors of different colours, something that displays great diversity.
During their journey across multiple locations, you will also come across several other important characters, including that of Saw Garrera (Forest Whitetaker) in Jeddah, who raises Jyn in the absence of her father. Be prepared for surprises in the form of references to other Star Wars chapters and cameos by some important characters from the saga. And yes, it includes a 'whistle worthy' moment by Darth Vader (James Earl Jones).
One of the key highlights of this film has got the to be the cast. Yen's blind warrior monk Chirrut and Tudyk's sarcastic droid steal the show with their effortless performances. Jones as the rebellious Jyn is incredible, while Luna's earnest portrayal of Cassian is also worth a mention. It is commendable how the entire cast puts together a flawless act and ace their respective characters, leaving no room for mistakes. The impressive story penned by John Knoll and Gary Whitta is another key highlight. Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy's screenplay is worthy of a mention. We like how all the characters have a unique personality, with a distinctive look that is crafted with great detail. While this happens to be the first Star Wars film without John Williams' score, it won't be wrong to say that Michael Giacchino has done a fairly decent job. The massive sets, VFX, hardcore action, especially when they all come together for sequences that build up to the final battle, are absolutely brilliant.
Those with zero knowledge about the Star Wars saga, don't fret. You can enjoy this film even if you don't know anything related to the franchise and / or it's world. Rogue One is an impressive film, enough to get your mind blown, especially with its fabulously crafted visuals and fine performances. The force is definitely with this one!
Verdict: We highly recommend you go out and watch this film.