Rogue One Review: By breaking the mold, Star Wars reaches a new height

Directed by “Godzilla’s” Gareth Edwards, The prequel sees how a critical piece of the Star Wars chronology began with Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso leading a team to steal the plans for the death star.

The Star Wars franchise is something of a critical mystery. Out of all the eight films out (including “Rogue One”), only half has been applauded by critics. The prequels are generally disliked and people tend to overlook episode six. Nonetheless, the fandom surrounding “Star Wars” stays strong and almost guarantees a large box office sum. Luckily, with “Rogue One,” Disney doesn’t have to rely on the brand alone to get people to visit the movies, as “Rogue One” is one of the best films in the Star Wars franchise.

“Rogue One” starts off pretty bleak, with a young girl witnessing a man invading her home and killing her mom and abducting her father. The bleakness doesn’t really stop there either. Bleak is the best way to describe a film that takes a deeper look at the war that has been driving the majority of the Star Wars films.

After being freed from imprisonment, Jyn Erso is taken in by rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor who plans on using her to reach her father, the man who made the plans for the death star. As Erso begins to delve deeper into what the rebellion is really about she begins to see the horrors of war and tries to stop more evil from spreading.

Unlike the other Star Wars films that take place during the war, “Rogue One” shows some a more realistic view of what an intergalactic war would look like. Diego Luna’s Andor is ruthless at times, and although he begins to side with Erso as the film progresses, is a good guy who does bad things. They are joined by a varying group consisting of some monks, a pilot trying to clear his conscious, and a moody robot, who all have different reasons for being together but join the resistance after seeing the power of the empire.

“Rogue One” has all the makings of a Star Wars film, with Stormtroopers, aliens, and a wonderful nostalgia. However, between all the fan service and space battles is a great film that deviates from the normal Star Wars formula, for the better.

The film has a notable absence of Jedi, which not only makes it more realistic, but gives the audience an idea of what it was like to not walk around with a sword made of ultra-powerful light. “Rogue One’s” tone and story give the film a unique edge, one that the other Star Wars films haven’t and probably can’t go to. This film got the opportunity to play to a bigger audience, one that has grown up with the films and whose tastes have grown up too. While the formulaic idea of a happy ending makes everyone happy, it doesn’t mean the film will be a success.

=== SPOILERS ===

By taking risks like killing off the main cast and being more violent, “Rogue One” gets its own identity and breaks itself off of the Star Wars mold. While hardcore fans will enjoy the numerous cameos and callbacks, fans will also find a daring and a darker story to guide them through the film.

=== SPOILERS OVER ===

The film has its faults for sure. Certain aspects are too dependent on the other Star Wars films, such as the score. Which mirrors John Williams’s famous score, but never goes anywhere memorable. The film also takes many leaps of faith throughout the plot, letting people assume things are just supposed to be that way. The script also leaves some holes and never fully defines the characters. Although the cast is wonderful and could each handle their own, simple things such as their names were hard to remember.

“Rogue One” isn’t perfect, but it is a great film. One that has a diverse cast and a non-sexualized female lead. The definitive ending and creative risks separate it from the rest of the Star Wars films, but it will nonetheless stand on its own.

Cast: A+

Script: A-

Cinematography: A

Score: B+

Overall: A

 

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