Rouge One: A Star Wars Story Review

Rating: 4.5


There is pressure for every Star Wars film to be able to live up to the cinematic sci-fi masterpiece that was A New Hope. Rouge One: A Star Wars Story not only had to do just that, but also be the first Star Wars film outside the episodic sagas and the only one forced to kill all of its major characters. It somehow managed to pull off this seemingly infeasible task, and blow expectations out of the water in the process

Set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Rouge One tells the story of the rebel mission to steal the plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, The Death Star.

For a movie inspired by a single line of A New Hope’s opening crawl (“During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR”) it was extremly war-driven. It is a Star Wars movie, so action is expected, if not hoped for, but the latter half of the movie felt like it was there to fill the desires of those who believe Star Wars movies aren’t similar enough to WWII blockbuster and too often skimp on death and beach-storming scenes. The space battles were gripping as ever, the ATATs and other armoured vehicles were realistic and prominent and the ground battles left the audience with a sense of morbid awe. However, although necessary to kill off all main characters, the rapid succession of the deaths, once they began, was overwhelming.

The ability for this movie to keep classic Star Wars shots and cameos of loved characters was also impressive. The ships appeared like they do in the original trilogy, more life-like, rather than the CGI used in the prequels, and seeing R2D2 and C3-PO was enjoyable. The best part, however was Darth Vader’s hallway slaughter. In a single scene he displays more destructive and sith-esque power than in the entire original trilogy.

The beginning left little to be desired due to the glossing over of protagonist’s Gyn Erso (Felicity Jones) entire childhood and quick cuts to separate storylines.

Although this movie seemed flawed from the beginning, it managed to tell as good a Star Wars story as ever while keeping the saga’s continuity.

Star Wars fan or not, you should see this movie.