Star Wars has officially come back and kicking the franchise alive with the release of last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This year, a Star Wars movie has been released, but it’s not part of the main series. No, what you get is something more akin to spin-off that happens during the old Star Wars: A New Hope film. It features many characters that can be seen from past Star Wars films, but this is a standalone film. So, can Rogue One actually be enjoyable as everyone already roughly knows what happens in the beginning of A New Hope? Or will it surpass our expectation and surprise us all together? Read on to find out!
The basic premise is regarding the building of the famous Death Star that is so iconic from the franchise. It follows the story from the Rebel’s perspective as they try to stop the Empire from conquering the galaxy. We see it all through the eyes of Jyn Erso, a young woman whose parents are involved in the building of Death Star itself. So, the Rebels plan to use her to kill her father, but things never happen according to plan, and she has to decide her choice and find ways to save the Galaxy from the Dark Lord.
Now, this story is one that is quite predictable, so we are shown the backstory of Jyn’s past and then the transformation to the present, where she becomes involved with the Rebel reluctantly. One thing that actually manages to make the whole film interesting and enjoyable is that the characters are so well done. They each possess unique behaviours and have reasons to join the fight against the Empire. Almost none of the central characters feel unnecessary or lack of personalities. Also, they are in contrast with one another yet they make a great team in the end. I especially love K-2SO for his straight-talking style and Chirrut Îmwe’s appearance. They just give more diversity to the teams, each complementing one another’s weakness.
Aside from the characters, old fans would be delighted to hear the familiar music and even similar scenes and spaceship models. Some of them are similar to the ones shown in Star Wars IV, V and VI. It is a very great way to reward fans for their dedication to stay with the franchise for decades! Some of the special effects and sounds are intentionally shot scene by scene with the past films as reference, making us go down a memory lane within all those fights and adventures. This film knows whose its audience is and packs in better storytelling, actions, wars and also displaying deep appreciation for past works.
And the fights, wars, and actions are just so epic! There is a sense of urgency and tension while the film is reaching the end. It makes you support the Rebels wholeheartedly, especially after hearing their reasons and seeing the Empire’s evil deeds. But what gets me almost to tear is the ending, which I won’t spoil here. The ending is perfect, and this is a rare spin-off that actually matches the quality of the main series. It contains a great opening and appropriate ending, which is perhaps one of the best achievements a film could receive.