Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rogue One: The Star Wars Story We Never Knew We Wanted

  Almost everyone loves Star Wars. It is a part of American culture. The love for the franchise has always been there, but it had been, "awakened," last year. The Star Wars craze is bigger than ever. This year we are getting a prequel that we never asked for. A story that we didn't really need to hear. A Star Wars with no Jedi or characters we are invested in. We are getting Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and let me start by saying, you will be glad that we did.

    The fledgling Rebel Alliance hears whispers of the Empire building a super weapon and contemplates their next move. An intelligence officer discovers a thief that is the daughter of the scientist building it and sets out to rescue/ capture her. They enlist her help to find a defected cargo pilot and seek out a rebel extremist. The Jedi are gone and this small group of rebels set out on a path that will determine the fate of the galaxy,

  The movie is dark. It has a different tone than any Star Wars we have seen yet. It is far darker than Revenge of The Sith. We see a different view of the galactic war and it is violent. We see how out numbered the rebels are. It shows us new worlds and ties beautifully into the history. Gareth Edwards has created a movie that fits so perfectly with the film that started it all. We get some new ships and new people. The small group of rebels are interesting in their own rights. We get a quick back story on everyone involved, but they all have their moments to shine.

  We see the Empire at the height of it's power and it is so well done. There is internal conflict with the villains. The storm troopers are done in the same form as a new hope. AT-AT walkers, T.I.E. Fighters, the Death Star make appearances. All of them with great accuracy. Rogue One not only tells it's own story, but it introduces new elements of Star Wars lore and they all work beyond well. I wish I could spoil all of the cameos and nods to the films that came before, but it just wouldn't be fair.

  The one character that I will spoil a bit is Forrest Whitaker's Saw Gerrera. He was a character on the Clone Wars cartoon. We get an older version of him in Rogue One. The rebellion and wars have taken their toll on him. The casual movie goer will not know him, but it is very cool to see another part of the over all Star Wars universe brought to life. The film truly gives us some great characters. Donnie Yen's, "Chirrut Imwe," and Alan Tudyk's, "K-2SO," have their moments, but this movie is a father daughter story. It is all about Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones).

   Rumors have been out there that she is really Rey from "The Force Awakens," mother. She isn't. Sorry for that spoiler. She is her own character. She is troubled. She is strong. She is the perfect character to center this story around. Rogue One was a story that most fans didn't ask for. It has cameos. It has some great Vader moments. It has plenty of cool references. It is very much Star Wars. It is also very much it's own kind of movie. The force is strong with this one. So strong in fact that it already has a sequel. It leads perfectly into Star Wars: A New Hope. In this case, the end is truly the beginning.

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