I was a little nervous going into this film. With the resurgence of Star Wars films in the last 17 years there has certainly been some ups and downs and more downs than ups. I enjoyed the recent addition to the saga, but was unclear as to how this film was going to fit in with the Star Wars story. My initial impression was that this film would be the first part of a new trilogy, but I am glad that this is a standalone piece that fits in spectacularly with the original trilogy.
It is hard to dive into too many specifics that I enjoyed about this movie without giving away spoilers. Since the story is a stand alone piece it allowed the filmmakers to make characters that you would not expect to be expendable. This allowed the story to be unexpected and thrilling in a way that is atypical to films of this genre. The story is concise, engaging, entertaining, and ties well into Star Wars: A New Hope. They trimmed the fat while making this film, which can hardly be said for Episodes 1 – 3.
There are no clear aspects of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that stand out as groundbreaking. However, the film features some stalwart acting that preserves the Star Wars tradition and allows the film to be more than just a sci-fi adventure film with a bunch of explosions.
The acting by Ben Mendelsohn stood out as a real anchor for this film. His presence throughout the film captures the scene and the viewer. I did not notice him much before The Dark Knight and The Place Beyond the Pines, but I foresee a tremendous continuation of his career in the future.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is an excellent addition to the saga and I hope that future projects will follow suite. The best part of this film is the acting by everyone involved and the fact that it was only one movie and not stretched, unnecessarily, out into a trilogy. I hope future blockbuster’s feature well rounded storytelling and followthrough that can be seen in Rogue One.
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Cinematography: Greig Fraser
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Runtime: 2h 13m
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures