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December 1, 2017

Rogue One: A Star Wars film (2016) --- "The Rogue Fault In Our Death Stars."

Plot Summary
Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter, Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing down when the evil Orson Krennic takes him away from his beloved family. Many years later, Galen becomes the Empire's lead engineer for the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, the Death Star. Knowing that her father holds the key to its destruction, Jyn joins forces with a spy and other resistance fighters to steal the space station's plans for the Rebel Alliance. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Rogue One (2016), the sequel to Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) and the prequel to Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), is the first stand-alone Star Wars film; it’s a bridge between two trilogies. And as such, there is a lot riding on it to execute and initiate a new series of Star Wars films. In addition, many fans were worried when rumors started flying around that said Disney interfered with the creative process but after watching this film it is clear that those fears were unfounded. Rogue One is engrossing and seamless, it’s not perfect but it carried the necessary requirements for a Star Wars film.

     Director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) clearly understands what is needed in order to make a great film, especially one that is part of one of the greatest and biggest film franchise ever made. Now I am not a full-on diehard Star Wars fan but I am a fan nonetheless and I could not find fault with this film anywhere. He managed to explain the past and foretell the future whilst creating a tangible link between both sides and offering a sense of sentimental nostalgia for fans. Of course, Rogue One is dark, not as dark as Episode III but a bit dark nonetheless, as well as brooding and leans heavily towards a more war-like theme. However, there is a ‘force’ that emerges from between the layers that provides a deep background story whilst carrying on at a riveting pace throughout the film.
     The screenplay was one of the biggest challenges of the film because it had to live up to the success of a Star Wars film. Writers Tony Gilroy (Cinderella) and Chris Weitz (The Bourne films) hit all the requirements, even with the absence of Ewoks, Jar Jar Binks, and the iconic opening crawl. As a result, Rogue One manages to break barriers and provide solutions to questions we didn’t even know we had while containing memorable moments. The action and drama appropriately tense and the ground fighting only enhanced the war theme while the space battle was reminiscent of the Episode sagas. But the action and drama would not hold any meaning if it were not for the visuals. The visuals and special effects are astounding and beautiful. These worlds and planets are believable, and it did not feel like the film was overshadowed by the CGI; instead, it enhanced it. In addition, the visuals propelled the action which in turn allowed for the cast to deliver some amazing and memorable performances. In fact, the reason why Rogue One is not as dark as Episode III is because the performances were both serious and funny rather than only being serious. The comedic moments helped lighten the darker moments and allowed for you to be drawn in with comedic relief and not just dark seriousness. While the characters are not as full in comparison to the saga films (mainly because this is a stand-alone film), the roles served their purposes well. My personal favorite was the brief cameo of Darth Vader with Spencer Wilding (Batman Begins) providing Vader’s intimidating physical appearance and the beloved James Earl Jones (The Lion King) providing Vader’s iconic voice.

     Overall, Rogue One (2016) is a wonderful addition to the Star Wars franchise. It not only bridges the gap between two trilogies but the film ended on a powerful one-second scene that answered questions we did not even know we had. In addition, it is interesting to see a Star Wars film that did not exactly rely on a lot of iconic characters from the saga films. Gareth Edwards is not George Lucas and yet he did an amazing job with one of the most famous franchises ever. He understood what was required in order to make a Star Wars film and whatever obstacles he faced, it is obvious that overcame them. Now I’m not saying this is a masterpiece but this something Star Wars fans can be proud of.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Film (2016)
Star Wars Episode IV: New Hope (1977)
Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars Episode II: Clone Wars (2002)
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars Episode IX (TBA)

"I am one with the Force and the Force is with me."
- Chirrut Îmwe

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  4 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Rouge One (2016).

Movies Similar 
John Carter (2012)
Star Trek 1 (2009)
Star Trek 2: Into Darkness (2013)
Star Trek 3: Beyond (2016)
Star Wars I: Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clone Wars (2002)
Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Star Wars IV: New Hope (1977)
Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Cast & Crew
Directed by Gareth Edwards
Produced by 
     Simon Emanuel          ...        producer
     Kiri Hart                      ...        co-producer
     Toby Hefferman         ...        associate producer
     Finni Johannsson       ...        line producer: Iceland
     Kathleen Kennedy      ...        producer
     John Knoll                   ...        executive producer
     Jason D. McGatlin      ...        executive producer
     Allison Shearmur       ...        producer
     John Swartz                ...        co-producer
     Susan Towner             ...        co-producer
Cinematography by Greig Fraser
Film Editing by John Gilroy, Colin Goudie, and Jabez Olssen
Casting By Jina Jay
Production Design by Doug Chiang and Neil Lamont
Set Decoration by Lee Sandales 
Costume Design by David Crossman      and Glyn Dillon         

Felicity Jones                                                     ...        Jyn Erso
Diego Luna                                                         ...        Cassian Andor
Alan Tudyk                                                          ...        K-2SO
Donnie Yen                                                         ...        Chirrut Îmwe
Wen Jiang                                                           ...        Baze Malbus
Ben Mendelsohn                                               ...        Orson Krennic
Guy Henry                                                           ...        Governor Tarkin
Forest Whitaker                                               ...        Saw Gerrera
Riz Ahmed                                                          ...        Bodhi Rook
Mads Mikkelsen                                                ...        Galen Erso
Jimmy Smits                                                      ...        Bail Organa
Alistair Petrie                                                    ...        General Draven
Genevieve O'Reilly                                           ...        Mon Mothma
Ben Daniels                                                        ...        General Merrick
Paul Kasey                                                          ...        Admiral Raddus
Stephen Stanton                                               ...        Admiral Raddus  (voice)
Ian McElhinney                                                 ...        General Dodonna
Fares Fares                                                        ...        Senator Vaspar
Jonathan Aris                                                    ...        Senator Jebel
Sharon Duncan-Brewster                              ...        Senator Pamlo
Spencer Wilding and Daniel Naprous        ...        Darth Vader
James Earl Jones                                             ...        Darth Vader (voice)
Ingvild Deila                                                      ...        Princess Leia
Anthony Daniels                                               ...        C-3PO
Valene Kane                                                       ...        Lyra Erso
Beau Gadsdon                                                   ...        Young Jyn
Dolly Gadsdon                                                   ...        Younger Jyn
Duncan Pow                                                       ...        Sergeant Melshi
Jordan Stephens                                              ...        Corporal Tonc
Babou Ceesay                                                    ...        Lieutenant Sefla
Aidan Cook                                                         ...        Two Tubes
Daniel Mays                                                        ...        Tivik
Andy de la Tour                                                 ...        General Hurst Romodi
Tony Pitts                                                            ...        Captain Pterro
Martin Gordon                                                  ...        Vaneé 

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