Movie Review: Rogue One, A Star Wars Story
The story centres around a group of rebels who steal the plans to the infamous Death Star, the planet-destroying weapon, from the original Star Wars trilogy of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Rogue One serves up an engrossing commandos-in-space plot, where rebels infiltrate bases, evade capture to exfiltrate the schematics for a weapon of planetary destruction.
The film gives us the requisite family drama where the presumed orphan Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has to confront her father’s role in the creation of the deadly weapon and then decide whether she wants to aid in its destruction.
The iconic screen villain Darth Vader appears in this film in one of the most chilling scenes to date involving the black-clad, masked, half-robot, half-man with telekinetic powers. Whereas fans felt that his character was devalued by the Star Wars trilogy of the 1990’s and 2000’s, his appearance in this film invokes both the awe and terror associated with the villain.
The war scene at the end of the film also serves up the requisite thrills with a battle being fought on the beaches of a Galactic Empire base, while a space battle is simultaneously waged just above it.
The ensemble cast is mostly well-used, although screen legend Forrest Whitaker is not given enough screen-time in his portrayal as an extremist rebel leader.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story deserves plaudits for depicting a war movie set in space and on alien planets, while giving as much dignity and gravitas to the proceedings as a science fiction and fantasy film can allow.