Hope, Rebellions are built on hope! This is one of the main statements from Rogue One, the first anthology movie from Disney. Back in 2015, Disney started a new triology with “The Force Awakens”. It tells us how the story goes on after Episode VI. The new movie is not part of the new triology, it’s a standalone movie with it’s own completed story.
“Rogue One” tells us the story how the rebellions capture the plans of the first death star. If we look back to the opening crawl from “A New Hope” we know the sucess by the rebellion but what we don’t know is how? “Rogue One” was produced by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters). Edwards tells us in an interview that he was a fan since his childhood and after the first screenplays back in 2014 he feels like a kid again. You can feel these kind of enthusiasm in almost every scene in the movie.
If someone has read my review for “The Force Awakens” last year you already know that I’m not a big fan of the first new Star Wars movie by Disney. One of my main issue with the new movie was the story. It feels like a copy of Episode IV “A new hope”, but everything has to be bigger. I’m still critical with the new triology because I don’t belive that Disney can tells us a good continuation after “The return of the Jedi” (Episode VI). For me, the strategy with the new anthology movies makes much more sense. “Rogue One” starts the series now…
With an completly new cast on the rebellion side and some fimilar characters. The new main character was played by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). A rebellion soldier and criminal. She is the daughter from Lyra (Valene Kane) and Gelan Erso (Mads Mikkelsen). Her father was mainly involved to create a new super weapon for the empire. In the opening scene we see how Gelan was captured by imperial officer Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). Krennic is responsible to complete the new space station, called Death Star. After the opening scene the movie jumps many years forward and shows us an adult Jyn Erso, first captured by the empire and later by the rebellion. The rebellion, led by Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) intercepted a message from Gelan Erso, that the new super-weapon is almost finished. Jyn should find out what the empire plans next and how his father was involved. She was accompanied by Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and an re-programmed imperial droid K-2SO played by Alan Tudyk (Firefly – TV Show). That’s how the mission starts. I won’t tell all the details and the full story in this review because you should watch it by your own. What I can say is, that the movie has some very special moments! One of my favourites, is the first scene with Grand Moff Tarkin. Yes, we know that original actor Peter Cushing died in 1994 but to see him (CGI) again creates a very special atmosphere. No one, exceptional of Vader, creates this kind of darkness.
Next, I want to tell you something about the look and feel of “Rogue One”. As I mentioned at the beginning, “Rogue One” tells us the story before “A New Hope” (Episode VI). We all know that “A New Hope” was created in the 70s with a simple look and feel if you watch the movie nowadays. In my opinion “Rogue One” looks brilliant! All the locations feels real, the costumes looks like the same time frame as “A New Hope”. Of course “Rogue One” has special effects, but these ones are excellent. As an example you can pick up the first test shoot by the death star to destroy Jedha. The screening and the music effects are absolutely amazing. Producer Gereth Edwards succeeds to create a standalone movie that fits perfectly between Episode III and Episode IV.
Conclusion: After “The Force Awakens” my expectations were not so high, but this changes after the first teaser trailer of “Rogue One”. One of “Rogue One” strengthen is his independence. You don’t have the feeling to look at a copy of a movie like “The Force Awakens”. Of course the story is not very special and the events are known because we all know how “A New Hope” ends but the presentation is very great. “Rogue One” is a war movie and maybe one of the darkest Star Wars movies since “The Empire strikes back” and that’s the reason why I like it as much. By now I’m more hyped by the anthology series and I also look forward to the Han Solo movie in 2018. If the movie provides one feeling, than it’s – Hope! A new hope also for new Star Wars movies!