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    December 16, 2016


    The new Star Wars movie - "Rogue One", although it is not part of the main features, stands in neatly as an amazing space opera and an appreciable filler that bridge between the two previous trilogies.

    Credit: Comicbook.com
    "Rogue One" sets just before the first line in "Episode IV: A New Hope" was first spoken. "Rogue One" recounts an effort by a group of rebel consisting of the Rebellion intel officer Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), daughter of Empire scientist and criminal Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Force-sensitive monks Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), defected pilot Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) and former Empire cyborg K-2SO (Alan Tudyk).

    When Jyn's father Galen (Mads Mikkelson) sends out a secret message through Bodhi about the Death Star plan to the Alliance, the message drops off in Jedha, a moon for which the great revolutionary icon Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitake, I take the character name as a nod to Che Guevara). After helping Jyn to escape, the Alliance tasks Cassian and Jyn to find Galen, in a motion to stop Galen from continuing to build the super weapon. But it turns out, they are to late and the consequence is that Jedha is destroyed in what looks like a Death Star's demonstrative test.

    The rebels against the Alliance's Senate verdict, band together in a suicide mission to steal the archival plans to the Death Star, a planet-killing weapon which was predominantly featured in the second Star Wars saga. Of course, standing in their way is the Empire's Advanced Weapon Research Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), who uses Jyn's father Galen (Mads Mikkelson) as an unwilling participant. Learning the imminent threat carried in the wake of Jedha's destruction, the group is practically in a race of time as the Empire is now in a step closer to crush their enemies with ease.

    Source: Syracuse
    "Rogue One" is a one decent stand-alone Star Wars prequel feature. Director Gareth Edwards ("Godzilla") creates an effective caper-heist space drama that benefits from a lot originality and creative freedoms. But "Rogue One" is not a definite stand-alone as it occasionally also borrows some elements from the original Star Wars trilogy. The gambit works, nonetheless, offering a great deal addition into the saga. Probably, I can say this without giving much - that "Rogue One" answers one of the most bothering question in the Star Wars mythology about the Death Star.

    But not everything is a smooth ride. It suffers from a hasty first act, which can be a little dense with often convoluting frequent jump of scenes and galaxy settings. Casual audiences who never watched or appreciated much on the Star Wars saga may find it a little lost in those moments. There is also an issue with the characters. While their portrayal is faultless, it is without a doubt, a band of rebels that I find difficult to get attach with as the character developments are quite little.

    It is only when "Rogue One" stabilizes, the movie moves into a right direction by offering aesthetic and well-made action sequences. Those scenes in Jedha (first act), and particularly in Scarif (third act) are thrillingly fantastic. A mixture use of hyperspace jump, X-wings, Y-wings, Tie fighters and Imperial fleets, Force sensitive, a little nod to the Cantina and Darth Vader; are valuable enhancements that gives "Rogue One" a definite closer feel to the legacies instilled in "A New Hope" and "Empire Strikes Back".

    Indeed, "Rogue One" works incredibly well both as a stand alone and prequel in the Star Wars canon. Equipped with exceptional action sequences, the movie moves along quite well against the backdrop that suits, a gritty, dark and unintentionally violent. So, "Rogue One" is the stardust. Move on with Episode 8 now!! Rating: A- (4.0/5.0)

    Info Dashboard:
    Casts: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker
    Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures (Lucasfilm)
    Director: Gareth Edwards
    Screenplay: Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta, based on Characters by George Lucas
    Rating: P13
    Release date: 15 December 2016
    Running time: 133 minutes
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