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.
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)