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ROGUE ONE HITS

Wesley Jalipa

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★★★★★

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the eighth feature length film released in the Star Wars film series. However, unlike the other seven films in the series, its story is separate from the rest of the saga. While the events of the film do occur within the timeline of the others, it is unrelated to the central unified story arc of the Skywalker family and the tradition of the Jedi.

As a matter of fact, it is the first in a planned series of Star Wars Anthology films. These will be movies that take place in the Star Wars universe but do not concern the primary continuity of Star Wars, though they may concern characters or events that appear in the primary saga as well.

Without getting into spoilers, the primary plot of the film concerns the efforts of a small contingent of rebels in their quest to retrieve and reveal the blueprint to the superweapon known as the Death Star. The story was extremely engaging and strong, as well as being thoroughly unique– not only in its basic plot, but also in its execution of the story– from the other films.

Rogue One differs from the other films in the Star Wars series in tone, being much darker than usual, but still manages to capture the familiar adventurous and fantastical feeling of the universe. The darker tone of the film seeps masterfully into the story without overpowering the fun feeling of Star Wars films.

A particular strength of the film was its characters. Bringing numerous fresh faces to the Star Wars universe, Rogue One explores new character dimensions never before seen in the series. Rebels, criminals, monks, mercenaries, and even the Star Wars equivalent of terrorists are all explored in the film. The core cast is all fleshed in quite well for a film of such scale.

The lead character, Jyn Erso, is portrayed onscreen by Felicity Jones. Though the film featured essentially an ensemble cast, Jyn was certainly the film’s main character. Opposite Jones was Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, the male lead. For the most part, the acting in the film was somewhat unremarkable– the focus was certainly on the entire cast of characters’ adventures.

However, Donnie Yen’s performance as the force-obsessed monk Chirrut Îmwe stood out ahead of the other performances. Hopeful, yet reserved, Yen masterfully portrayed a character central to the communication of the film’s message of hope against seemingly futile odds.

Overall, the movie was great. The complex and engaging story was supported by a cast of interesting, fleshed-out, compelling characters. It brought a unique vision and tone to the Star Wars series of films, and is a solid installment that instills a sense of excitement for the coming anthology series.

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ROGUE ONE HITS