[T]he first few Star Wars movies that populated the cinematic horizon in the 70s owed their popularity to their ability to bring forth a story that caused an intense emotional attachment to characters that you are almost instantly introduced to – Rogue One is similar in this regard. The story writing and the character development was nothing short of amazing. As the series moved on and grew beyond the scope of cinematic mastery and Star Wars became the name of a pop culture staple the quality of the movies that were released after Episode one dropped drastically.
Then came the news of the franchise being sold to Disney and all hell broke lose among the older fans of the series.
What was going to happen next?
Will the series go to trash?
Panicked faces dotted the halls of the cinema as the screening for the first movie to be released after the sell out to Disney was scheduled. Fortunately, it did not turn out to be so bad as was being presumed by the majority of the dedicated fan base. There was disappointment with regards to the story line as it was quite similar to Episode 4 (the first movie in the Star Wars series) but this particular feature of the film was understandable as the series was being brought back to life after a considerable number of years and the audience of today which made up a huge part of the demographic that was going to view the film were not at all familiar with the boost that was given to the heart after Episode 4 was viewed for the first time ever. The expectation from J.J Abrams to deliver a movie that was uncanny was not the expectation with Episode 7 and thankfully, there were no surprises that came with the release of the film.
There was still however that factor that Rogue One was not one that was especially made for the fans of the series – then came the next installment from the new management that was to change all of that. The expectation from the new Lucas-films was not very high at this point and the surprise that was given to an unsuspecting audience was very pleasant to say the least. The first scene of the movie that starts of on a heavenly landscape starts the process of encapsulating the viewer with sci-fi mysticism that is usually common with Star Wars movies of the old.
The plot of Rogue One follows the story of Jyn, the daughter of an ex-Imperial scientist who has given up his ways and has escaped their clutches finding refuge on an interstellar farm planet away from the Empire. Unfortunately, the Imperial military locates the family and the scientist and amidst the encounter Jyn’s mother gets murdered while her father, the scientist, is abducted and taken prisoner. Being raised by a tribal chief that works with the Rebel alliance but excommunicated for his extremist views Jyn acquires qualities that are necessary for her survival in a universe that is at war and crushes the weakest with no remorse.
The plot of Rogue One is very carefully scripted with colorful characters that are thoroughly developed as the film progresses. In particular Chirrut Îmwe and his mercenary friend Baze Malbus are the most lovable characters in the film and induce nostalgia that brings back memories of Jedi fighters that were major parts of Episodes 1 to 3. The initial battles in the movie take place in cleverly developed landscapes with the most interesting one being the holy Jedi city of ‘Jedha’ which ultimately gets annihilated by the Imperial forces. The final battle area reminds one of the levels that are present in most sci-fi based third person shooters but has its own unique feel that serves as a perfect staging ground for the story’s ending.
There were many surprises in Rogue One, in particular with the rendering of the battle ships causing similarity to the old Star Wars movies and with the movie overall tying perfectly with Episode 4. The scenes that were redone were spine chilling to say the least and it can be very easily asserted that cinemas all over the world would have witnessed their halls fill with applause at the scenes that appeared towards the end.
All in all, Rogue One is a perfect example of a Star Wars movie done right. With an approval rating of more than 80% on Rotten Tomatoes it and 8.0 on IMDB the audience pay testimony to the fact that the movie is a masterpiece.
- The Storyline
- The Characters
- The nostalgic CGI rendering
- Darth Vader
- Tie in with Episode 4
- The Tragic ending