Rogue One Review
Our family splurged this morning and saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in IMAX 3D this morning at Rave Cinemas.
About Rogue One
The crawl at the start of Star Wars: A New Hope, states that the Rebel Alliance has won their first victory against the Empire and stolen plans for the Death Star. Rogue One is the story of how these plans were obtained.
In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Before heading to the movie, check out the TV spot below:
An Anthology Film
Rogue One is not part of the main Star Wars series (the trilogy of trilogies). Instead, it is a story that takes place in the universe without a major component of the Skywalker family. Specifically, it takes place immediately prior to Episode 4 (the original movie).
This distinction is evident right at the start of the movie. Rogue One does not start with the iconic crawl setting the stage for the movie.
However, it doesn’t take long to feel at home in the world of Star Wars. Just as in A New Hope, the “blue milk” takes the stage in an early scene. I also read that they actually reused some costumes from the original trilogy, particularly A New Hope.
The main characters in Rogue One are new to the world of Star Wars. However, there are appearances by several characters that have been in the other movies. Darth Vader makes an appearance in consultation on the development of the Death Star. He is once again voiced by James Earl Jones.
The largest returning role is probably Grand Moff Tarkin originally played by Peter Cushing in A New Hope. As Marvel fans, we previously saw performances by Michael Douglas (in Ant-Man) and Robert Downey, Jr (Captain America: Civil War) transformed into younger versions of themselves. For Rogue One, similar technology is extensively used to create Grand Moff Tarkin who was originally played by Peter Cushing who died in 1994. In Rogue One, the on-set acting was provided by Guy Henry (Pius Thicknesse in the Harry Potter series) and digitally overlaid with Peter Cushing’s face. It is truly impressive editing.
The other character who returns from the original trilogy is Mon Mothma. In Rogue One, she is played by Genevieve O’Reilly who also played her in Revenge of the Sith from the prequels.
Also returning from the prequel series is Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa. I was a bit surprised that he doesn’t have a line in his first scene, but he returns in later scenes where he has lines. It is a bit bittersweet to hear him say he is returning to Alderaan to warn them of the power of the Death Star.
Of course the droids are not forgotten. R2-D2 and C3-PO make a cameo appearance.
We enjoyed Rogue One and the backstory that it provides to Star Wars: A New Hope. Rogue One does rely on your knowledge of the back story from the original trilogy and the prequels. For example, recurring characters are not introduced, the origin of the struggle between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire is not explained, and there are allusions to events of both the prequel series and coming events in A New Hope.
Rogue One does have a heavier tone than the other Star Wars movies. Of all the genres that inspire the Star Wars Saga, Rogue One is most inspired by a war movie.
Rogue One definitely reflects the fact that it is filmed in 2016 instead of 1977. Not only is the main character female, Jyn Erso, but there are more female characters including at least one X-Wing pilot. Even on the Imperial Side, Jyn is not given a second glance for wearing the uniform of an imperial officer.
Rogue One is rated PG-13 and definitely earns that rating. It is definitely the most emotionally intense of any of the Star Wars movies. I don’t want to spoil the movie with exact details. Put simply, stealing the Death Star plans came at a great cost.
If you have a sensitive tween or early teen, I recommend skipping Rogue One. My daughter (age 11) is rarely affected by movies. She was glad that she saw the movie and said it was good. But she isn’t eager to return for a second viewing (she saw Force Awakens 3 times in the theater).
If you are hesitant about how your child will react, I suggest seeing the movie in 2D or regular 3D. We saw it in IMAX 3D which is a much more immersive experience. Our neighbor saw it both ways and said it was less intense in 2D (but that was also his second viewing).
We saw quite a few trailers in front of Rogue One. Our screening was in IMAX 3D at Rave (trailers may vary based on format and theater). My daughter was quite excited to see a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer (May 5, 2017 release). We also had a Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tails trailer, but I was quite disappointed to not even get a glimpse of Jack Sparrow (May 26, 2017 release).
I was not aware that Universal is remaking The Mummy with Tom Cruise (June 9, 2017). As we were watching the trailer, I thought this movie is a lot like The Mummy. Also, be warned that the trailer may be intense for some kids. The Mummy is the only film that my daughter has asked us to turn off.