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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Movie Review

Reviewed by on Dec 16, 2016
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Is it a worthy prequel to the very first Star Wars film A New Hope in 1977? Will it be a must see again and again? Check our movie review.

By: Lynn Barker

When she was a little girl, Jyn Erso’s scientist dad resigned from his job planning what would become the dreaded Death Star for the Empire. He has been hiding with his wife and child on an isolated outpost but now the Empire needs his expertise to make the this planet killer weapon work. Will Jyn grow up a child of the Empire or be a notable Alliance rebel?

Lyn and Cassian aboard their stolen Imperial shipLyn and Cassian aboard their stolen Imperial ship

A Rough Childhood

When Empire weapons scientist Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) leaves the job and isolates his family on a remote planet, Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), director of Advanced Weapons Research, wants him back when the superweapon, planet killing Death Star hits a snag. He finds the family and Galen is taken. Little daughter Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) goes into hiding but is eventually captured.

Mads Mikkelsen as Galen ErsoMads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso

15 Years Later

Fifteen years later, Erso sends defector cargo pilot Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) to sneak a message to the Rebel Alliance. Adult Jyn is freed from Imperial captivity by the Rebellion, which wants to use her to track down her father, and then have Rebel pilot and Intelligence Officer Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) carry out secret orders against him…anything to stop the Death Star from being finished.

Jyn and Cassian at Rebel Alliance HQJyn and Cassian at Rebel Alliance HQ

Old Friend

After reuniting with Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), the man who raised her, Jyn and her allies, Cassian and very tall droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk in motion capture mode), see a hologram secretly sent to her by her dad expressing his love for her and revealing that he has put a flaw in the Death Star’s design, a reactor vulnerability that will make it easier to destroy. The schematics (blueprints) to find this flaw are kept in a high-security data vault on the planet Scarif.

Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) welcomes JynSaw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) welcomes Jyn

Will the Rebel Alliance Help?

With the hologram destroyed, no way of verifying Jyn’s story and unable to agree on risking troops to get these blueprints, the Alliance won’t okay Jyn’s mission to steal them. Jyn, Cassian, K-2SO and other warriors including Rook, Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and mercenary Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) go on their own mission to infiltrate the facility housing the data files so that the Rebels can stop the use of the most dreaded planet killer weapon ever devised. Will they succeed and who will pay the ultimate price along the way?

Rebel warriors Baz Malbus and Chirrut ÎmweRebel warriors Baz Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe

Wrapping Up

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story looks very true to the universe first depicted in 1977 in “A New Hope”. The version I saw (not 3-D) seemed to have a lot of muted colors but battle and visual effects action is top level. The music is a bit bombastic and intrusive. It is certainly a nice score but it overwhelms quieter scenes and just outblasts the sound effects occasionally.

Giant Star Destroyer over a supply planetGiant Star Destroyer over a supply planet

Although Jyn and Cassian are decently developed as characters, we know very little about their band of rebel cohorts.  It’s nice to know a bit more before people start dying. Love to know more about the blind fellow who can fight really well with the aid of the Force (but he’s not a Jedi). The only light saber seen in the movie is Darth Vader’s. It’s cool that both deceased actor Peter Cushing who played Moff Tarkin in the original film is back in computer-generated nasty glory and so is the very young Princess Leia very briefly. Senator Organa (Jimmy Smits) who raised Leia, is back in the flesh briefly as well. Golden-voiced James Earl Jones still voices Vader.

Evil Weapons Director KrennicEvil Weapons Director Krennic

It’s refreshing that several characters, especially Diego Luna’s Captain Cassian Andor,  are not squeaky-clean good guys. There are plenty of morally shady areas to them and that makes them real and relatable. Of course I love that a woman is leading the pack of feisty Rebels.

A captured Jyn with droid K-2SOA captured Jyn with droid K-2SO

The film does a great job of being true to the overall mythology by telling the story of the brave rebels who secured the Death Star plans, many giving their lives as we were told in “A New Hope”. The movie ties in as a prequel to the original film very well. It’s a stand-alone tale and we know what happens afterwards. “Rogue One” isn’t perfect but certainly entertaining as an espionage and “war” movie more than anything else. We are still rooting for the Rebels. We go four stars. 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Movie Rating:4

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Movie PosterRogue One: A Star Wars Story Movie PosterCourtesy of Disney

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now!


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