As we approach the end of the Skywalker saga with Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, we here at Full Circle agreed it was time to take a look back. Every day until The Rise of Skywalker‘s release, we’ll be discussing every single theatrical project in the Star Wars franchise, in canonical order. This time, we will talk about the film all about the event leading up to the original Star Wars: 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Every victory in a battle has a backstory. Somebody was on the front lines making a sacrifice. Every confrontation in history from the Revolutionary War to WWII has had an unsung hero, or group of heroes, that is never truly spoken of for their sacrifice. Star Wars definitely highlights their unsung heroes in the 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s something that a lot of franchises don’t do, but as giant as the Star Wars universe is; How could you not? The galaxy contains so many different characters, and this ragtag group definitely deserves recognition.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), the daughter of Imperial Scientist Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen). Galen is the mastermind behind the Death Star. Let’s just say, he’s like Albert Einstein if he would’ve continued working with the Nazis. When construction on the Death Star stalls, the Imperials seek out Galen to oversee the completion. A fight ensues, leaving Jyn all alone.
Fast forward several years and the Death Star is near completion. The Rebels are still at war with the Imperial Army, and are fighting a losing battle. Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), who’s been assigned to assassinate Galen stumbles upon Jyn. The two form a bond that goes unmatched throughout the film. They put together a very solid group and with the help of Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) they try to finish the job and destroy the Death Star.
I can’t even put into words how visually pleasing this film is. The settings are beautiful, and the aesthetic of the scenery is great. The film is nostalgia ridden, especially with every Darth Vader scene (Spencer Wilding/James Earl Jones). The technology advancements since the original Star Wars benefit it in major ways. The film is matched with its predecessors as far as how the scenes are shot. They’ve ignored everything about the newer films (technologically) and tried to make this film feel like it was made in the 80s. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) did a great job with the way he matched the 80s feeling. John Knoll, Gary Whitta, Tony Gilroy, and Chris Weltz made a complete story. Everything about this writing felt very much like the original trilogy.
The fight choreography in this movie was awesome. Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe really had a lot to do with it. Edwards does a terrific job of putting together each of his fight scenes. The characters in this film were far and wide, but they really held their performances. Yen, Jones, Luna, and Whitaker were standouts. Alan Tudyk (K-2SO), Riz Ahmed (Bhodi Rook), Mikkelsen, and the entirety of the cast brought this great story to life in a special way. You can honestly appreciate Return of the Jedi even more now that you have the full backstory on the unsung heroes.
Personally, I love this film. The story of the Erso family, and the redemption they eventually get is beautiful. Even though you know how the film will end, you sit attached to the screen hoping it ends differently. The cameos throughout this movie are the nostalgia you need. There is such a great in seeing characters you grew up in a different way. George Lucas truly built a grand universe. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is now streaming on Disney+.
The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, and Forest Whitaker.