#REVIEW: “ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
From a galaxy far, far away comes the Film that Star Wars fans have been asking for since 1977 as Rogue One delivers us that proper ‘Prequel’. While the ending of the Film might be a bit obvious as it is the starting point to one of the greatest sagas ever told, the journey getting there certainly is entertaining. While this instalment may lack lightsaber fights and those jedi mind tricks we’ve come to love, the force is certainly strong with this great new addition to the Franchise.
The Movie begins with a young Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) with her parents Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) and Lyra (Valene Kane). Galen is key to Lord Vader’s plans to create the Death Star, although his morals refuse to let him be a part of this massive weapons endeavour until Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) puts his family at risk, killing his wife and failing to locate Jyn, Galen has no choice but to work for the dark side. Luckily for Jyn, there was a contingency plan to protect her should she be left behind from a rogue imperial supporter, Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) who is a one-man rebellion force, an extremist whom other rebellions fear. Fast-forward ahead, Jyn is a grown woman and the rebellion needs her help to find and work with Gerrera to uncover the Death Star plans that were leaked by turned pilot, Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), whom escaped the imperial forces to warn the rebellion of the impending doom of the Death Star. To capture the plans to the Death Star, Jyn is forced to work with a rebel alliance member Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and his sassy over-the-top droid, K-2SO (Alan Tudyk). Along their journey to find and capture the plans to the Death Star, they also enlist the help of Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang). This unlikely group of rebels ultimately do capture the plans to the Death Star as many fans know, but at what cost?
Rogue One is highlighted by some outstanding performances from its ensemble, but expectations are high after the record-breaking success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a mesmerizing turn by Daisy Ridley. This instalment proves there is room in the Star Wars universe for more than one strong heroine and Felicity Jones proves equally great. We want for her at every turn to succeed and in addition to her, performances from both Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk also are brilliant. The latter steals every scene he is in with his jaunty droid, while Luna is cast perfectly as the double-sided Cassian. Moreover, Ben Mendelsohn delivers one of the most unnerving performances, so dark and disturbing we we are bit unsettled by the dark side within him. Lastly, Donnie Yen plays a blind fighter whose faith in the force shines a bit of hope and light, balancing well with the dark tone of the Movie.
Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy craft a wonderful story about the far, far away galaxy we have all come to love. As well , Director Gareth Edwards, who went under a great amount of scrutiny from fans throughout reshoots, does an incredible job as he goes out of his comfort zone and excels at the challenge. Fans will not be disappointed.
Walt Disney Studios Canada releases ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY in theatres on Friday, December 16, 2016.