“War” has always been in the title for the Star Wars franchise.
But the overall cost; the battles, the lives lost and the expanse of its time waged was only ever told through an amazing story, with brief moments of action delivered throughout.
It was about the adventure of an orphaned boy, and the uprising of the Rebellion. It was the destruction of a Death Star, and betrayals at Cloud City.
Yet the war and the ordinary lives in the middle of it, were placed on the wayside simply because they didn’t exhibit the powers of the Force.
And this is why the first spin-off for Star Wars, Rogue One, succeeds.
Maybe even more so than The Force Awakens…
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.
The Force Awakens was very good, and I stand by my review of it.
I will admit though, that I looked at the film as a P.R exercise in revitalizing a brand that the commercial audience felt had ostracized them with the heavier tones set by the Prequels.
Nostalgic in every way, The Force Awakens could well have been called “the fans awaken”, rising them from their embittered slumber.
But Rogue One IS a Star Wars film.
And it is very much about the war.
Starring Felicity Jones in the lead role of Jyn Erso, we are introduced to a universe almost completely under the control of the Empire.
Surrounded by an outstanding cast, filled with some of the very best out there for our current generation in drama (Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn), action (Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen) and comedy (Alan Tudyk), Rogue One is captivating solely for it’s cast.
Yet Director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) takes all of these wonderful elements and creates an epic that stitches the fallout of the Prequel together with the hope of the Original trilogy.
Nods to what’s coming in Episode IV pop up regularly, and at times there’s so many laughs you have to wonder whether or not this is Star Wars film you’re watching.
And that’s the point.
But you’re not.
You’re watching a war that is soon to come to its end. You’re watching a new hope rise, because OHHHHHHH…that’s what Episode IV is about.
It’s giant space battles (and I mean giant), and ground battles on the front line.
For all the cool space-wizard moments that have occurred throughout the previous films, it’s refreshing to see them touch on something a little more human;
To tell us about the war in the stars, that didn’t just cost the Jedi, but also the countless many ordinary people who stepped up to rebel against the Empire.
The trailers give away nothing, and I'm going to watch it again. Rogue One is just...so, so good...