Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Blu-ray Review

Many people have a love-hate relationship with the Star Wars film series. Many love the original trilogy that kickstarted it all in 1977. The initial film was a worldwide phenomenon that created a new generation of sci-fi fans and some of the most dynamic merchandising ever for a film. Since A New Hope, the Star Wars brand has spawned seven additional films including three sequels and four prequels.

While Episodes One, Two, and Three are generally reviled by hardcore Star Wars fans, there was a sense of redemption with 2015’s The Force Awakens. And now with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it’s clear that the series has righted itself with both stalwart fans and newcomers alike.

Did you ever watch A New Hope and wonder how the rebels actually stole the plans to the Death Star? Well, wonder no more. In Rogue One we see exactly how this courageous mission was executed, and how a small group of heroes was able to steal and eventually save a universe from a malicious Empire. But it’s not what they are doing or why they are doing it – if you’ve seen Star Wars you know all that by now – it’s how they pull it off that makes it so fun and entertaining.

Rogue One is filled with great action and amazing effects that have become a staple in all Star Wars films, but here it’s especially engaging since this particular film has to blend the technology seen in 1977’s A New Hope “modern technology” with the more modern effects of 2017. And it works beautifully and seamlessly creating a world that seems familiar but unique in its scope and style.

There are plenty of so-called Easter Eggs to be sought after over the course of the film, and tiny cameos from characters from future Star Wars movies help ground the movie in the universe that has been a staple in cinemas for 40 years.

With its eclectic and energetic cast of characters, Rogue One delivers a solid story driven by Jyn (Felicity Jones), a fugitive who quickly finds herself and her past at the forefront of one of the biggest intergalactic conflicts known to humankind (no pressure there!). With her scrappy band of rebels by her side, Jyn is tasked with stealing the plans for the ominously named Death Star in order for the Rebels to find its weakness and destroy it before it destroys all who defy the Empire and its primary leader: Darth Vader (yep, he’s in this, too!).

Rogue One is fun, action-packed, and has a tone that differs from the other Star Wars films, which makes it – as I said before – unique but familiar.

There are so many Special Features that they had to be given their own Blu-ray disc. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s included:

A Rogue Idea – Hear how ILM’s John Knoll came up with the movie’s concept – and why it’s the right film to launch the Star Wars stand-alone films.

Jyn: The Rebel – Get to know Rogue One’s defiant, resourceful survivor, and hear what it was like for Felicity Jones to bring her to life onscreen.

Cassian: The Spy – Diego Luna shares insights into his complex, driven character, who becomes a hero through selflessness, perseverance and passion.

K-2SO: The Droid – Explore the development of this reprogrammed Imperial droid, from initial pitch and character design through Alan Tudyk’s performance.

Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills – Go deeper into the relationship between these two very different characters, with Chinese superstars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen.

Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary – Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed reflect on Saw Gerrera, the broken Rebel leader, and Bodhi Rook, the Imperial pilot who defects.

The Empire – Meet a dangerous new Imperial adversary…and cross paths once more with the most iconic villain of all time.

Visions of Hope: The Look of Rogue One – The filmmakers describe the challenges and thrills of developing a bold new look for the movie that can fit within the world of the original trilogy.

The Princess & The Governor – See what it took to bring the vibrant young princess of Star Wars: A New Hope – as well as one of her most memorable foes– – back to the screen.

Epilogue: The Story Continues – Filmmakers and cast celebrate Rogue One’s premiere and look forward into the future, to the Star Wars stories yet to be told.

Rogue Connections – Uncover Easter eggs and film facts hidden throughout the movie that connect Rogue One to the Star Wars universe.

I really, really enjoyed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I highly recommend it!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is available April 4, 2017 on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, and Combo Packs!

What’s your favorite Star Wars movie? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Best Super Bowl Commercial: Darth Vader Kid

Little Vader stole our hearts

Out of all of the brilliant Super Bowl commercials of 2011, the one that stuck the most was the Volkswagen commercial for the new Passat. It featured 6 year old, Max Page, dressed as Darth Vader doing the imperial march about his house.

Funny thing is, Max has never seen Star Wars. Boy is he in for a treat.

Here’s the ad:

Vader’s apprentice from Force Unleashed now in Soulcalibur 4

Force Unleashed screenshot

In what appears to be a somewhat disturbing trend of cross-overs and cameos, we now have one more outlandish addition to Soulcalibur 4’s roster: Darth Vader’s apprentice. Star Wars nerds will be quick to point that there has been only one apprentice to Lord Vader, and that is the guy from Force Unleashed. So yeah, apparently he’s coming into Soulcalibur 4.

Darth Vader and Yoda have already been included into the roster, and we thought they were pretty much the only ones. For all we can guess now, though – we might have the entire Star Wars cast in a few seconds.

While Vader and Yoda were exclusive to the PS3 and the Xbox 360 respectively, the Force Unleashed apprentice will have no such restrictions and will be available to both consoles, because yeah – the loser apprentice is always nerfed enough to not be exclusive.

Meanwhile, rivalling series Mortal Kombat has got the DC Universe as a crossover. Batman vs. Sub-Zero or Lord Vader vs. Ivy? Must have!

Soulcalibur IV will be releasing on the Xbox 360 and PS3 on July 29. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, for the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo DS will be arriving on September 16.

StuffWeLike meets Darth Vader!

vader-standing.jpg

As if seeing James Bond’s car in the flesh wasn’t enough, look who I happened to bump into at the play.com videogame event on the weekend. Only thing missing was the Lightsaber. Hmmm, maybe that explains the lost expression.

Hit the jump for a closer look into the dark side, and a great polish job.

Continue reading “StuffWeLike meets Darth Vader!”

Soulcalibur IV: Vader, Yoda exclusive to PS3, 360 respectively

Lord Vader

1UP has been running an exclusive recently that the one game long awaited by both fighting game fans and deviant porn aficionados, Soulcalibur IV, will feature Darth Vader and Yoda in guest appearances. No wait, what? Yes, for real. Look at the screen above and you’ll know we aren’t making this up. They packed their bags and ran to Sony’s CES, where they found out what side of the Force the two consoles fell.

The PS3 (or Darth PS3) version of Soulcalibur IV is on the Dark Side and will feature Darth Vader, while the Xbox 360 (or Jedi Master 360) version will allow players to be Yoda. While Vader fighting Ivy is enough to get gamers like me spewing liquid all over the floor, we will probably not see a Vader vs. Yoda war in Soulcalibur, unless Namco Bandai decides downloadable content is cool.

Star Wars fanboys like me will see that the Vader and Yoda models as the most realistic ones seen in video games yet (and ironically, not handled by LucasArts) – they even look better than that Force Unleashed game coming out soon. And I don’t mean to nitpick, and I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something weird about that Darth Vader model. Hmm.

If downloadable content turns out to be a reality, it will also be great to see other Star Wars characters in these photorealistic renders, preferably Obi-Wan, Darth Maul and Jar-Jar Binks.

Oh shit. Before I get sacked, here’s the Sony CES trailer to make up for the boo-boo. Note Yoda and Darth Vader in a sneak preview towards the end.