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!