Stars: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Alan Tudyk, Wen Jiang, Riz Ahmed, & James Earl Jones.
Director: Gareth Edwards
Screenplay: Tony Gilroy & Chris Weitz.
War. Desperation. Empire. Rebellion. Hope. Star Wars.
This is a different story to what we know. This is not a story about a family who's bloodline is carried on over a saga in tragedy. This story is about people who are living under the ever more repressive Empire regime as the flags are flying over the galaxy. This dark shadow is looming over the outskirts, fear is following the many, and the Empire's influence is stealing people's right to their freedom and peace. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is just one of many who's lives have been destroyed by the Empire and her life will go down in history just as that.
This is a small story told in epic fashion. In some instances it feels as it is a folktale told to many over the centuries about a small team who placed everything on the line in a desperate attempt to halt the Empire's tread. At other times it feels so immediate, that all that matters is what is happening here and now. Rogue One has the ability for you to care for only what happens now, never caring about what this little rebellion will have on the future of the saga.
For the first time Star Wars feels like a war that is happening in the stars. This is a small guerrilla team that is doing its bit for the war effort. This is not about good vs. evil, the seek for power, the ultimate destiny of the Sith or Jedi—it even feels a bit odd to mention the Sith and Jedi here. This is about the women and men who are fighting for their little place in the universe, and somehow that makes it all the more romantic.
I really loved this film, with the knowledge that this is it, there is no more for this team is heartbreaking but it really helps you focus on their sacrifice. It grounds the Star Wars universe to something more real. These people do not hold the fate of the galaxy in their hands but they do contain the one attribute that connects the next six episodes; hope.