‘Star Wars’ is about war (clue’s in the name), but these glamorous tales of Jedi heroism have always felt detached from the realities of their respective conflicts. Until now.
Immediately prior to ‘Episode IV’, self-serving loner Jyn Erso is recruited by the Rebel Alliance to steal the plans for her estranged father’s creation; the infamous Death Star.
With its “boots on the ground” perspective, ‘Rogue One’ riffs on classic war movies far more than any sci-fi influence. Be it an intimate street fight or a sweeping battle scene, there’s a grit, intensity and a sense of desperation rarely seen in 12A films.
Felicity Jones gives a stellar performance, capturing Jyn’s formidable strength and moments of vulnerability on her journey from disillusioned outsider to selfless heroine. Backup comes in the form of a fantastic ensemble of diverse and endearing characters. No drawn out backstory exposition; the richness of the characters speaks for itself. Diego Luna’s troubled rebel and Alan Tudyk’s acerbic droid deserve particular recognition.
‘Rogue One’ slots perfectly into its canonical niche, but it takes this familiar universe in a new direction with such grace and panache that it deserves to be remembered as far more than just a spin-off.