Your New Favorite Star Wars Movie Will Be Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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If you haven’t figured it out yet,  I’m a massive Star Wars fan. You’ll find a piece of fandom somewhere on me at all times. This week I got to go see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at a special screening, and it took me a few days to gather my thoughts and pick my mouth up off the floor. The first thing I will tell you is that if you’re looking to prepare for the movie then watch Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and then Episode IV: A New Hope. I know Episode III is hard to watch, but I promise you that to better understand Rogue One you should watch it.

For a small refresher, we are left with the Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) giving order 66 to the clone army to destroy all of the Jedi. While his new apprentice, Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker), helps bring down the Jedi Order of all ages so that he can learn the ways of the Dark Side to save Padmé from death. In the final scenes, we see Luke (to Tatooine) and Leia (to Bail Organa in Alderaan) being separated at birth and Padmé passing away. Darth Vader oversees the construction of the Death Star in the final scene. Rogue One is the bridge between that moment and the moment A New Hope starts.  

Rogue One is the first standalone movie that doesn’t follow the Skywalker family and introduces new characters and the role they play in the Star Wars galaxy. 

I am one with the Force, and the Force is one with me. 

This is my review so there may be spoilers ahead. If you don’t want to know anything about the movie, just stop reading and buy your tickets now. I’ll be seeing it a second time this weekend.

Get $5 off your Rogue One: A Star Wars Story tickets when you use promo code JAMONKEY at checkout on the Atom Tickets app

 I’d also like to add that this is one Star Wars movie that I wouldn’t plan on bring your little’s too. At least watch the movie first before making that choice. 

That's no moon! Photo credit: Lucasfilm/ILM
That’s no moon!
Photo credit: Lucasfilm/ILM
You have to wonder, why is it that one ship has the ability to blow up a massive space station like the Death Star. Rogue One is your answer to that burning question. 

Here are 5  reasons why Rogue One is now one of my top favorite Star Wars film:

  1. We gain another bad ass female leader in the Star Wars story named Jyn Orso (Felicity Jones). The rebellion is still young and lacks the foothold to make them a force to be reckoned with. With news of a planet destroyer, the need to act fast has come. It is a time of great conflict even within the rebellion. But someone has to stand up and do something. Orphaned as a child when the Director Orson Krennic (the creator of the Death Star) takes Jyn’s father and kills her mother. She is raised by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) a separatist in the rebellion that does things much differently. 
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story..L to R: Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk)..Ph: Jonathan Olley..© 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story..L to R: Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk)..Ph: Jonathan Olley.
  2. Seeing old faces. We get to see some familiar faces in the movie as well. Of course, Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) is one of the crowds favorite, but mine was seeing another bad ass female character. We also got to see Mon Mothma and Bail Organa during some of the rebellion council meetings. Keep your eyes peeled on Jedha for some other trouble makers you may recognize. 
  3. Funny characters. K-2SO (played by Alan Tudyk) and Chirrut Îmwe steal the show with some of their hilarious one liners. Alan Tudyk takes the funny droid comments to a whole new level with some newly reformated snark. They both were a much needed comical relief in such a heavy story. K-2SO stole the show, hands down. 
  4. Non-stop action. The movie is go-go-go the whole time. We are only offered short breaks before running off on the next mission.
  5. Same Star Wars, but better. I’m not a fan of romance in action movies. I’m not a fan of romance period, so I’m totally fine when it isn’t in my films. Rogue One doesn’t really have any love stories so you can focus on the magnitude of the mission which is the get the Death Star plans. I feel like the franchise is doing right by the fans. They aren’t destroying George Lucas’ legacy. I can’t wait to see some of the other movies coming up like the Han Solo one. 
    Darth Vader Photo credit: Lucasfilm/ILM
    Darth Vader Photo credit: Lucasfilm/ILM

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. 

This one line from the synopsis should sum up the movie perfectly for you (after you watch it). You’ll understand exactly what they meant by this. 

Some movie magic for you. The planet of Scarif is an abandoned airfield in England. “We shipped in 2,000 tons of sand in about 200 truckloads,” Lamont relates, “and imported over 60 palm trees from Spain and various greenery from the U.K. We also needed to build a beach and the special effects team had the great idea of recycling water from the tank at Pinewood so it wouldn’t be wasted.” In fact, the art department recycled 800,000 liters of water, about 5,000 baths full, into a giant tank measuring 200 feet by 100 feet. All told, the final set measured a staggering 700 feet by 500 feet, or about eight acres, and perfectly mirrored the locale of the Maldives where a reduced unit would later film. Pretty awesome. 

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle. Buy me a coffee

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