Over the years the STAR WARS franchise has developed a cult fan following across the globe. After last year’s release STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS which was the sixth instalment in the franchise; we see the release of a parallel film in the same segment with ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY hitting screens. But will the new film, whose story runs parallel to the STAR WARS world entice the audience is what we analyse.
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, or simply ROGUE ONE, that promises to be an epic space opera film is the first Star Wars Anthology film that features a standalone story set shortly before the events of the original STAR WARS. The story follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), daughter of a high ranking Imperial scientist Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) who hides away as the Imperial forces arrive to recruit her father to help them assemble their weapon. Hidden away from the clutches of the Imperial forces, Jyn is raised by Saw Gerrera (Forrest Whitaker). However given the circumstances Jyn lands up among the prisoners on one of the Imperial labour camps. But fate has much bigger things instore for Jyn as she is rescued by the Rebellion and whisked away to their headquarters. Once there she learns that an Imperial cargo pilot has defected and is being held by Saw Gerrera. Jyn opts to assist the Rebellion seek an audience with Saw, in exchange for her freedom. But on arriving at Saw’s hideout, she learns of a message her father sent, which sets the wheels in motion for a bigger plot that sends a group of Rebel spies on a mission to steal design schematics for the Galactic Empire’s new superweapon, the Death Star.
ROGUE ONE starts off with an introduction quite like the STAR WARS (SW) franchise that promises the viewers a memorable space odyssey across lightyears. Keeping true to the other SW films, ROGUE ONE too features plenty of things happening on the screen. In fact by the end of the film there are high chances that viewers will be left with a somewhat tired feeling with all the movements. If that wasn’t all, the film also features well executed action sequences across the vast expanse of space and the beautiful beaches with some Jedi action as well. Besides the action ROGUE ONE also boasts of some stunning visual spectacles that will leave the viewer in awe. From massive spaceships suddenly appearing from the void after a hyperspace jump to well executed aerial dog fights between the Rebellion and Imperial aircrafts, the visuals are gripping.
Given the performances we have seen in the STAR WARS films, this one too features good performances from the cast. Felicity Jones does a commendable job with her role as Jyn Eros; though her dialogues are limited she manages to make an impact with her characterisation. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor fits his character perfectly, while Forrest Whitaker given his acting prowess is greatly underutilized. But, despite this director Gareth Edwards comes across as a man who clearly understands his craft of what makes for a great film. In fact Edwards brings even Donnie Yen’s supporting character of Chirrut Îmwe alive adding a much needed comedic relief to the plot.
On the whole, ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY makes for a fun watch, with special introductory scenes of key characters from the main STAR WARS franchise that are definitely not to be missed. Though the film is a bit predictable for those who have followed the franchise and does get a bit draggy in the middle, the short time frame and captivating 3D more than make up for it. At the Indian box office, considering the film’s limited release and lack of publicity, it will face an uphill task of recording impressive collections.