“There is no Rogue One!” “There is now!”

This new sci-fi adventure fits in between episode III and IV in the Star Wars timeline, and follows the mission to obtain the Death Star plans from the Imperials. If you have no idea what any of that means, then you might find the film a little hard to follow.

In an attempt to make the movie understandable to Star Wars virgins, they have introduced a whole new set of characters, so you don’t need to have any knowledge of their backstory. However, they seem to have forgotten that terms such as Imperials, Rebels and Death Star aren’t universally known.

Whether you are a Star Wars fan or novice, most are familiar with the opening crawl; text rising into deep space accompanied by John Williams’ score, a sight that transforms fans into excitable 10 year olds. However this stand-alone film has decided not to include this, but instead plunges straight into the action which carries on tirelessly throughout. This may upset some fans due to the breaking of tradition, but also would have been helpful to bring new viewers up to speed.

Felicity Jones gives a terrific performance during the many fight scenes, however all characters are outshone by a sassy droid called K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) who brings the much needed comic relief and quick wit needed to cut through all the intense action.

A character who provides the wow factor is Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin), who in fact sadly died 22 years ago. The incredible powers of CGI have resurrected his character, as well as Princess Leia, enabling this film to slot seamlessly between the others. The special effects are literally out of this world, the fans can now see Darth Vader performing stunts that would have been impossible in the 70s.

As well as being a big action blockbuster, this is clearly a film made for the fans, transporting them into their own galaxy far far away.

★★★★

 

First published in Marketplace Magazine, Bourne.

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