WARNING!! THE FOLLOWING MOVIE IS CURRENTLY IN ITS THEATRICAL RUN. THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN HEAVY SPOILERS, PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Research scientist Galen Erso is in hiding on the planet Lah’mu when Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic arrives to take him to complete the unfinished Death Star, a space station-based superweapon capable of destroying an entire planet. His wife Lyra is killed in the ensuing confrontation, but their daughter Jyn escapes and is taken to safety by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.
Fifteen years later, pilot Bodhi Rook defects from the Empire, smuggling a holographic message from Galen to Gerrera on the desert moon of Jedha. After learning about Rook’s defection, Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor frees Jyn from Imperial captivity and brings her to the Rebels, who plan to use her to extract Galen and learn more about the Death Star. Unbeknownst to Jyn, however, Cassian is covertly ordered to kill Galen rather than extract him.
Jyn, Andor, and reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO travel to Jedha, where the Empire is mining kyber crystals to power the Death Star while Gerrera and his partisans are engaged in an armed insurgency against them. With the aid of blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Îmwe and his mercenary friend Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera, who has been holding Rook captive. Gerrera shows her the message, in which Galen reveals he has secretly compromised the Death Star’s design so it can be destroyed, directing them to retrieve the schematics located in a high-security Imperial data bank on the planet Scarif.
On the Death Star, Krennic orders a low-powered shot from the superlaser to destroy Jedha’s capital, causing Jyn and her group to take Rook and flee the planet, but Gerrera and his group are killed. Grand Moff Tarkin congratulates Krennic before using Rook’s defection and security leak as a pretext to take control of the project.
Rook leads the group to Galen’s Imperial research facility on the planet Eadu, where Cassian chooses not to kill Galen. When Krennic directs that Galen’s main team be killed for causing the security leak, Galen confesses that he is responsible. Jyn makes her presence known just moments before Rebel bombers attack the facility, resulting in Galen being wounded. Jyn reunites with her father only to have him die in her arms before she escapes with her group onboard a stolen Imperial cargo shuttle. Krennic visits Darth Vader, seeking support with granting an audience with the Emperor, but Vader dismisses his appeal for recognition.
Jyn proposes a plan to steal the Death Star schematics using the Rebel fleet but fails to get approval from the Alliance Council. Frustrated at their inaction, Jyn’s group is supported by a small squad of Rebels intent on raiding the data bank themselves. Arriving at Scarif via the stolen Imperial ship, which Rook dubs “Rogue One”, a disguised Jyn and Cassian enter the base with K-2SO while volunteers attack the resident Imperial garrison as a distraction. The Rebel fleet learns about the raid from intercepted Imperial communications and deploy in support. Rook is killed by a grenade just after informing the Rebel fleet that it must deactivate the shield surrounding the planet to allow Jyn and Cassian to transmit them the schematics. K-2SO sacrifices himself so Jyn and Cassian can retrieve the data. Despite this, Jyn and Cassian are ambushed by Krennic, who has traveled to Scarif, and shoots Cassian.
Îmwe is killed after activating the master switch to allow communication with the Rebel fleet while Malbus is killed shortly after. Most of the Rebel squad are killed as well. Krennic corners Jyn, declaring the Empire’s victory, but Cassian, still alive, shoots Krennic. Jyn transmits the schematics to the Rebel command ship. The Death Star enters Scarif’s orbit, where Tarkin uses the weapon to destroy the Empire’s base. Krennic dies instantly, while Jyn and Cassian embrace on a beach before dying in the ensuing shock wave.
The Rebel fleet prepares to jump to hyperspace only to be attacked by Vader’s flagship. Vader boards the command ship and massacres several troops in his pursuit of the schematics as a small starship (the Tantive IV) escapes with them onboard. Aboard the fleeing ship, Princess Leia declares that the schematics will provide hope for the Rebellion, as the Tantive IV warps off to the Outer Rim.
To be continued… Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
This was actually pretty good. I was a bit concerned at first, since the director only did one movie, and the last guy who did a major movie ended up ruining his career. But, I’m actually very impressed with what Gareth Edwards brought to the table. Michael Giacchino took over for John Williams, and I gotta say, you could barely tell the difference, if fact if Williams was to not work on Episode IX, I’d love for Giacchino to do the music instead. The cast was great as well, though I do admit we could’ve done without the cameo by Jimmy Smits. Speaking of cast, let’s get to the controversy about the movie, and that was the “return” of Peter Cushing as Tarkin, now some people found it disturbing, others thought it was good, and most people thought it was unnecessary. I really didn’t mind it that much, I also didn’t mind the “cameo” from Leia at the end either.
And Vader, good God Vader. Well, alright I was a little concerned after his little Dunkelman-esque pun he gave Krennic (in fact I even joked, “oh, he’s still got a little prequel in him.”), but he completely made up for it in the end.
Overall, it was a very decent movie, and was huge step up from the prequels.
RANK: 4 out of 5
So, welcome to 2017, hopefully this makes up for not reviewing Force Awakens. Next, I give my long overdue review of the Power Rangers trailer.
In Memory of Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) and Debbie Reynolds (1932-2016)