Review: Star Wars – Rogue One is a rollicking revolutionary story with sardonic droid wit

by | Dec 22, 2016 | History, Seradata News | 0 comments

While the formal Star Wars story has had its beginnings explained in the subsequently-made less-than-good triumvirate of prequels (even if the third of these was not too bad), nevertheless, there was a strand from the very first made Star Wars film (the fourth of now seven films in the main storyline) which has allowed yet another prequel film to be made. This one is called Star Wars – Rogue One (directed by Gareth Edwards).

Star Wars (1977), which was subsequently called Star Wars – A New Hope, was a Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers-like space story, drawing inspiration from 1960s war films like 633 Squadron, The Longest Day, and Lawrence of Arabia (especially its rocky desert settings). It then blended them with the romantic style of films like Casablanca, and with the supernatural, religious and medieval undercurrents of Arthurian-style legend. And boy was it awe inspiring to us youngsters at the time.

Most readers will know from that first movie that the Death Star planet killing machine had a weakness in which a correctly aimed bomb could achieve its destruction (think 633 Squadron again), and remember that it was “spies” who found this out. And this new “Rogue One” adventure is the story of how those spies got the info on how it should be done.

To go any further will be a spoiler the fun, except to note this film, like Star Wars – The Force Awakens, again has a strong lead female character, this time called Jyn (played by Felicity Jones), who is, in turn, connected via her designer dad (played by Mads Mikkelson), to the construction of the Death Star.

And trying to stop her and her merry band of revolutionaries from getting the Death Star’s plans are some old faces. The late horror film actor Peter Cushing, in all his sunken-cheeked glory, has been brought back to life for his original evil imperial Governor Tarkin role using computer animation and vocal signature copying. While you can just about still tell that he is a figment of a computer’s imagination, it is a sign of things to come. The actors’ union Equity should be worried.

Just as C3PO and his R2D2 accomplice did before him, the star of this film is a new robot droid called K-2SO…whose sardonic wit, as voiced by Alan Tudyk, steals many a scene.

But like the Game of Thrones sword and sorcery TV drama, it is best not get too attached to any of the characters. As happened in the first Star Wars film and most recently in Star Wars -The Force Awakens, the series has no qualms about ruthlessly knocking some of them off – even those in the old guard.

So, in conclusion then: while computer-generated dog-fighting battles are a little over used and a little too fast to follow at times, a fault present since George Lucas became enamoured with computer generated image (CGI) animation (he even used it retrospectively to mess with the original Star Wars cut) the rollicking action and taut tension scenes still make this new movie an excellent watch.

Seradata rating: 9 out of 10 for the crew of Rogue One. Recommended. May the Force be with you…as it certainly was with it.

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