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Movie Review: Rogue One – Two Views

By: Anton Massopust III

“We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope” – Jyn Erso

If you’ve ever read any of the Star Wars novels growing up, that’s exactly what Rogue One feels like. Rather than just being about a rag tag group of rebels (which it is), it tells an emotional tale of a family torn apart by the Empire. Galen Erso is an engineer forced by the Empire to work on the Death Star, the super weapon that the Empire hopes will allow it rule the galaxy and destroy the fledgling Rebellion. In the opening moments, Galen and his daughter Jyn are separated and a decade later, the rebels capture Jyn and convince her to help them to locate her father and verify that the super weapon actually exists. Is he the man she knew as a child? Or is he working on behalf of the Empire?

When they realize that the weapon is real, the Rebellion cannot agree on a course of action, despite Jyn making an impassioned plea to find the plans and steal them. Jyn and the others who have taken the journey so far decide to go that last step to stop the Empire and hopefully rescue her father. Making the journey are Jyn, Casian (the rebel who captured her), his droid K2SO (voiced brilliantly by Alan Tudyk) an Imperial pilot who defected and two members of the Guardians of the Whills, a sect whose goal was to protect the Cyber crystals (which the Empire has now used to power the Death Star).

The movie takes some time to get going but when it does, it has some of the best moments of any Star Wars movie. I genuinely cared about the characters in the movie. The special effects and the different planets that we go to are awesome. You have that feeling that you’re flying alongside the x-wings and Tie fighters. A number of familiar faces from Episode 4 appear in this film which is sure to excite the fans. Rogue One is the second Star Wars film to be rated PG-13 so you might wonder if you can take the kids. You absolutely can, but adults would be advised to bring some tissues.

By: Katherine Massopust

In this new prequel to “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Rogue One” tells the tale of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), the daughter of Engineer Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) who was forced by Imperial Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) to build the Death Star for the Empire.  Galen’s daughter, Jyn Erso escapes from the Empire and is raised by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker).

Fast Forward to 20 years later. After leaving Gerrera (at age 15), Jyn was eventually captured by the Empire and now in an Imperial Camp. Jyn is rescued from the Imperial Camp by the Rebel Alliance in order to find out if the Death Star exists and if so, how to stop it.

The plot gets more involved, but I don’t want to give away everything. “Rogue One” explains why the Empire would overlook such a weakness as a small exhaust port that would destroy the Death Star instantly if fired upon by proton torpedoes. The film also explains why the original Death Star in Star Wars took twenty years to build and the one in Return of the Jedi took around four years to build. It also explains how the Death Star Plans were taken by the Alliance and the importance of the lives lost when fighting for a cause.

The characters are memorable such as the droid K-2SO (the anti-C3PO voiced by Alan Tudyk), Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and others which include a diverse cast. Jimmy Smits reprises his role as Senator Bail Organa and Genevieve O’Reilly reprises her role as Mon Mothma (the leader of the Rebel Alliance). Guy Henry voices a computer generated Governor Tarkin (Originally portrayed in “Star Wars: A New Hope” by Peter Cushing). James Earl Jones reprises his role as the voice of Darth Vader (who does make an appearance).

“Rogue One” is gritty and the action is nonstop. The special effects are first rate as expected from any Star Wars Movie. “Rogue One” is an excellent movie, but it is not a traditional Star Wars film. It’s about war, the importance of believing in what you are fighting for and the cost of freedom. Director Gareth Edwards wanted to make a special film and he succeeded. You feel for the characters and what they are fighting for. Several scenes in “Rogue One” were reshot and others deleted because Edwards didn’t like them. Whatever the reason, “Rogue One” is a special film.

A couple of side notes that I felt about the movie.

1.) I found it disturbing when the insurgents placed bombs under Imperial tanks.

2.) I loved Orson Krennic’s outfit.

3.) The droid K-2SO is so funny. (If you look at Star Wars Artist Ralph McQuarrie’s original design for C-3PO – it’s K-2SO!)

4.) It was great to see a strong female leader in Jyn Erso.

Don’t miss “Rogue One.” Enjoy the film as it was meant to be – on the big screen! A must see for any Star Wars fan!

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