Rogue One is the true story of the previously unsung gang of rebels who swiped the plans to the Death Star in A New Hope.
Angry loner Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is sprung from prison by the Rebel Alliance to exploit her connections to her Imperial scientist dad Galen Erso. She ends up leading a rag-tag group of those rebels in a bid to stop Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) delivering the weapon to the Empire.
Krennic reports to a terrifying overseer- Darth Vader – who you might recall never much liked the Death Star. After it is unleashed for the first time he tells Krennic that they’ll blag the Senate that the city they just wiped out was destroyed in a mining accident.
Now, I’m not up on my galactic politics, but wouldn’t the Death Star require significant funds that would have thrown up a few red flags in some kind of purchasing committee?
Rogue One is not so much a lead-in to A New Hope as a broadside that either shows up all the original’s flaws or enhances it, I’m not sure.
The fight scene between Vader and Obi-Wan has aged badly and looks even worse after seeing the way Vader moves in Rogue One.
On the other hand, it always jarred that Tarkin was ‘holding Vader’s leash’ in the first movie, before we get all-out badass Vader in Empire. CGI Tarkin seems to acknowledge Lord Vader’s talents in Rogue One, so I’m reinterpreting their New Hope relationship as one of grudging respect.
We read about the reshoots and clashes over the tone of the movie, but whatever went down, Star Wars has apparently delivered on its first standalone gamble. For future success, all Star Wars standalones should feature Vader going berserk in the final five minutes.