Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is being billed as a stand-alone film. That’s not exactly accurate. This fills an important gap between Episode III and Episode IV, and is a plug-in rather than a stand alone.
Felicity Jones (Inferno) plays Jyn Erso. When Jyn was a child, her father was conscripted by the Empire to help build the Death Star. He doesn’t want to go and sends her into hiding. She never sees him again.
Years later, Jyn learns that her father isn’t a bad guy after all, and he planted a flaw in the Death Star. Intrigued by the thought that she might see her father again, Jyn makes the most foreign move of her life and joins the rebellion in an effort to find her father, the Death Star’s plans and its flaw.
Diego Luna (Y Tu Mama Tambien) is Cassian Andor, Jyn’s rebel collaborator. They co-star with Riz Ahmed (Jason Bourne), who does a pilot sent by Jyn’s dad with the news of the flaw. James Earl Jones reprises the voice of Darth Vader. Animation vocal specialist Alan Tudyk (Moana, Zootopia) steals the show as Andor’s best machine friend K-250.
The most uncomfortable scenes are those with Death Star commander Grand Moff Tarkin. In Episode IV, he’s played by Peter Cushing, who died in 1994. Director Gareth Edwards (2014’s Godzilla) digitally places Cushing’s face on the actor playing the part.
It’s kinda creepy.
This is where I will get into trouble. Or to quote a friend, “How can you not like a Star Wars movie?” Easy. Rogue One’s action sequences are mind-boggling and some of the best of the eight films. The overwhelming effects can’t — however — pump up an underwhelming plot. Like all Star Wars projects, there isn’t enough story to fill two hours and 13 minutes, and the non-action and non-interesting, stereotype characters suck the life out of two-thirds of the movie.
The Force definitely isn’t with this one.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director: Gareth Edwards
Stars: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, James Earl Jones, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Jimmy Smits
Mr. Movie rating: 2 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, some violence. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco 12 and Queensgate 12, and Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.