Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Directed by: Gareth Edwards

Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed & Forest Whitaker

What has the director done before?
British-born Gareth Edwards is well known for directing the 2010 indie sci-fi splash Monsters for a small budget of $500,000 which catapulted him into fame as it was shot in 3 weeks, with a production crew of 6 people and was a box office success, grossing $ 4.2 million dollars. He recently directed the 2015 remake of Godzilla, which grossed $529 million worldwide, It is no surprise after this much success he was tapped to helm the new Star Wars spin-off. Gareth Edwards cites George Lucas and Steven Spielberg as his biggest influences, which is evident in Rogue One: A Star Wars story which greatly refers to the earlier Star Wars movie.

What was it about?
For the more well versed Star Wars fan, the period in which Rogue One is set would be clear, however, with so many Star Wars films and spin-offs flying around it’s hard to get a grasp of anything when everything is going at warp speed. In layman’s term Rogue One is set just before Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and explains who built the Death Star a weapon central to the Star Wars film and how the Rebel Alliance got the blueprint to the Death Star, to be able to destroy it.

Could it have been better?
Yes, Rogue One: A Star Wars story could be better, but everything that isn’t the original Star Wars films are always going to be underwhelming. The reason for this is that each iteration or spin-off has an underlying tone of chasing the same “high” as with the original films. The problem is we can’t go back in time and recreate the same excitement around the original Star Wars films. Despite this each director that gets the chance to direct a new Star Wars film insists on using this opportunity to pay homage to the original movies, which is understandable of course but a hindrance to the films. The Star Wars spin-off tend to be nostalgic remakes for older audiences rather than exciting explorations into the Star Wars universe’s that can entertain and excite new audiences.

Who gave the best performance?
The acting resembled the stage like acting of the original movies some of the dialogue was very sentimental to the original Star Wars movies – the conversation mainly consisted of four words “faith,” “hope,” “rebellion” and “force” which is fine but also made it lack realism. Despite the dialogue, the person who gave the best performance was Diego Luna who for a non-English speaker was able to break through his accent by displaying the raw emotions that would exist in a tense and troubled rebel who has seen too many days on the battlefield.

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