Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a fantastic encapsulation of hope, desperation and the ultimate cost of war, as it seamlessly slides into its place in the franchise's fold.
This franchise is clearly in good hands because Rogue One feels like both a nod to longtime fans and new territory all at the same time. Much like Episode VII The Force Awakens, Rogue One has a cast of loveable characters who you find yourself connected to and pulling for.
Director Gareth Edwards pulled everything together and gave Star Wars fans, even more, answers to the past, present and future. Seriously, midway through this movie I thought to myself, "it's almost like they made this movie for all the assclowns that would say 'how stupid is it to leave a flaw in the Death Star, how would that even happen ... blah blah blah ... you know the drill.'"
Felicity Jones was fantastic as Jyn Erso, whose character is a lot like Rey in more ways than just being a woman. I felt that she did a fantastic job in slowly turning her character into this strong, stern, full of hope heroine.
Diego Luna will keep you on your toes with his portrayal of Cassian Andor, a Rebel Alliance officer. Seriously, from the score playing in the background to Cassian's overall greasiness, this is a character that keeps fans guessing throughout the 133-minute movie.
Alan Tudyk as K-2SO, oh my goodness, K-2 immediately won my heart. We've been spoiled with a lot of good droids in our Star Wars lives, but none with the delivery, sass or sarcasm captured by the fantastic Alan Tudyk. This character serves not only as the comedic relief, but can lay the SmackDown when called upon. Another fantastic addition to the galaxy.
One last character I wanted to highlight was Forest Whitaker's Saw Gerrera. I felt that there was so much interest in what the heck Saw was all about throughout Rogue One, thanks to a fantastic, mysterious build filled with countless holes leaving fans guessing along the way. Whitaker turns half-man, half-machine as he channels his inner-whispery-raspy voice as a Rebel Extremist.
But, seriously, Rogue One is just an exhilarating joyride combination of spy movie mixed with a classic war movie mixed with that Star Wars lore. Felicity Jones does just as Daisy Ridley did in showing that girls can kick ass and be the lead in planet's biggest film franchises. Jones not only carries the torch, but takes it another step with Jyn.
This is such an emotional character that audiences will feel a strong connection to, because she is this relatable person who feels destined to take on the greatest evils of the Galaxy.
She portrays a lonely fugitive trying to infiltrate Imperial bases to steal the plans for the Death Star. It doesn't get much better than that. Jones makes this story worth telling through her reserved nature as she slowly moves from despondent loaner to one of the key figures in the Rebellion.
Rogue One has something for old and new fans alike as it gives more depth to the ever-growing Star Wars galaxy of films. Jon said it earlier this week in his State of the Union address for Star Wars and I will reiterate it:
This franchise is in the right hands.
Rogue One is a story that needed to be told and it now fits for any fan right before the start of Episode IV: A New Hope. War is about great loss and can be decided by inches and ounces of hope, and that's what this movie is all about.
Check back after the weekend for more spoilery discussions.