Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm *****
MEGA. The one word review my young apprentice used upon the credits blaring at the end of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
This is the prequel that George Lucas should have made. And yet, this is a Star Wars film that George Lucas could never have made:
This is not a Star Wars film, this is a war movie.
There is no place for comic relief or cuddly toy sales in Rogue One. Quite frankly, but for the consistently clean kills that blasters create in deep space, there is no way this film should be a 12a.
That Rogue One conjures up so many memories of Saving Private Ryan demonstrates the unparalleled death toll. Where Star Wars has always defined a vision of good and evil, black and white, Rogue One operates in an infinitely greyer shade:
“we’ve all done terrible things in the name of the Rebellion” – Cassian Andor
In Rogue One, we see Rebels who have been ostracised by the Alliance for being extremists. The parallels with our current political and religious climates are deliberately overt. The band of rogues the story centres on are as diverse a group of actors as have ever been seen in a Star Wars movie. The acting talent is absolutely incredible.
Some reviews have suggested more time could be devoted to building their characters. I disagree. In war, where so many people suffer, so few soldiers survive, the detached nature makes the film seem like the very minuscule element of the overarching Star Wars saga that it is.
The beauty of this film is that it was created for the fans. No attempt is made to ease new viewers in to the story. Quite frankly, anyone who hasn’t grown up on the films might get lost in the complexity of it all. But for fans, Rogue One is phenomenal piece of story telling.