Although not part of the “episodes” and not centered around this one family of Skywalkers (who people online jokingly refer to to as the single family that keeps messing up the galaxy with their dram) Rogue One : A Star Wars Story is set in the same Universe and is a sequel that sits in wonderfully just before the events of Star Wars Episode 1 : A New Hope. A 2016 American epic space opera film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta, it is the first stand-alone film in the Star Wars Anthology series. Rogue One stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker.
The story follows the efforts of Jyn Erso, the daughter of the unwilling designer of the Galactic Empire’s superweapon, the Death Star, and her quest to retrieve his plans for destroying it. Jyn, sees her mother killed and her reclusive scientist father Galen Erso, being taken away by Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic to complete the work on the unfinished Death Star project. Jyn was instructed to hide in a secret place near their home and is found by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera who takes her in. Just what is it with Star Wars and lead characters being separated from their parents? Anakin, Leia & Luke, Rey and now this chick? Kinda seeing a trend over here.
Anyway she grows up and along the way is separated from Saw who felt she might be safer without him. Fifteen years later, Imperial cargo shuttle pilot Bodhi Rook defects, and smuggles a holographic message from Galen to Gerrera on the moon Jedha. Jyn is freed from Imperial captivity by the Rebels, who plan to use her to track down her father, telling her they will extract him. Along with them is a reprogrammed imperial droid K-2SO travel to Jedha. However, Rebel General Corssin covertly orders Rebel officer Cassian Andor to kill Galen rather than extract him. There they meet blind warrior Chirrut Îmwe and mercenary Baze Malbus, Jyn finds Gerrera, who is holding Rook. Gerrera shows her the hologram, in which her father expresses his love for her and explains that he has covertly compromised the Death Star’s design so it can be destroyed, directing them to find the plans at an Imperial high-security data bank on the planet Scarif.
Grand Moff Tarkin meets with Krennic on the Death Star and expresses skepticism about the project and its management. As a demonstration, Krennic uses a low-powered shot from the weapon to destroy Jedha’s capital and crush Gerrera’s insurgency, forcing Jyn and her group to flee with Rook; Gerrera elects to remain behind and die. Tarkin congratulates Krennic but then uses security breaches under Krennic’s command as a pretext to take control of the project. Krennic travels to Mustafar to seek support from Darth Vader and the Emperor, but Vader rebuffs his appeal. The Rebels track Galen to an Imperial research facility on the planet Eadu, but Cassian chooses not to assassinate Galen. Confronted by Krennic and his troops, Galen admits responsibility for the leaked information. A Rebel bombing raid begins, and Galen dies in Jyn’s arms. The Rebels escape in a stolen Imperial cargo shuttle. Jyn proposes a plan to steal the Death Star schematics from Scarif, but the Rebel leadership does not trust her so she, Cassian, K-2SO, Chirrut, Baze, Bodhi and a few other volunteers use the stolen Imperial shuttle to raid the data bank.
In a huge fight all the rebels are killed but Jyn to transmit the Death Star plans to the Rebel command ship. Tarkin fires the Death Star to destroy the compromised base. Krennic dies in the blast while Jyn and Cassian embrace just before they are killed by the ensuing shock wave. As the Rebel fleet retreats, an Imperial fleet led by Darth Vader intercepts some of the Rebel ships before they can jump to hyperspace. Vader boards the disabled Rebel flagship to retrieve the plans, cutting down the defense party only to watch a small starship escape with them. Aboard the fleeing ship, Princess Leia declares that the plans will provide hope for the Rebellion.
Though I found the story to be good and the visual effects and cinematography excellent I wasn’t as into this film as a lot of others. I liked a couple of the characters but there is very little character development and when they all die it isn’t traumatic. The film seems to be another reason to add to the expanding SW franchise and make a lot more money. I just didn’t feel it. 7.5 outta 10!