SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses various significant aspects to the plot and character development. If you have yet to watch the film, read at your own risk.
Like the many legendary productions of it’s time, the Star Wars enterprise is one whose die-hard fans, intergalactic battles, and otherworldly characters create an electric aura that surrounds that renowned name.
As I settled myself in the plush seats of La Jolla’s Arclight theater, my feet began tapping in anxious anticipation of the cinematic marvel I was sure Lucasfilm would deliver.
The theme music began, the bright logo filled the screen, and from that moment I was lost in the thrilling roller-coaster ride of emotions that constituted Rogue One. (Though I was momentarily taken aback by the lack of crawling plot text).
I cried as young Jyn Erso ( the protagonist) and her family suffered at the hands of the villainous, ruthless Empire. I forced myself to close my mouth after it swung open at the shock of realizing Jyn’s father, Galen Erso, was alive. I got goosebumps every time I heard Darth Vader’s ominous breathing, and I gasped at the iconic moment when former Empire pilot Bodhi Rook announced the Rebellion’s stolen cargo ship call sign as “Rogue One”.
The film itself is a direct prequel to the first Star Wars movie, Episode IV: A New Hope and managed to reference the original film by devoting precious moments of on-screen time to Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia Organa.
I was struck by the technical superiority of the film’s computer generated imagery (CGI) in comparison to all the previous installments. I blinked, and blinked again, as a wave of emotions (and tears) rushed over me when I saw the magical effects of CGI creating a young Carrie Fisher on screen again.
I had walked into the theater harboring doubts about whether this Star Wars Story would be able to hold its own next to the original Star Wars trilogies, but left shaking my head in awe, my mind whirling with the dramatic action packed plot of the movie.
While many fans swarmed the theaters for the debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the opportunity to see the ravishing Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Rogue One brought something different to cinema.
It may not have brought back the dynamic duo that is Han Solo and Chewbacca “Chewy”, but Rogue One’s exceptional cinematography, empowering female lead, and fantastically choreographed fight scenes left me hankering for more.
So as I walked out of the theater and my eyes, as big as dinner plates, adjusted to the light outside, my hope as a rebel ally was renewed, because after all, to quote Cassian Andor, that’s what rebellions are built on.