"All is as the force wills it." ~ Rogue One
The latest Star Wars film is the first franchise spin-off and story in the Star Wars Anthology Series. Rogue One is set in the time frame between episodes III and IV, and, while viewers do run into some old favorites, introduces us to a new set of players. I am far from a Star Wars expert, but I have to admit. I loved this film. I liked it better than last year's The Force Awakens, despite the nostalgic draw that film had with the return of all our favorite characters. My son, the Star Wars fanatic in the house, loved Rogue One as well, despite feeling the need to point out the discrepancies in the plot to previous tales in the series. (Don't ask me....I have no idea what he was talking about.)
Rogue One is different than other Star Wars films - probably why I liked it so much. It represented a level of heroic sacrifice not really seen in other films in the series. Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and Diego Luna as Cassian Andor were perfectly cast and had great on-screen chemistry. The biggest takeaway from the film, one that had me turning to my son in the theater and whispering, "I don't believe this," is the fact that something happens in the movie that I don't recall ever happening in any other film. Naturally, I am not going to spoil it for you.
Without going into too many plot points and ruining the film for you, the general premise behind Rogue One is a how an unlikely band of rebels take on a mission that seemed too great for the Rebel Alliance. However, not seeing any other choice, the group, led by Jyn and Cassian, decides to take matters into their own hands and risk everything to fight the Imperial Army and save the universe from the Empire's latest weapon.
Watch Official Trailer
As I mentioned previously, there are some very fun and exciting new characters, including my favorite, K-2SO played by Alan Tudyk. Rogue One also stars Mads Mikkelsen, Jiang Wen, Donnie Yen, and Forest Whitaker. It may help to have prior Star Wars knowledge, but it is certainly not mandatory to enjoy this film. Rogue One is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action.
With that said and while we are on the subject of rating, may I vent one more time about parents who take children well below the 13-year-old age suggestion to PG-13 films. I understand your 4-year-old may like Star Wars toys and pajamas, but this film, like all other PG-13 films, deals with subject matter not suitable for very young children. There are a ton of explosives, mass destruction, fight scenes, and deaths. In addition, there is no way they are going to follow the story line. They will be bored and restless - just ask the preschooler who was running up and down my aisle in the theater.