“I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.” – Chirrut Îmwe
Even after leaving the theater, these words still leave chills in me, and it brings up a well of emotions i haven’t felt in a long time.
Star Wars: Rogue One delivers some much needed unique story to the Star Wars franchise. Little was known about the team that acquired the Death Star plans, and not much was known aside from Leia Organa’s statement in Episode IV that “A lot of good people died getting their hands on these plans.” and now its been made clear just how big a tragedy this story arc is to the overall Skywalker-centric universe.
The events take place between Episode III (Revenge of the Sith) and Episode IV (A New Hope). The tale unravels the life of Jyn Erso, daughter of the scientist behind the creation of the Death Star’s main weapon. It also details how the events leading up to Episode IV show a much greater threat from the Empire, and how the Rebellion seemed like a lost cause. It paints a clear picture that past the events of Episode III, the Empire is at the brink of succeeding in their galactic quest for order and peace (through fear and death).
But just like real life, there will be victims of such a campaign. Those that wish to rule with an iron first will find that the descendants of those they have “quelled” will rise up.
Much can be said about Jyn, who was ok with the current Galactic Order that the Empire was doling out. But as events and relationships unravel, her, and her rag-tag band of rebels see that there is indeed no other way out but to fight. Much to the disagreement of the Rebel Alliance, they eventually banded together to back-up Jyn’s mission to Scarif.
Seeing Jedha as the first victim of the Death Star echoed some of the horrors to come when her power is unleashed on Alderan.
Some of my favorite scenes come from Yavin IV, the rebel base Vader seeks to stamp out in Episode IV. We had bits and pieces of it, but seeing the drama unfold in a shakey alliance rings too close to home. A desperate people, merely wanting to live out in peace. But their ideals will soon be stamped out by the power, might and oppression of a Galactic Empire ruled by evil.
All in all it was a very refreshing take on the Star Wars franchise. Especially with the story revolving around non-force users and the sad tragedy that the most they have to offer are their lives to a cause. But what glorious lives those were.
Special mention goes to Donnie Yen’s character; Chirrut Îmwe. A guardian of an old religion. Not powerful enough in the force to be a Jedi, but in-tune with it enough to know when the Force has a direct hand in all things. Its through his eyes (or lack thereof) that guides us viewers that the force is, indeed, a power that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together (or at least each integral portion of the saga known as Star Wars).
But hey, this review is only a scratch at the surface of what is an awesome take on the universe. It gives us much more depth to the desperation and darkness the Empire has over the galaxy. That and the definition of “A new hope” wherein hope is not defined by a Skywalker, but rather the selfless actions of Jyn Erso vkox4qn.
We could surely use more of Rogue One’s members in real life. Especially in this day and age where dark times surround us once more.
So go see the movie! It’d rate it 8 out of 10 stars. I’d have given it a higher rating if not for the slow start for character build up. But to see Donnie Yen immediately create a stand-out character, well some balance could have been struck in the first part of the film to make her move faster.
Here’s another review by some friends of ours at the Rule of Nerd.