Release Date: 5 April 2017
Format: DVD Blu-ray
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn
Expanding five lines from A New Hope’s crawl into a spin-off feature (and you thought The Hobbit Trilogy was ambitious), Rogue One tells a Star Wars story we sort of know already – the theft of the Death Star plans by the Rebel Alliance. It all hinges on info imparted by the Imperial battle station’s designer, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), whose daughter Jyn (Felicity Jones) discovers her father has built an inherent weakness into the Death Star which the Rebels can exploit. Leading a mission to the planet Scarif, where the Empire’s archives are kept, Jyn and the Rebels face opposition from the Death Star’s head of security, Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), who answers to a certain Imperial Governor we’ve met before… Closer in tone to WWII films like The Guns of Navarone than A New Hope, Rogue One is undeniably grim for a Star Wars film – even more so than The Empire Strikes Back. Director Gareth Edwards ensures the look matches the 1977 original and shoots the relentless battle scenes – AT-AT ground assaults and TIE fighter/X-wing dogfights – with the undisguised glee of a fanboy in his dream job. The Force Awakens was a worthy Star Wars sequel, and Rogue One is the first worthy prequel.