As a spin-off from the original Star Wars series, you may think Rogue One might just be a pleasant distraction from the ongoing franchise.
However, this film is far more than a bolt-on to the main films.
And in my humble opinion it ranks alongside that superb 1977 original (now slotted in as the fourth in the series) for sheer powerful story-telling, great characters and superb effects.
It’s a Star Wars for a more mature audience.
If you like the movies for their quirky aliens, humour and general fun then you may be disappointed.
This is a far darker tale which doesn’t take easy decisions when it comes to the plot.
Set just before that 1977 ‘A New Hope’ film, we meet a young Jyn Erso who sees her father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) whisked away to help build the Death Star.
Years later and the grown-up Jyn (Felicity Jones) is in prison and pretty much only out to look after number one.
However, she gets involved in the rebellion against the Empire (Darth Vader et al) and joins in on an attempt to grab her father before he can help create the ultimate weapon.
There’s no shiny spacecrafts or pristine weaponry, it’s all a bit grubby as it probably would be in reality
It could have all been a bit too serious, though, but we do have a ‘droid with attitude to lighten the mood on occasions.
It’s definitely worth watching ‘A New Hope’ before seeing ‘Rogue’ as there are all manner of references and characters that appear in both.
The special effects are terrific but they don’t take over the movie.
In fact, without going into spoiler territory, there are aspects of Rogue One that left me amazed and questioning what I was seeing.
Director Gareth Edwards certainly keeps the pace up and obviously has a soft spot for the whole franchise.
Overall, Rogue One is an excellent addition to the franchise that I’d very happily watch all over again right now.
Film details: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12A) 133mins
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen
Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol