From Lucasfilm comes the first of the STAR WARS stand-alone films — ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, an epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the STAR WARS timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

What We Thought:

I liked Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but didn’t seem to love it like others I know. I know one guy who saw it at the theater like five times, but I just didn’t have the emotional attachment to it that I had for The Force Awakens. Watching it again on Blu-ray, I still liked it, but just didn’t love it as much as I do the original trilogy.

I’ll start with the positives. Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk steal the film. I’m a huge fan of both actors and both are great. Tudyk shines as the voice of K-2S0. He mixes his humor with what feels like an homage to Anthony Daniels’ C3PO.

I’ve been a fan of Yen’s Asian films for years and I’m thrilled to see him in a franchise like this. As a blind monk warrior who believes in The Force, but does not possess it like a Jedi, he has some tremendous action scenes. He takes on Stormtroopers with a stick and whoops them all. If you are a fan of his Ip Man series, you’ll love him in this.

I think why I didn’t love the film is because as a fan of Star Wars, you already know what will happen. This film takes place right before the original film (A New Hope) so you can kind of guess where it’s heading. That’s fine, it happens in a lot of movies, but I think that’s where my lack of emotional attachment came from. I didn’t latch on to these characters because you know what will happen. The Force Awakens brought in new characters like Rey and Finn and you didn’t know what to make of them. I’m trying not to spoil anything, but again, if you’ve seen A New Hope, you know the premise of this film.

I also thought the film missed a few opportunities it could have taken. Sure you never want to fill a movie with countless cameos just so fans can say “Oh look, it’s blank”, but it could have had some random ones that might have gone over some people’s heads. You could have thrown some X-wing favorites from the original trilogy in the big battle at the end. There’s 2 cameos, well 1 is more a character, that come from the original trilogy but they are CGI’d and don’t look so good. It’s obviously hard to de-age someone by 40 years or digitally make a character that was portrayed by an actor who is now dead, but there’s ways of doing it. Shoot someone from behind and don’t show their face. Fans will understand who they are. The CGI character of the dead actor was quite scary to look at.

The Blu-ray looks fantastic. The colors, wardrobe and effects look brilliant in HD. The sound is also amazing. The effects, the droids, the spaceships all fill your room. Plus it’s backed with bonus features.

This probably sounds more negative than positive, but again I did like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It has some good action sequences and I’m always down to see Darth Vader, the greatest movie villain of all time, even if he’s underused. The film fits nicely in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and is definitely a Star Wars film. If you missed it at the theater (and shame on you if you did), definitely add it to your home video collection.

Bonus Features:

  • A Rogue Idea – Hear how ILM’s John Knoll came up with the movie’s concept – and why it’s the right film to launch the Star Wars stand-alone films.
  • Jyn: The Rebel – Get to know Rogue One’s defiant, resourceful survivor, and hear what it was like for Felicity Jones to bring her to life onscreen.
  • Cassian: The Spy – Diego Luna shares insights into his complex, driven character, who becomes a hero through selflessness, perseverance and passion.
  • K-2SO: The Droid – Explore the development of this reprogrammed Imperial droid, from initial pitch and character design through Alan Tudyk’s performance.
  • Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills – Go deeper into the relationship between these two very different characters, with Chinese superstars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen.
  • Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary – Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed reflect on Saw Gerrera, the broken Rebel leader, and Bodhi Rook, the Imperial pilot who defects.
  • The Empire – Meet a dangerous new Imperial adversary…and cross paths once more with the most iconic villain of all time.
  • Visions of Hope: The Look of “Rogue One” – The filmmakers describe the challenges and thrills of developing a bold new look for the movie that can fit within the world of the original trilogy.
  • The Princess & The Governor – See what it took to bring the vibrant young princess of “Star Wars: A New Hope” – as well as one of her most memorable foes– – back to the screen.
  • Epilogue: The Story Continues – Filmmakers and cast celebrate Rogue One’s premiere and look forward into the future, to the Star Wars stories yet to be told.
  • Rogue Connections – Uncover Easter eggs and film facts hidden throughout the movie that connect “Rogue One” to the Star Wars universe.

Cast & Crew:

  • Felicity Jones
  • Alan Tudyk
  • Forest Whitaker
  • Donnie Yen
  • Ben Mendelsohn
  • Diego Luna

Recommended If You Like:

  • Star Wars
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Return of the Jedi

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