‘Rogue One’ is One of a Kind

‘Rogue One’ gives an alternative approach and a breath of fresh air to the ‘Star Wars’ saga, since ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’

Gareth Edward’s ‘Rogue One’ reminds us that the force is in good hands, for better or for worse.

rogue one
Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

I suppose nothing’s too far-fetched for a galaxy, far, far away… This past holiday season, director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) brought global audiences Rogue One, a new feat in the most influential franchise ever filmed. The catch? It stands impressively on its own, hanging on the thread of its familiar surroundings. Oddly enough, this section of the Star Wars anthology has found a new approach into the inherent war of good and bad, definitively in its bittersweet niche of sacrifice.

Just look to the plot: Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has the privilege of being both an escapee of the Empire and the daughter of Death Star engineer Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelson). When the Rebellion learns of such a heritage, she is paired with officer Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and droid K-2SO on an exploration of the weapon’s “planet-killer” powers. Yet, as her missing father’s location becomes more transparent, so does a major flaw in the Death Star’s design. Erso is, hence, forced into Empirical territory with a squad of convicted Rebels and nothing left to lose.

What makes Rogue One so memorable is its ability to reign independent of quirky references and cameos. Sure, it still has its fair share of Easter eggs. However, this fantasy flick holds more of a foundation in a theme as genuinely innate as A New Hope or, dare I say, The Empire Strikes Back. Erso’s tale veers off the beaten path, yet keeps a clear vision of what it takes to truly trump our own selfish demons. The Rebellion might overcome the Empire, but Rogue One is a firm reminder of what’s at stake among the wreckage.

“I was extremely skeptical about it all,” said Jenna Stuiso, a long-time fanatic of the Star Wars universe. “However, Rogue One perfectly placed itself in the saga, exploring unanswered questions and providing new lovable characters. It was heartfelt and refreshing, ironically leaving me with a ‘new hope’ for the future string of films.”

Rogue One doesn’t necessarily piggyback the success of its origins. Rather, it celebrates the myth of morality, in as concrete a sense as a Star Wars story can achieve. Furthermore, Edward’s sleek stand-alone makes a case for better things to come, more adventures to lead and more of the Force to be reckoned with.

Rogue One is now playing in movie theaters worldwide. Some more local venues include AMC Clifton Commons, AMC Loews Wayne 14 and even Bow Tie Bellevue Cinemas in the heart of Upper Montclair. For a list of even more theaters and show-times, visit fandango.com and start planning your trip to the movies today.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login