Film Review

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Scene Xtreme) : Review


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, a step away from the main series in this epic tale, with the first stand-alone film. The story for Rogue One follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything) as she joins The Rebellion on a risky mission to steal the plans for The Empires awesome new weapon. This weapon is a space station, capable of destroying an entire planet, is known as the Death Star. Set shortly before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, the film is directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta.

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso

This key event in the Star Wars timeline, going after the Empire’s ultimate weapon, brings ordinary people together in a disparate group, to fight for the freedom of all in the galaxy. As with the general plots of any other Star Wars storyline, Rogue One is a textbook example of the hero’s journey. From her background and family, to the decisions she makes and the amazing feats she embarks on, Jyn undergoes several changes in self, and with life changing revelations along the way.

Rogue One feels all so familiar, yet, at the same time it feels different. The universe is Star Wars, and so are the laws that govern that universe, yet we are seeing all this at a time not covered in the main Star Wars films. This is a good thing, it allows the viewer to detach from those films, and become fully immersed in Rogue One, not needing to remember too many links to other tales and story arcs.

As a film, Rogue One is enjoyable. The momentum builds as the film gets underway, with the initial few short scenes providing some context to time and place, and then kicking off with the main story, striking the viewer with a barrage of imagery and sound that is sure to thrill anyone, young and old. Sure, you can’t really go wrong with Disney and a Star Wars film, but then again, there was that annoying Gungan and some plot points that upset fans.

Jyn Erso is a strong character, portrayed well by Felicity Jones. There are aspects that one could compare to Rey of The Force Awakens, but the character is strong enough to carry the film in a memorable way, capturing the heart of the viewer.

The plethora of supporting characters are as diverse as one would expect from any disparate Star Wars group, struggling to keep the Rebellion alive. The many creatures from various alien worlds, and of course, the droids, those mechanical creations meant to serve Empire and Rebellion alike, but who inevitably develop their own unique (often humorous) personalities.

Rogue One: A Star Wars story is thoroughly enjoyable. Not pushing science on the audience every few seconds, the film focusses on story, heroism, and above all, takes one on a ride across a galaxy, far, far away. Saying it is a “must see” is likely slightly redundant, as everyone is going to see it, if not right away with the fans and cosplayers, but soon. A story apart, in a universe we all know and love, this is sure to be the hit of the holiday season.

As usual, some 3D screens are darker, to be aware of this when visiting your local cinema. But, a move is in progress it seems to fix these. Of course, a thumbs up for the new Scene Xtreme laser projector. Read about the Scene Xtreme, Canal Walk here.

Rogue One: A Star Wars story opens 15 December 2016 in cinemas across South Africa, in 2D, 3D, 4DX, Scene Xtreme and Imax.

SAMDB was at the pre-screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars story, at the Nu Metro Scene Xtreme, at Canal Walk, Cape Town. The first digital laser projection system on the African continent, and the first cinema in Cape Town with Dolby Atmos sound. Read more about Nu Metro, Canal Walk, Scene Xtreme.

Don’t miss out on the lead up to Rogue One, with the GoRogue fan videos.

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By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

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