“Rogue One” brings change to “Star Wars” franchise

Sam Malone

The “Star Wars” franchise continues to grow with the release of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” which delivers a new insight into the rebellion as well as giving the audience a whole new story to consider.

“Rogue One,” released Dec. 16, is a direct prequel to “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” and is more of a heist film than anything. Directed by Gareth Edwards, the film does a lot of things right, but lacks in iconic hallmarks associated with the franchise such as the music, scored for this film by Michael Giacchino.

Felicity Jones stars as the film’s protagonist, Jyn Erso, delivering impressive action scenes as well as revealing a new depth of emotions that was previously ignored by the franchise. In the past, “Star Wars” films seemed to disregard emotional aspects of war, but “Rogue One” makes up for that with Erso’s family history bringing a new dynamic.

With all new characters and only one film, audience members may find the story lacking a bit in character development, but that is not the fault of the actors. Erso’s story is as developed as it can be in the time allotted and Cassian Andor,  played by Diego Luna, feels like a familiar character almost immediately.  

The film follows Erso and Andor along with a few other members of the rebellion through the story of how the rebellion stole the plans to the death star, setting up George Lucas’s original “Star Wars.” Knowing the rebellion achieves this makes the film come off as predictable, but the cast and crew are able to throw in a few surprises that make it worth seeing.

“Rogue One” is unlike other “Star Wars” films in a number of ways, yet still manages to feel like part of the story. As far as cinematography, Edwards reveals more of the “Star Wars” galaxy than ever before and does so with beautiful landscaping shots of planets such as Jedha and Scarif.

While reviews for “Rogue One” seem to be mixed, there is a consensus on the need for fans to see the film. Jones and Luna, along with the rest of the cast, deliver a satisfying performance in a story that has always been untold by the franchise. Maybe the music is lacking and maybe the film could use more lightsaber action, but it does achieve what it sets out to do and leaves fans with a little more knowledge of the “Star Wars” galaxy.