Star Wars is back, or has been back. Rogue One (2016) now on DVD is a Star Wars story. It is famous already as the story-line that featured in the opening scroll of A New Hope in 1977. A small band of Rebels steal the secret plans to the Empire’s “sinister weapon” the Death Star. Rogue One shows us how it happened.

The story

“If a weakness is found, however small….”

A weakness in the Death Star was planned by the designer, a scientist.

Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) was forced into creating the space station by Imperial director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn).

But whose conscience made him design it with an Achilles heel.

Designing a weapon for the enemy but knowing to place a weakness shows where his allegiances lie. This is about true character coming out under immense political and spiritual pressure.

The first half sets up the second half. The spies, in the second half, disguise themselves in a stolen Imperial cargo ship Rogue One, to get into the heart of the Empire, and from where they attempt to procure the plans.

Their mission is even against the wisdom of the Rebel Alliance. The long term goal of the Rogue One team, though, is to put an end to the evil behemoth in space.

Throughout the film, rebels try to get around Imperial entanglements, so the light is vague, but present.

The small rebel team, which includes players Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) as Jyn Erso and the voice of Alan Tudyk as a droid–who blasts into the oblivion that Star Wars droids have to sound and behave anything like C3-PO–all deserve their likeness in merchandise as action figures; they’re a likeable bunch.

Who should see this movie?

This is pretty much a user friendly movie, nothing nasty to report, except there’s an onslaught of ‘comic book’ action in the final act and a frightening Darth Vader who is back for this part.

One may need to be committed to seeing it because it’s a Star Wars story of less general interest.

It’s of course a recommend for Star Wars fans and for them seeing it again and again will be a priority. There are quite a few fan moments such as one-liners that are present in other Star Wars films.

But it may be an entertaining two hours–for anyone.

The ending transitions into the next part of the Star Wars saga, A New Hope. But the ending may come off as abrupt.

The plot in the first half may complicate, but you should be able to follow.

Not the perfect Star Wars film, but a better deal than the Star Wars prequels, and entertaining and interesting enough to enjoy. I think I’ll get the book.

* * * * (out of * * * * * stars)—good

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