Hey All!

I had the incredible opportunity to see a media screening of the AMAZING film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In case you didn’t know, I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan and this film is everything a fan could want. It is directed by Gareth Edwards, director of 2014’s Godzilla. It stars Academy Award Nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) as Jyn Erso, Diego Luna (Y Tu Mama Tambien, ) as Captain Cassian Andor, Alan Tudyk (Firefly) as the droid K-2SO, Donnie Yen (Ip Man) as the blind warrior Chirrut Imwe, Wen Jiang (Warriors of Heaven and Earth) as Baze Malbus, Ben Mendelson (Animal Kingdom) is the evil Director Orson Kennic, Academy Award Winner Forrest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) is the legendary rebel Saw Gerrera, Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) is the Pilot Bodhi Rook, Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange) is Imperial Science Officer and Jyn’s father Galen Erso, Jimmy Smits (Star Wars Revenge of the Sith) returns as Senator Bail Organa. Written by Academy Award Nominee Chris Weitz (About A Boy) and Academy Award Nominee Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, Michael Clayton).

Rogue One is the story of how the resistance stole the schematics to the Death Star. The film takes place almost 2 decades after Episode III Revenge of the Sith, and just before Episode IV A New Hope. I must admit that this film is not for non-fans of the film series. Someone who has never seen a Star Wars film in their life can enjoy the film, but will not have the same experience as a person who has seen at least the original trilogy. And for people who love the series, Rogue One is the Star Wars film you have been waiting for since 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

It’s original, creative and at the same time truly feels like a an original and INCREDIBLE Star Wars movie. I fell in love with Forrest Whitaker as rebel Saw Gerrera…

And Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus. I literally shed a tear for these two and have not stopped saying his chant “The Force is with me!”

The film focuses on the character Jyn Erso’s journey beginning with the events of her childhood. Jyn’s father served as a scientist for The Empire and in order to save his daughter, he agrees to come out of retirement to help the head of The Empire’s science division complete a special weapons project (spoilers, it’s the Death Star). Some time passes and Jyn is now on her own pledging allegiance to neither The Empire nor The Rebellion, but circumstances arise that force her into the war. Along her journey she teams up with a motley crew of characters that become an unlikely squad that will change the course of the ongoing rebellion against The Empire. Because of the twists and complexities that drive the story, I would prefer not to divulge much more of the plot.

What I can say is that Rogue One is a war film in the same way that 1977’s Star Wars was. The first Star Wars film had a boy lose his family because the war came too close to home. He joins the resistance to rescue a diplomat, teams up with a war veteran, a smuggler, and brings stolen secrets to the resistance for the war effort. Rogue One is a motley crew of characters that have all lost something and that have all done horrible things to survive (as one must do in war). That motley crew believe in and fights for a cause and are willing to sacrifice their lives for that cause. Yes there are robots (droids). Yes there is a giant weapon of mass destruction (The Death Star). Yes the names are science fiction, but the cast is so diverse in ethnicity that almost everyone can find a character they can culturally identify with. Strip the fantasy and sci-fi elements and you have an exciting and engaging story of loss, sacrifice and hope.

The violence is not graphic, the humor is not crude, there is no vulgarity and if not for the scenes of intense action the PG-13 rating wouldn’t be necessary. Odd as it may sound, Rogue One is the family friendly action fantasy film of the season. And to all Star Wars fanatics like myself, the film is sprinkled liberally with homages and cameos you will surely notice and call backs to everything you love. And to fans of the original trilogy, I guarantee the final 5-10 minutes of the film will be unforgettable.

I’m definitely going to be seeing this movie a million times in the theater.

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY arrives in theaters everywhere Today in 3D, Real D 3D and IMAX 3D!

Visit the official ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY website: http://www.starwars.com/films/rogue-one