By Mandela Wells


7 films in this legendary franchise and not once has there been a spinoff. The series has provided us with many memorable characters with mysterious past and even events that we wanted to know more about. Rogue one: A Star Wars Story”  is the first attempt at exploring more of the expanded universe and long history of the Rebel Alliance, and the Imperial Empire. With a diverse and talented cast and director, “Rogue One” attempts to tell a compelling story about a mission that would effect future events in the original trilogy.

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is the daughter of Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelson) a scientist who has worked for years for the Empire. It is revealed that he created the Death Star that we would see in “A New Hope. Jyn, who has a very tragic, rugged past, is called in by the Rebel Alliance to find her father and then eventually steal the plans to the Death Star. Along the way, she forms a team with Rebel captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna),  blind force-sensitive warrior Chrriut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), Chirrut’s bodyguard Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang), former Imperial cargo pilot Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), and robot K-2SO (Alan Tudyk). They all team up to take the plans and stop Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendolsohn) from destroying lives on numerous planets in the galaxy.

It saddens me to say this was a major disappointment. It wasn’t terrible, but it needed more reshoots and reworking in a lot of areas. The concept was interesting, but its execution fell flat and it didn’t have the same gripping pull on you as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” did. The editing in here drove me nuts. For a film like this, they should not have made it so rushed and had taken out some of the best scenes that were in the trailer.

Felicity Jones was not bad in her performance, but Jyn Erso was not a fully rounded character. The writing for this heroine didn’t seem complete like her story needed some kind of intimate or at least clearer connection to some of the characters. With the exception of Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk, most of the cast did nothing to make us really care about the characters. Some were even in for a short period of time. Ben Mendelsohn’s villainous role here was not that great. He didn’t come off as a terrifying, complex, mysterious or anything at all. Krennic is just a really basic villainous character

The visual effects work was as expected, very good. The action was really good and worked out well despite having no Jedi action involved. This film is a far cry from the tremendous work of last years “The Force Awakens” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” will be forgotten within a few months.