‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

By on December 7, 2016

A primer… and beyond

I’ve recently heard a lot of confused chatter from Star Wars fans of my generation (X) and some older generations. What is this new Star Wars movie? When does it take place in the convoluted storyline? Is it just a spinoff? Let’s take a look before it opens next Thursday.

Where does this movie fit with the others? So, in order of storyline, the Star Wars franchise runs like this: “The Phantom Menace” (1999); “Attack of the Clones” (2002); “Revenge of the Sith” (2005); “A New Hope” (1977); “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980); “Return of the Jedi” (1983); “The Force Awakens” (2015).

“I think it’s a great story to tell that fills in some gaps between Episodes III & IV about how the Rebellion operated during the Empire’s early reign,” wrote Ken M. of Lancaster, who already has his tickets for opening night at Penn Cinema.

True, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” fits between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope,” but some feel it’s technically not part of the Star Wars storyline as we know it.

That’s good news to Allison M. of Lancaster who writes, “I’ve never seen any of the Star Wars movies but feel like I can see this one without having seen the others.”

Or, is it part of the whole?

Felicity Jones (center), as Jyn Erso, leads a band of ragtag rebels in “Star Wars: Rogue One.” Shown (left to right) are Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen. The movie opens Thursday at Penn Cinema. (Photo by Jonathan Olley)

Felicity Jones (center), as Jyn Erso, leads a band of ragtag rebels in “Star Wars: Rogue One.” Shown (left to right) are Riz Ahmed,
Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen. The movie opens Thursday at Penn Cinema. (Photo by Jonathan Olley)

AJ D. of Lancaster is going to see this Star Wars story “because it is part of the saga.” An important aspect for her is the hero/heroine diversity in the newer films.

According to marketing, director Gareth Edwards’ film is meant to stand alone as a separate story from the ones we’ve come to know and love. There’s no Chewbacca and Han. There’s no Luke and Leia. But, James Earl Jones returns to voice Darth Vader! (Long time characters Senator Bail Organa and Mon Mothma appear, too.)

I see how fans can be a bit confused about this flick.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” tells the tale of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”), a Rebellion soldier who joins with others to take down Darth Vader and his crew of nasties. The plan is to steal the blueprints to the Galactic Empire’s top secret, planet destroying Death Star (which, spoiler alert, is partially demolished in “A New Hope”).

Vader’s a draw. He’s nostalgic nowadays. Mike C. of Lancaster writes, “I’m looking forward to seeing the rebellion prior to the original trilogy. Plus Vader is in it!”

Get your fill now, because unless he comes back as a visible representation of The Force like in “Return of the Jedi” Vader will not be showing up in the next official Star Wars movie. Officially untitled as Star Wars: Episode VIII (2017), this film will follow Rey and her adventures. This installment will be directed and written by Rian Johnson, the guy who brought us “Looper” (which I think is underrated) and the awesome “The Brothers Bloom.” Star Wars: Episode IX is slated for a 2019 release.

But back to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” … Officially, there will be no sequel to this spinoff; however, rumor has it this is just the start of spinoffs to come out of the George Lucas universe.

In the end, many people echoed the sentiments of Tony M. of Lancaster who wrote, “It’s Star Wars. One must always see any part of this epic saga.”

When pressed to answer why he’ll see it, Nate B. of Washington D.C. replied, “Why? Do you really have to ask?! I think you know the answer … STAR WARS!”

To that I say, “The truth you speak.”

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

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