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Rogue One
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Alan Tudyk,
James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader)
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Release Date: December 16, 2016
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 133 Minutes
Release Date: December 16, 2016

Rogue One is a true prequel to the Star Wars series, ending just days before A New Hope begins.  There is a tremendous amount of action for the rebels are searching for the plans to the Death Star and for a way to send them to the Rebel Alliance while under attack plus there are factions within the rebel groups.

Parents need to know this movie is very dark, with all the feel of a war movie.  The three great Star Wars movies weren’t true war movies.  They were battle as fun and adventure. Small children could and did enjoy them.  Rogue One is not for small children.  It is not that it is particularly gory, but it is particularly grim and serious.  It’s entertaining and holds you for over two hours, but it’s not lighthearted fun.

Also, the movie actually begins years earlier and I feel that’s a mistake as I found some of the plot confusing.  Jyn as a child escapes the agents of the evil empire who want to use her as a hostage to force her brilliant father to build the Death Star.  She is rescued by Forest Whitaker and suddenly she is an adult played by Felicity Jones.  She has to work with Diego Luna whose motives are questionable. The plot gets overly complicated which slows the movie down.  Forest Whitaker’s character isn’t in enough scenes so it’s hard to make sense of his role.

A wonderful new addition is a droid (played by Alan Tudyk).  Instead of being cute and lovable and silly, he’s mean and sarcastic which is actually refreshing. 

There are many interesting characters, such as the blind monk who chants “The Force is with me,” like a mantra.  There are too many such bits to mention. Where possible, characters from the original play a part.

Darth Vader appears and not only is he his usual menacing self, we get to see him in action.  As he takes on the good guys with his light saber, somehow, though you know you shouldn’t, you find yourself cheering for him.

Rogue One has little flaws but they are due to giving us too much. It redeems itself by making the whole last part one long battle. 

Overall, this is a great addition to the Star Wars universe. Enjoy.

Reviewed By:  Marian Powell

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