I love the original Star Wars film trilogy. I completely disregard the prequels along with its re-numbering of the films. George Lucas on one hand did a great job and an awful job on the other. Don’t get me started how he went back and changed scenes from the original films to fit his vision years later. Just look up the Han Solo scene in which Solo used to shoot first in the bar but following Lucas’s meddling now sees him only shoot after first being shot at.
My next complaint is that the original theatrical release is still unavailable to view on Blu-ray, so we are stuck with the changed versions.
But enough of those complaints as Disney now calls the shots and has decided we need a new Star Wars film every year! That sounds way too much and is certainly overkill. That said each film needs to be judged on its own merits. So how was the last Star Wars outing?
Well it’s time to answer that very question albeit several months after its initial release, but this is the Blu-ray version. So without further ado here’s my Rogue One A Star Wars Story Blu-ray review.
- Rogue One A Star Wars Story (2016)
- UK Rating 12
- Discs: 2
- Released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Blu-ray Released: 10 April 2017
To give some context Rogue One takes place just before events of the first film Star Wars (1977) (Now known as Star Wars IV A New Hope)
Rogue One is the story leading up to those events and is the story of the creation of the Death Star and the scientist, Galen Erso the key man behind this planet destroyer. However Galen Erso is very much a reluctant participant, so much so the film begins with him in hiding along with his wife and young daughter.
Unfortunately you can’t hide from the Empire for long and he is located. He manages to hide his daughter from them but he is taken away to continue work on the Death Star.
Fast forward several years and his daughter, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is now all grown up. She is just trying to survive in a tough galaxy.
When fate brings together Jyn and Rebel Alliance Captain and Intelligence officer Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) their both go to work to obtain plans that to the Death Star that includes a major design flaw that may save the Alliance.
Written by John Knoll & Gary Whitta
Style / Direction
The key point and most important one is Rogue One feels like it’s taking place in the Star Wars universe. So credit must be given to the director for pulling off both the look and feel.
The film was directed by Gareth Edwards whilst the cinematography is handled by Greig Fraser.
Music / Audio Effects
Michael Giacchino provides the music which does the job pretty well. It uses the Star Wars score well with the new music all seemingly fitting seamlessly. A good job considering the original score came from a certain John Williams.
Rogue One delivers an entertaining sci-fi action adventure that is magnitudes better the any of the prequels George Lucas could muster during the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Acting / Characters
On the whole the cast provide mostly decent performances.
The two main characters however really do stand out from the rest. I’m talking about Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and Diego Luna as Cassian Andor.
Felicity Jones really does make Rogue One compelling viewing. She plays Jyn Erso daughter of the Death Star research scientist Galen Erso. She a strong but ultimately flawed character not really caring about anyone other than herself and just wants to do what she must and then move on. Rather like a certain Han Solo in many ways and just like Han she finds herself drawn into helping the Rebel Alliance. However in doing so she finds that she actually has a personal and vested interest in completing her mission.
It has to be said the Felicity Jones easy to watch she has a certain natural and believable quality that makes her perfect for the role. Having recently viewed her alongside Tom Hanks in Inferno (2016) it has to be said she is on top form in both of these movies and definitely an actress to keep an eye on in terms of her upcoming projects.
Diego Luna plays Rebel Alliance Captain and Intelligence officer Cassian Andor. He begins the film as the main character before meeting Jyn Erso and forming an uneasy partnership. They have a tense chemistry which makes for interesting viewing. He is a kind of no nonsense get the job done kind of guy but Jyn Erso forces (no pun intended) him to re-evaluate his approach.
In the end it’s Felicity Jones who steals the show but backed up well by Diego Luna.
Other notable mentions go to Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera and the films bad guy, Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic, the Director of Advanced Weapons Research for the Imperial Military. Both put in good performances adding to the films overall quality.
Now to the dark side and I’m talking about the inclusion of the legendary and long deceased actor Peter Cushing playing Grand Moff Tarkin. First off why? Secondly Why? Where to start, the voice is provided by actor Guy Henry. He unfortunately fails to nail Cushing’s unique style of voice acting.
Next the CGI Cushing, whilst it may resemble him it simply looks and feels like its being taken from a computer game. The filmmakers seem to think they had nailed it but it really stands out for looking out of place.
This just highlights why you should not attempt to put in CGI versions of actors who have sadly passed away. Every time you see Grand Moff Tarkin the immersion is broken as you find yourself not listening to the key dialogue being delivered and simply transfix on the absurdity of the situation.
Conclusion: Rogue One A Star Wars Story (2016) Film Review
In the end Rogue One delivers an entertaining sci-fi action adventure that is magnitudes better the any of the prequels George Lucas could muster during the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Felicity Jones and Diego Luna play characters that are both intriguing and ultimately likable.
Conclusion: Rogue One A Star Wars Story Blu-ray Review
Clearly the picture and sound are outstanding as it’s a brand new film but what else do you get when you purchase the Blu-ray version?
Extras – Seperate Bonus Disc
- The Stories (79 mins)
- Rogue Connections (4 mins 31 seconds)
The main extra is ‘The Stories’ and if you have watched the film these extras really don’t reveal anything you don’t already know. A very shallow bunch of extras that last over an hour but leaves you none the wiser. I can honestly say I wish I could have that time back, hell I could have watched another film. It should been edited down to around the 20-30 minute mark.
Put simply it’s not worth effort unless you really will watch anything with a Star Wars connection.
Now on to the ‘Rogue Connections’ these are brief facts that fans will genuinely find interesting.
On to my movie rating for Rogue One A Star Wars Story (2016)
- Movie Rating: WELL WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray Rating: GOOD
- Extras: BORING
Amazon UK Links
Rogue One A Star Wars Story (2016) is available now on Blu-ray priced £15 from Amazon (as of date of review)
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster with the trailer…
Clip not be representative of the Blu-ray version
That’s my Rogue One A Star Wars Story Blu-ray Review, if you have any thoughts on this film leave them in the comment section below:
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Summary: Rogue One A Star Wars Story (2016) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: Rogue One A Star Wars Story (2016)
Duration: 133 mins
Director(s): Gareth Edwards
Actor(s): Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker
Genre: Sci-fi, Adventure
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Rating
Rogue One delivers an entertaining sci-fi action adventure that is magnitudes better the any of the prequels George Lucas could muster.