As someone who was skeptical about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, let me tell you I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve read good and bad reviews for the film, but let me tell you it was a fun movie. From beginning to end the film has your attention and tells the story we all questioned when we saw the very first Star Wars film: How did they get the plans to the Death Star and who died to get them? We now know the entire story and the steps that were taken to tell that story are amazing. As a fan of Star Wars, I can say I truly enjoyed this new film.

Directed by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One takes place just before A New Hope and we mean just before. The film ends up leading you right up to moments before the film that started it all. Starring Felicity Jones and Diego Luna, the film follows Jyn (Jones) a young woman who we are first introduced to as a child in the film. Her father is the man who created the dreaded Death Star. As an adult she’s being asked to help the Rebel Alliance to get into contact with her father, who has sent a messenger to warn the Rebel’s about the Empire’s plans. Jyn is teamed up with Cassian (Luna), a Rebel captain and pilot. The two cross the galaxy, finding friends along the way, and finally end up stealing the plans to the Death Star, but they pay the ultimate price.

The film starts at what feels like just after the Empire’s take over, so right after Revenge of the Sith. Of course the mighty Empire is trying to control the entire Galaxy under the firm hand of the Emperor and Darth Vader. We get to see a new side to the entire war that is going on, the side that didn’t want to be involved. That’s where Jyn comes in. As an adult she doesn’t want anything to do with the war. The war tore her family apart and she resents it. But she’s dragged into it, almost like Luke was in A New Hope.

To say this film mirrors A New Hope, would be a simple way to put it. It blends the style of the first film with a few modern twists. It almost feels like the ultimate fans homage to their favorite childhood movie.

Should you go see Rogue One? Yes, you should, but should you heed the warnings from many of the critics out there also? Yes. This isn’t Star Wars Episode VIII, even though many think it is. Even in the showing I went to, people were confused as to who the characters were and why Darth Vader was in the film. Think of Rogue One as a story around a campfire, the story of how the Death Star plans were really taken. Princess Leia didn’t magically have the Death Star plans, it took a lot of effort to get them.

Don’t miss this one Star Wars fans. It’s a fun film that will have you in awe through the entire film. It’s definitely worth a visit to the movies during the busy holiday season. a

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/Walt Disney Studios