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‘Rogue One’ is a unique ‘Star Wars’ film; does boffo box office

Our critic gives it the Daily Miner’s highest rating – 4 out of 4 Miners

Star Wars: Rogue One

Star Wars: Rogue One

Throughout history rebellions have occurred for a multitude of reasons: freedom, justice, equality, peace, you name it. But all have shared a simple foundation and that is hope.

In “Rogue One,” a Star Wars prequel leading up to the events of “A New Hope,” we see that belief tested as a new cast of heroes find itself pitted against overwhelming odds in order to steal the schematics of the death star from the empire. This latest Star Wars film departs from Jedi, the Force and the spiritual nature that has defined each of the previous movies.

Instead, this story is one of desperation and struggle against an impossibly powerful enemy and the sacrifices needed to be made to keep hope alive. Boasting an impressive cast such as Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker and Felicity Jones, as well as many other topnotch actors makes each character feel genuine.

The actors works well off each other and they created a believable sense of camaraderie. However, the price of having so many characters on screen is that not all of them are fleshed out as well as could be. Indeed, you’ll probably have a hard time remembering some of their names not long after you leave the theater.

This is an epic film in terms of scale. No previous Star Wars movie has ever truly conveyed the overwhelming power the empire wields. This is accomplished through amazing cinematography and computer graphics as we see colossal warships looming over large cities, apocalyptic weapons laying waste to whole continents and titanic superweapons blotting out entire stars.

It causes one to appreciate in a whole new light the horror and awe of Obi-Wan’s classic line “That’s no moon… that’s a space station.”

The film isn’t all bleak, however, as there is just the right amount of comedy sprinkled throughout, as well as several nods to the original trilogy. And the action scenes, just like the sense of scale, are equally impressive without going over the top. Or, to put it simply, it’s a realistic war film set in the Star Wars universe.

That sense of grittiness might be a turnoff for some people, but rest assured that the violence never becomes so much that it feels out of place. It should be noted that this film is still rated PG-13, after all. Honestly, if you’ve seen “The Force Awakens” and had no problem with it, then you’ll probably enjoy this movie just as much.

In the end, this film does suffer a bit under the weight of how much the director tried to cram into its two-hour run time. But it still works. Star Wars fans old and new alike will find more than enough to enjoy here. This is a must-see while it’s in theaters, and if you have young ones and are worried about the tone of this film, I recommend seeing it yourself first to determine if your kids can handle it.

For everyone else the rebellion is waiting.

4 out of 4 Miners