Those few words in the opening crawl of Episode IV, about rebel spies stealing the Death Star plans, was something that stuck with us for years. Now, finally, us Star Wars fans got the exact details of what went down to obtain those plans. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first standalone film in the ongoing epic series, with a Han Solo movie planned for next year. Directed by Monsters director Gareth Edwards, Rogue One is the film that most fans have been waiting for. A prequel that leads up to the original trilogy, but doesn’t step on the toes of the ideas of the original films and easily slides into place with those classic films. Unlike most of the prequel movies.
Honestly, there isn’t much that I can say about Rogue One that you haven’t already heard before. We know the story about a rogue band of rebels stealing the plans, sacrificing their lives for the cause. If you haven’t seen it yet, but are a fan of Star Wars, there is no better time than with the new Blu-ray releases that have come out. The Blu-ray looks and sounds amazing, and there is a helping of special features clocking in at over an hour to peruse through. Sadly, no deleted scenes have been included, with is surprising as the film went through several reshoots and the Behind the Scenes footage shows you some of those deleted scenes that we all saw in the trailer.
The things I like about Rogue One is all the little nods and callbacks to the rest of the series. There is a feature on the Blu titled Rogue Connections that shows us some of those connections. For example, the Blu confirms that Star Wars Rebels character Hera Syndulla is, in fact, the name announced over the PA system on Yavin IV. How cool is that? Sadly, the special feature runs only 4 minutes long, which isn’t enough time to go through all the different connections Rogue One has placed in the film. No mention of Chopper from Rebels showing up or the cool use of original deleted pilot footage from A New Hope and Return of the Jedi.
The special features on the Blu-ray stress the point that Rogue One was a chance for different groups of cultures to come together and show that the rebellion isn’t just a bunch of stuffy old white men bickering in dark caves. That’s what makes Rogue One such a great film. Each character has their backstory and life, which makes the story play out so much better. Would I have liked to have a bit more backstory on the characters? Sure, but that’s what novels are for! Read books fools!
There isn’t much negative I can say about Rogue One, as it’s a damn fine Star Wars story. Some have complained about the CGI used on certain characters, but honestly, I didn’t have a problem with it, and in fact, the CGI works even better on a smaller screen. I will mention that certain character deaths are overshadowed by a certain amazing scene that plays pretty much exactly after the deaths. I’m not sure how they would have played it differently, but still, it’s worth mentioning.
Now, about those special features on the Blu-ray. Like I mentioned, you have over an hour of interviews with the entire cast and crew to watch. You can either sit down and play them all or watch each one individually. I highly enjoyed the interview with K-2SO actor Alan Tudyk, who is hilarious. It was also neat to check out the technology behind the CGI faces. None of the features are overly long, but they are enjoyable and informative. As I’ve already said, including the deleted scenes was a missed opportunity and hurts the overall rating, as you just know they are probably going to release a super ultra edition down the road with all the deleted scenes included. Also, what’s up with no commentaries?
I’m a huge Star Wars nut, so it’s pretty clear I loved Rogue One, and this review is leaning biasly towards the kickass side of the scale. I can tell you straight up if you loved the movie, any one of the numerous Blu-ray options (3D version, steelbooks, bonus discs, etc) out there will be worth picking up.
- A Rogue Idea – Hear how ILM’s John Knoll came up with the movie’s concept – and why it’s the right film to launch the Star Wars stand-alone films.
- Jyn: The Rebel – Get to know Rogue One’s defiant, resourceful survivor, and hear what it was like for Felicity Jones to bring her to life onscreen.
- Cassian: The Spy – Diego Luna shares insights into his complex, driven character, who becomes a hero through selflessness, perseverance and passion.
- K-2SO: The Droid – Explore the development of this reprogrammed Imperial droid, from initial pitch and character design through Alan Tudyk’s performance.
- Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills – Go deeper into the relationship between these two very different characters, with Chinese superstars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen.
- Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary – Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed reflect on Saw Gerrera, the broken Rebel leader, and Bodhi Rook, the Imperial pilot who defects.
- The Empire – Meet a dangerous new Imperial adversary…and cross paths once more with the most iconic villain of all time.
- Visions of Hope: The Look of “Rogue One” – The filmmakers describe the challenges and thrills of developing a bold new look for the movie that can fit within the world of the original trilogy.
- The Princess & The Governor – See what it took to bring the vibrant young princess of “Star Wars: A New Hope” – as well as one of her most memorable foes– – back to the screen.
- Epilogue: The Story Continues – Filmmakers and cast celebrate Rogue One’s premiere and look forward into the future, to the Star Wars stories yet to be told.
- Rogue Connections – Uncover Easter eggs and film facts hidden throughout the movie that connect “Rogue One” to the Star Warsuniverse.
DISCS: 3 (2 Blu-ray, 1 DVD)
RUN-TIME: 133 min
ASPECT RATIO: 2.39:1
AUDIO: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
LANGUAGE: English, French & Spanish
SUBTITLES: English SDH, French & Spanish
PRODUCTION DATE: 2016
RELEASE DATE: April 4, 2017
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.