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Rogue One Review (No Spoilers) – for the Non-Geek Star Wars Fans

Hope you enjoy this Rogue One review (no spoilers) on what I thought of the new Star Wars Story movie.

I admit, until last night, I had no clue there was such a thing as kyber crystals. I also couldn’t tell you the Imperial ranks or the classification titles for ships in the fleets. But, I do like Star Wars.

See, I often feel odd in this realm of Star Wars fandom. As a child of the 80’s, Star Wars was a childhood classic for me. I grew up loving the Ewoks and even having a bit of a crush on Harrison Ford in my teen years. But, I’m not a Star Wars geek.

I’m happy to watch the films and love the story. It brought be great joy when we finally watched the series with my girls for the first time. I love the characters and amazing worlds that the Lucas Film team has created for years to entertain and amaze us. But, I’m not interested in conspiracy theories and barely care about the difference between Endor and Hoth.

Rogue One Rebellion - Jyn Erso character

Rogue One Rebellion – Jyn Erso character

With that in mind, I tossed and turned all night thinking of how I could write the best review and commentary following my viewing last night of the new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie. I attended with two friends who blow my limited SW knowledge out the water. See, they’re Star Wars superfans and geeks. In the best way. But I realized that I don’t have to be a geek to share my excitement with you. I can just write as an honest Star Wars fan. So here is goes!

Star Wars & Rogue One – The Basics

For the novice, let’s review a simple important fact about the Star Wars series. It has to do with episode numbers and orders. The original Star Wars movies (1977, 1980, 1983) are now termed Episodes 4 (IV), 5 (V), and 6 (VI). Later a prequel trilogy was release (1999, 2002, 2005) which went back in time. These are termed Episodes 1-3 (I-III). And just last year (2015), The Force Awakens was released as a follow up to Episode 6 (VI), so it’s Episode 7 (VII).

It’s important to understand this because understanding where Rogue One fits is important. Rogue One is a “stand alone” story, but it really fits just before the original Episode 4 (IV) film. The story line feeds directly into the Episode 4 movie.

Star Wars is a....war.

Star Wars is….a war.

My Rogue One Misconceptions

If you haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet, you might want to skip this part. In The Force Awakens, we meet Rey. She’s a new character of unknown origin with some pretty powerful force. I think along with most of the viewers of Episode 7 I wanted to know, “who were her parents” and “where did she come from”.

I went into Rogue One thinking maybe I’d get some kind of hint as to Rey’s origins. While all the Star Wars geeks are freaking out on me for this I’m sure, I wanted to say it here. Because I think for many non-geek Star Wars fans, having The Force Awakens fresh in your mind might not be the best way to go into Rogue One.

It’s important to see that this “stand alone” anthology film is a fit with Episode 4 more than Episode 7. It might be a good idea to watch the original episodes before this one if your mind is a little fuzzy on characters and story plot line.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Ph: Film Frame ILM/Lucasfilm ©2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Ph: Film Frame ILM/Lucasfilm
©2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Rogue One – Is it okay for kids?

My girls have seen all of the Star Wars movies at this point. But this one will make me really think and discuss with them some things before they watch it. They’re 10 and 12. Rogue One is an amazing story of rebellion and hope. But with that comes the truth and image of war.

I sat in the theater and by the final scenes my legs and arms were shaking. It was so intense that I could barely handle the emotion and suspense. In case you’ve forgotten one the the basics of Star Wars, it’s a war. Rogue One is an intense story of a rebel war. It’s less R2-D2 getting C-3PO out of messes with us all laughing, and more about the people of the rebellion and the sacrifices they’re making to stop the Imperial forces.

What Did I Think?

I loved it! The story held me riveted the entire time, all 2 hours and 13 minutes. From the characters and actors to the cinematography and special affects, I was drawn in. During the final scenes I felt like I was watching a real war, I was so emotionally entrenched.

I did watch it in IMAX 3D, and I can say that it was a definitely the perfect film to see in that theater. If you have an IMAX 3D theater near you and are a big fan of sound and intensity, I recommend it!

As a non-geek Star Wars fan, there were a few things I’m sure I missed. My friends who I attended with noticed some “easter eggs”, so superfans be on the look out for those. I felt that the entire storyline fed beautifully into Episode 4. Now I’m planning a movie night with the kids tonight. I can’t wait to revisit the story once again. Thankfully I’ve got 4 episodes to follow up with on the heels of Rogue One, because I feel the need of a little hope.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens Friday December 16th.

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