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‘Rogue One’ brings dark themes to ‘Star Wars’ saga

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” perhaps the most anticipated film of 2016 was released on Friday, Dec. 16.

“Rogue One” takes place between the third and fourth episodes of the “Star Wars” saga. The film centers around the Rebel Alliance’s mission to seal the Death Star blueprints from the Galactic Empire.

“Rogue One” does a successful job introducing the stand-alone story, bringing in many new characters to the “Star Wars” universe that will have a lasting legacy. Reprogrammed Rebel Droid K-2SO steals the show repeatedly with witty one-liners and brilliantly timed punchlines.

Where “Rogue One” really prospers is in capitalizing on its opportunity to tie up plot holes in previous “Star Wars” films. Fans with decades-old questions might receive some answers after watching this film. The film also doesn’t shy away from hiding tiny details that hardcore and casual “Star Wars” fans will appreciate, ensuring its replay value.

This is the first stand-alone film in the “Star Wars” saga. However, after viewing it, questions may arise about how it stands on its own. This movie could easily be seen as a direct prequel to “Star Wars IV: A New Hope,” with the plots of the films intertwining many times. It will be interesting to see if “Rogue One” is captivating enough to earn new fans’ affections and bring them into a universe that they are new to.

The cinematography stands out in “Rogue One.” The film capitalizes on the vastness of the “Star Wars” universe. It shows the audience a diverse set of planets that present many different climates. In one scene, there’s nothing but vast desert yet in the next, there’s a battle taking place on a tropical beach.

Director Gareth Edwards does a fantastic job benefiting on the multiple settings. This may be one of the best-filmed movies in the “Star Wars” anthology.

However, when considering sheer impact, “Rogue One” might have trouble when compared to other “Star Wars” films. “Rogue One” could be conceived as a two-hour film that’s main purpose is to inform the “Star Wars” universe what was going on before “New Hope,” showing only a small glimpse of the Rebels rise, instead of being a film that tells a powerful narrative from beginning to end that will attract all viewers, not just current Star Wars fans.

The new darker themes “Rogue One” presents are a strength to the film. The plot focuses on the Rebel Alliance, questions of morality often come up on what is right or wrong to do when fighting for a cause. The Rebels are more complex in “Rogue One,” making the characters more interesting.

“Rogue One” will appease many longtime fans with this new release. The combination of an action-packed plot and groundbreaking visual effects make it a contender to be one of the biggest box office movies ever.

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