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Movie review: 'Rogue One' hits Blu-ray

Posted at 8:13 AM, Apr 12, 2017

“Rogue One” is now on Blu-ray and while it doesn’t revolve around the Skywalker family, it’s a fitting addition to any fan’s “Star Wars” collection.

The first stand-alone movie in the epic sci-fi saga differs from the other seven main “Star Wars” films in some jarring ways—no opening text crawl, for one—but its visual ties to the beloved original trilogy are a joy to watch in high definition.

Set in the days leading up to 1977’s “A New Hope,” this film follows a motley rebel squad led by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), as they break into an Empire stronghold to steal the blueprints for the Death Star.

The problem with “Rogue One” is that, by definition, it’s not truly a “stand-alone movie.” The entire film exists chiefly to set up “A New Hope” and in that measure, it succeeds greatly. As soon as “Rogue One” finished, my wife and I immediately popped in “A New Hope” and the action picks up seamlessly.

But is a 133-minute retcon worth the film it’s printed on? I say yes because “Rogue One” is a fun, exciting addition to the “Star Wars” universe and its diverse cast of characters holds something for everyone.

I’m a sucker for spy and heist movies and that’s essentially what this movie is. It’s light on sci-fi but heavy on intrigue and action. It’s also the best looking “Star Wars” movie yet. The production design team nailed the retro-futuristic aesthetic of the original trilogy but also added some new designs, like sleek, black Storm Trooper costumes, that keep “Rogue One” from simply being a fan-service clone.

The Blu-ray package includes a lengthy documentary on the thought process behind making “Rogue One,” including interviews with the entire main cast, crew and Lucasfilm executives. There’s also a much-too-short featurette that shows some of the Easter eggs that tie the movie to the other “Star Wars” films and TV series.

The making-of documentary made me enjoy the film’s characters even more, as the writers and actors talk at length about their goals in creating them. But conspicuously missing from the documentary is George Lucas, as well as any references to the infamous prequel trilogy. I’m starting to think Disney wants to pretend those movies don’t exist, which makes their notorious legacies all the more uncomfortable to weigh.

“Rogue One” is a gorgeous movie to watch from your couch and the bonus features are a bit more substantial than most initial releases of new films on home video, but I know Disney had plenty more behind-the-scenes bonus footage it left out. This should be enough to keep you satisfied until “The Last Jedi” hits theaters in December.

Clint’s Grade: ★★★★☆


"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"

Blu-ray Release Date: April 7, 2017
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action)
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writers: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy
Stars: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn


Clint Davis covers entertainment and trending news topics for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.