’Rogue One’ arrives in cinemas this week, and already ‘Star Wars’ fans are gearing up to descend, en masse, to the cinema to soak up the latest instalment of their favourite inter-galactic odyssey.
Although the film is pitched as a stand-alone addition to the central story, it is clear it will be judged by the same criteria - do the ships look ‘real’ enough? Do we care about the relationships and betrayals? Is there enough Wookie?
Without giving anything away, the answer to the above is, two out of three. For the rest, you’ll have to see the film for yourselves. In the meantime, in a spoiler-free galaxy, here’s what the first reviews have to say... and there isn’t a dud among them.
Caroline Frost, Huffington Post UK:
“There is nothing that jars (or worse, jar jars) in this spectacle. On the contrary, there are enough references, both visual and spoken to keep a long time fan very happy, sometimes gasping, occasionally applauding.” (Read full review here.)
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian:
“Rogue One doesn’t really go rogue at any stage, and it isn’t a pop culture event like The Force Awakens, in whose slipstream this appears; part of its charm resides in the eerie, almost dreamlike effect of continually producing familiar elements, reshuffled and reconfigured, a reaching back to the past and hinting at a preordained future.” (Read full review here.)
Robbie Collin, The Telegraph:
“In its best moments, there’s a yarn-spinning intimacy to it too - an old war story told around a spectacular campfire.” (Read full review here.)
Peter Debruge, Variety:
“This is the rebellion as it is experienced in the trenches. Younger audiences will be bored, confused, or both. But for the original generation of Star Wars fans who weren’t sure what to make of episodes one, two, and three, Rogue One is the prequel they’ve always wanted.” (Read full review here.)
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter:
“What fans will get here is loads of action, great effects, good comic relief, stunning locations (Iceland, Jordan and the Maldives) and some intriguing early glimpses of the Galactic Empire as it begins to flex its inter-galactic power.” (Read full review here.)
‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is in UK cinemas from Thursday 15 December.