With the massive success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a long old wait until the end of 2017 for the release date of the next installment in the series, there was a lot of expectation for the first ever Star Wars Anthology movie, Rogue One. With a brand new story and a fresh-faced cast, there was a lot of responsibility resting on the shoulders of director Gareth Edwards, whose previous outings have been big beast releases like Monsters and Godzilla (2014).
The film is the brainchild of Industrial Light & Magic (the special effects arm of Lucasfilm) chief creative officer John Knoll. He’s been working on the Star Wars series since the mid-90s, so he’s had a lot of time to cogitate over the concept and with a timeline that pre-dates A New Hope it was always going to be interesting to see how it all fits together in the grand scheme of the much-loved space opera. Check out the trailer below to see the teaser in action and you can read our full Rogue One film review for our take on the prequel.
The new Star Wars film arrived in cinemas with a combined US and UK release date on the 15th December 2016, just in time to capitalise on another big winter box office haul for Disney and Lucasarts. It’ll be available in 2D, 3D and IMAX and with the impressive visuals in the trailer below, it’s another good shout for the latter two screening options. You can check out the latest posters, video clips and artwork for the film at the official Twitter page.
DVD, Blu-ray and digital download:
Based on the release of The Force Awakens, which also arrived in mid-December on the big screen, the Rogue One DVD should be arriving in the UK in early April 2017. It’ll also be available on Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray, as well as on digital download, and all formats are already available to pre-order.
The plot takes us back to the lead-up to the story of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, as a group of rebel resistance fighters battle it out with the Galactic Empire to steel the plans for the Death Star. It’s a massive point in the back story of the Star Wars film as it is these plans that go on to allow Luke to successfully destroy it, leveling the playing field a little for the rest of the battle between the dark and the light.
The cast is lead by Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything) and Diego Luna (The Book Of Life). While the production is keeping quiet on Luna’s character for the time being, the release of the teaser trailer below confirmed that Jones’ character is rebel freedom fighter, Jyn Erso. Ben Mendelsohn (The Place Beyond The Pines), Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen have also been confirmed for the cast, but the most exciting news is that it will also star the brilliant Forest Whitaker (The Last King Of Scotland), who you can see in the trailer below, along with Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange), Alan Tudyk (Zootopia) and Riz Ahmed (Jason Bourne).
Rogue One has been given an age rating of 12A in the UK by the British Board Of Film Classification with “moderate violence”.
The John Knoll story has been written by Chris Weitz (Antz, About A Boy, Cinderella) with Gareth Edwards directing, so there should be epic CGI effects, a heartfelt storlyline and at least a few monsters along the way. Rogue One is being produced by Kiri Hart and John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) with executive producers Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), John Knoll, Simon Emanuel (The Dark Knight Rises) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin).
Greig Fraser (Foxcatcher) is the director of photography and Neil Corbould (Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan) to be his special effects supervisor; both of whom have been tasked with giving the film a realistic, “lived in” look and feel. Doug Chiang (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) and Neil Lamont (Edge of Tomorrow) are production designers, Rob Inch (World War Z) is the stunt coordinator, Neal Scanlan (Prometheus) is the creature effects supervisor (giving yet more indications that big beast monsters are going to be a big part of the film) and Dave Crossman (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Glyn Dillon (Kingsman: The Secret Service) will be taking care of the costume design.
There was too much quality in the cast and crew to be anything but excited about the prospect of Rogue One. When you add in the huge Star Wars story revolving around the capture of the Death Star plans, you’ve got something that fans will be very eager to see. While there was a lot of trepidation about the future of the series under Disney control, a lot of that went away with the arrival of Episode VII, but sadly it hasn’t been repeated with the release of the first Star Wars Anthology movie.
The arrival of the trailer gave us all a chance to see how the film was shaping up before its arrival on the big screen, and from our first ten or twelve views we had more than a glimmer of hope for another great movie in the series. However, the end result is riddled with holes that send negative shock waves throughout the rest of the series.
Mads Mikkelson and Felicity Jones do their best as Jyn and Galen Erso. Jyn is a bit sassy pants at times and the dialogue doesn’t do her many favours, but Jones carries off the role well enough. The problem is that there are just too many elements that don’t fit. In all fairness, there are at least two scenes that make the film unmissable on the big screen, but you should expect at least a little disappointment. Read our full review for more details.
Rogue One trailer:
UK DVD cover artwork:
The creative hasn’t been finalised on the UK DVD cover art, but if it looks as impressive as the initial example below then it will be pretty cool.