The first Star Wars spin-off movie is a proving grounds. A lot of the people involved at LucasFilm and Disney often seemed scared of this film, and the tone director Gareth Edwards was shooting for. Can you pull off a darker, more mature Star Wars film not involved in the main storyline? The answer is, of course, yes. Look at the lineage of Star Wars novels since the release of the original movie. But this movie has to hit with the mainstream movie-going audience, and it will.
Within 20 minutes you will feel back in the Star Wars universe, but something is very different this time; in fact, a lot is quite different this time. Be it the lack of no opening crawl, or simply the way the film is put together for that first 20 minutes. But it is still Star Wars, just a much dirtier version. And that’s saying something considering in the original film they spend what feels like 10 minutes in a garbage dump.
The best thing about Rogue One is that it is a Star Wars fans movie. The more you are invested in the Star Wars world, the more you will get out of this film. But this can also serve as a detriment to the film. Within the first five minutes of Rogue One, I was starting to tear up seeing Galen Erso confronting Orson Krennic, and this is because I had already spent a lot of time with these characters in the prequel book– Rogue One: Catalyst. Obviously, I’m in a minority of the number of people who will see this movie feeling like that, but it says something to the depth that you can find her if you want. Or just watch that same scene and you’ll be slowly picking up on the backstory, which is fine.