From Lucasfilm comes an epic adventure – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction.
All looks lost for the Rebellion against the Empire as they learn of the existence of a new superweapon, the Death Star. Once a possible weakness in its construction is uncovered, the Rebel Alliance must set out on a desperate mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The future of the entire galaxy now rests upon its success.
Rogue One has a kind of associate membership status with the projected nine-film club; it doesn’t count as a fully fledged episode, but an auxiliary story, an offshoot of the canon, a sleek fighter cruising alongside the main fleet – though of comparable size, shape and manoeuvrability.
Felicity Jones plays Jyn Erso, a courageous, fugitive rebel who happens to be the daughter of Galen Erso, the brilliant scientist, designer and Oppenheimer figure behind plans for the Empire’s terrifying new weapon, called a “Death Star”: he is played by Mads Mikkelsen with his familiar air of martyred machismo.
Daughter and father endured a terrible trauma; Jyn is close to the extremist rebel-dissident Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), and Galen finds himself working for the Empire’s chillingly fanatical administrator, Krennic – a pleasingly unpleasant performance, facially tense and clipped, from Ben Mendelsohn.
But whose side is Galen actually on? And when Jyn finds herself destined to steal the Death Star plans and command a rebel ship code-named Rogue One, she must team up with another insurgent, Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna, whose own hidden agenda she realises when it’s almost too late.
Felicity Jones is in the tousled-yet-game tradition of Star Wars female leads, like Carrie Fisher or Daisy Ridley: well-born but determined, with a sense of purpose befitting an heiress, if not a princess. The comedy robot this time around is K-2SO, a reprogrammed Empire droid, voiced by Alan Tudyk, who is less obviously dapper than C-3PO. K-2SO is hulking and dark, more like Ted Hughes’s Iron Man in miniature, but with a droll way of objecting to orders; his style in backtalk involves a nicely timed deferred punchline. The arms are long, resulting in an almost knuckle-dragging, simian way of walking. In his taciturn way, K-2SO could almost be a quasi-Chewie presence.