It's finally here. In just a few days, Lucasfilm will see Star Wars return to theaters with the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The standalone is set to warp towards audiences this weekend, and fans all over the country have already secured their early-bird tickets. Now, those moviegoers are getting more hyped than ever before thanks to a slew of new press reviews for the film - and they are unbelievably positive.
ComicBook.com's Lucas Siegel had the privelege of screening Rogue One early, and he had great things to say about the space opera turned vinate war movie. The Star Wars fanatic said the new story fills a gap in the universe's lore while also contributing a refreshing, gritty narrative of its own. Judging by others' reviews, Siegel is not the only critic who left theaters feeling good about the much-anticipated film.
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We have gone ahead and rounded-up some of the best reviews for Rogue One if you are still on the fence about buying a ticket. These in-depth overviews will help you feel the Force, but be warned! Some spoilers do lie ahead!
"This week, the world of Star Wars expands, and there's no turning back. With two named and one unnamed Star Wars Story films on the books at Lucasfilm, it's clear they're going full speed ahead on the idea of bringing new, non-Saga films to the Star Wars franchise. That means movies that exist outside of the core "Skywalker Saga" story that has made up every film thus far - that story will stay in the "Episode" films, currently coming out on odd years, while the new standalone films hit in even years. But for all that to happen going forward, Lucasfilm absolutely had to execute on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, their first effort in the expansion.
Luckily, they absolutely have executed. Rogue One doesn't just expand the Star Warsuniverse in an exciting way, it tells a singular, stand alone tale that still enriches the overall narrative of that universe."
"The thing that has always made George Lucas’ “Galaxy Far Far Away” so unique is its richness. Every character, every planet, every plot point and technical spec seems to have been considered. It’s a thoroughly imagined universe full more obsessive details and arcane backstories than we can probably imagine. There are no unanswerable questions, just untold tales – and unmade movies. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first stand-alone chapter in the franchise, tells one of those untold tales. The new film is set just prior to the original Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope). Of course, that was our introduction – our gateway drug – to Lucas’ world of Wookiees and droids and rebel heroes and imperial villains."
"Lobotomized and depersonalized, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the latest entry in the film franchise, is a pure and perfect product that makes last year’s flavor, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” feel like an exemplar of hands-on humanistic warmth and dramatic intimacy. Sure, J. J. Abrams’s movie offered merely effectively packaged simulacra of such values—but at least he tried. The director of “Rogue One,” Gareth Edwards, has stepped into a mythopoetic stew so half-baked and overcooked, a morass of pre-instantly overanalyzed implications of such shuddering impact to the series’ fundamentalists, that he lumbers through, seemingly stunned or constrained or cautious to the vanishing point of passivity, and lets neither the characters nor the formidable cast of actors nor even the special effects, of which he has previously proved himself to be a master, come anywhere close to life."
"It takes a pair of Death Star-sized balls to release a Star Wars prequel at this point. As George Lucas learned back in 1999, hitting fans’ nostalgia circuits will only get you so far: you also have to deliver an experience that feels fresh. (The absence of Gungans helps too.) Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One walks this tightrope with very little wobbling. There are plenty of series callbacks to please devotees, but also a slew of offbeat new characters, first-rate visuals and a truly ballsy third act."
"Until now, the good-evil split in Star Wars has been as cleanly cut as well-carved turkey meat: light and dark tidily arranged on opposite sides of the plate. Rogue One gets stuck into the giblets.
This is the first in a potentially endless series of "Star Wars Stories" spun off from the franchise’s humming fulcrum, and it sides with the Rebellion, which is exactly as you’d expect."
The Hollywood Reporter
"Rogue One definitely puts the war back into Star Wars. It may call itself rogue, but this first stand-alone feature in the series officially unconnected with any of the previous entries fits comfortably in the universe George Lucas birthed 40 years ago. Loaded with more battle action than any of its seven predecessors, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story plays like a setup for the events in the 1977 original and, for the most part, does so quite entertainingly."
"Star Wars has arguably the best opening in cinema history, with Princess Leia giving R2-D2 the secret plans to the Death Star and beginning a tale famous in every corner of the world.
Almost 40 years later, the standalone Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (**½ out of four; rated PG-13; in theaters Thursday night) shows exactly how the Rebel Alliance snagged that information as the movie tries to differentiate itself from the franchise's past. However, Rogue One is often undermined by its close ties to George Lucas’ original trilogy, and more emphasis is put on its central mission than its fresh-faced characters."
"Talk about a blast from the past – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story literally is just that. Taking place just before the events of the first released Star Wars movie in 1977, this spin-off/prequel has the same primitive, lived-in, emotional, loopy, let's-put-on-a-show spirit that made us fall in love with the original trilogy. It's the first stand-alone chapter in the franchise, and not the bridge between then and now that J.J. Abrams cleverly constructed last year with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As a movie, it can feel alternately slow and rushed, cobbled together out of spare parts, and in need of more time of the drawing board. But the damn thing is alive and bursting with the euphoric joy of discovery that caught us up in the adventurous fun nearly four decades ago. Familiar faces, human and droid, make cameos. But not once do you doubt that the new characters are breathing the same air as Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie and that baddest of badasses, Darth Vader."
"A short time before “Star Wars,” in a galaxy far, far away, the Rebel heroes featured in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” took the first step that led to the Death Star’s destruction. No spoilers there, since earthlings first saw that glorious explosion nearly 40 years ago. Be warned, though: Every detail that follows could dilute the surprise factor of what’s coyly being billed as a Jedi-free spinoff, but might more accurately be described as “Star Wars: Episode 3.9,” so perfectly does it set up George Lucas’ 1977 original."
"While the pressure on The Force Awakens to successfully re-launch the Star Wars movie series was staggering, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story now faces its own crucial moment of truth. Disney and Lucasfilm are looking to expand the Star Wars brand in a big way with spinoff films -- which are not part of the central, numbered, core “Episode” series -- and fans are looking at Rogue One to prove they can deliver satisfying stories in this realm. The very happy news is that fortunately, and thrillingly, the film completely succeeds on this and many other levels."