The first Star Wars standalone story stars Felicity Jones and is a thrilling adventure full of epic spectacle and propulsive action
The first Star Wars standalone story stars Felicity Jones and is a thrilling adventure full of epic spectacle and propulsive action.
British director Gareth Edwards could easily have come a cropper, yet he has done a terrific job of juggling the series’ tradition and innovation with a movie that occupies the same universe as the main series but has a very different feel.
Appropriately, the prevailing mood is dark and downbeat, the movie’s guys-on-a-mission plot spun from a puzzling detail from George Lucas’ original Star Wars – how exactly did the Rebel Alliance steal the plans to the Death Star?
Hopping from planet to planet, battle to battle, the fast-paced narrative means there’s little time to flesh out all the characters.
Yet Jones’ resilient young warrior Jyn Erso, the mission’s driving force, makes a striking heroine and there are vivid turns from Donnie Yen’s blind warrior monk, Forest Whitaker’s formidable guerrilla fighter and Riz Ahmed’s gritty imperial defector.
Best of all, though, is Alan Tudyk’s reprogrammed imperial droid K-2SO. A droll robot cousin to C-3PO, he is a scene-stealing delight, his eternally pessimistic statistical analyses of the band’s chances of success at each turn in the mission providing many of film’s funniest lines.
Against the odds, as we know from the 1977 film, Jyn’s rebels succeed. Almost as improbably, so does Edwards’ film.