When Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars from George Lucas, I had so much anticipation of what they were going to do with one of my favorite movie franchises. I’d loved it since my childhood and wondered if they could have as much success as they had with their other huge acquisitions like Pixar and Marvel? Did they have plans for continuing the Skywalker story, or were they going to move in an entirely different direction? One thing I did know is that Disney knows how to develop enduring characters and stories. It’s been that way since Walt Disney started the company with animated characters like Mickey Mouse, to an entire library of Marvel Superheroes and even to in-house theme park rides turned movie franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean.
Disney has always known how to handle great properties, and it didn’t long for them to get things moving along with the first new film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It made its way to theaters as a smashing success in 2015 and Disney provided details of six Star Wars films being developed through 2020. The second film in the new releases was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which released to theaters in December of 2016. There are a number of reasons why I was looking forward to this film outside of simply being a Star Wars fan. For starters, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first Star Wars film that is a bit on the experimental side. That is, it’s the first film that doesn’t center on a Skywalker and that’s obviously huge in and of itself. It’s also the first Star Wars film that was made as a “one and done.” There were no plans for Rogue One sequels or prequels. As such, I was really excited to see it in theaters and again now on Blu-ray.
I’m sure you are probably already familiar with the timeline of the films, but in case you are not, Rogue One takes place before the release of George Lucas debut film in 1977. It helps to answer one of the most important questions many had after seeing the original film, “How did the Rebels get their hands on the Death Star Design Plans, and why was there such an obvious flaw in its construction?” Without the plans, they couldn’t have discovered the small and insignificant design flaw that would allow them to take down the planet destroying weapon. I’m not going to spoil plot details of the film, but I will say that Rogue One adequately fills the plot hole. Personally, I just really enjoyed the films, so I’m not really one to get up in arms with these types of problems. I just accept it and move on. But, there are many others that it really bothered, and Rogue One puts this neatly and safely to bed.
I previously mentioned that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was more experimental that other Star Wars films, and while that is true, there is a great deal of the film that allows it to just feel like Star Wars. There are Stormtroopers that seemingly still can’t hit the broad side of a barn with their shots; X-Wings and TIE Fighters in arial encounters; the aforementioned Death Star; the Force plays a part in the film (again, no spoilers); there are plenty of good guys against baddies. It’s definitely a bit more gritty than Star Wars films we’ve seen to date, and for those and many more reasons, it’s nostalgic and a really satisfying watch.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray Bonus Features
This is a film that really doesn’t depend on Bonus Features. They’re a nice bonus of course, but if you are a Star Wars fan, you’ll likely want to own the film regardless of what’s included in this area. There are a little over an hour worth of extras, so it doesn’t take long to go through them. The favorite in our family was “K-2SO: The Droid” and “The Princess & The Governor” (just to stay on the no-spoilers side of things, don’t read through all of these unless you have already seen the film).
Here is the complete list:
- A Rogue Idea – Hear how ILM’s John Knoll came up with the movie’s concept – and why it’s the right film to launch the Star Wars stand-alone films.
- Jyn: The Rebel – Get to know Rogue One’s defiant, resourceful survivor, and hear what it was like for Felicity Jones to bring her to life onscreen.
- Cassian: The Spy – Diego Luna shares insights into his complex, driven character, who becomes a hero through selflessness, perseverance and passion.
- K-2SO: The Droid – Explore the development of this reprogrammed Imperial droid, from initial pitch and character design through Alan Tudyk’s performance.
- Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills – Go deeper into the relationship between these two very different characters, with Chinese superstars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen.
- Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary – Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed reflect on Saw Gerrera, the broken Rebel leader, and Bodhi Rook, the Imperial pilot who defects.
- The Empire – Meet a dangerous new Imperial adversary…and cross paths once more with the most iconic villain of all time.
- Visions of Hope: The Look of “Rogue One” – The filmmakers describe the challenges and thrills of developing a bold new look for the movie that can fit within the world of the original trilogy.
- The Princess & The Governor – See what it took to bring the vibrant young princess of “Star Wars: A New Hope” – as well as one of her most memorable foes – back to the screen.
- Epilogue: The Story Continues – Filmmakers and cast celebrate Rogue One’s premiere and look forward into the future, to the Star Wars stories yet to be told.
- Rogue Connections – Uncover Easter eggs and film facts hidden throughout the movie that connect “Rogue One” to the Star Wars universe.
Take a look at a few of the bonuses below:
ROGUE ONE | K2SO Design
Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this movie. All opinions are our own.