Most people do not like spoilers, particularly for something as epic as the Star Wars franchise. However, for the latest Star Wars movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, if you go into the theatre without knowing anything about it prior, you might find yourself struggling to understand what was going on. I know, because I did.
I may have watched all of the seven Star Wars movies, but I don’t profess to be a die-hard fan who has memorised every single line from Episode One to Seven. While I am not saying you need to know the full plot before watching Rogue One (that will take the fun away), it helps to know some things before watching. The movie throws a lot of information at you, enough to make me go “huh?” several times in the first hour alone. Without giving away too much (trust me, I really tried to be as vague as possible), here are some quick things you should know about Rogue One – especially if you are one of those poor unfortunate souls forced by your friends to watch the movie:
Rogue One is a standalone story
Die-hard fans would have known this already. But if you are clueless about the Star Wars universe, know that Rogue One is not a continuation of the Star Wars saga that has already spawned seven epic movies with two more to come. Rogue One is a spin-off, touching on unexplored areas of the expanded Star Wars universe. While it is still a Star Wars story as the movie title suggests, it ain’t exactly following the stories of the prominent characters from Episode One to Seven, so to speak. In fact, Rogue One is the first of three standalone stories (read: something to quench the thirst of fans in between the main Episodes).
Rogue One is set during the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope i.e. Episode Three and Four. Here’s the full timeline of everything we know so far:
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (movie and TV)
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Han Solo film (slated for 25 May 2018)
Star Wars Rebel (TV)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Episode VIII (slated for 15 December 2017)
Episode IX (slated 23 May 2019)
[Warning: do not read on if you really, really do not want to even know the basic plot details. But, what’s the point in that?]
The story follows the story of a group of resistance fighters who come together to steal the plans for the first Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction that can destroy entire planets with just a shot. If you’ve watched Episode Four (and the filmmakers are assuming you have), yeah, it’s those very same plans that Princess Leia hides in R2-D2.
The objective of stealing the plans is to find the weakness of the Death Star so as to destroy it.
Who is Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones)?
Felicity Jones stars as the main protagonist in Rogue One, Jyn Erso. Her father is Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), a brilliant Empire scientist who hides out as a farmer on distant lands with his wife and daughter. He gets forcibly taken back to the Empire subsequently and is separated from young Jyn. Eventually, Jyn grows up to be the one who leads the group that steals the Death Star plans.
Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) is not a Jedi in the movie
Sorry, Felicity Jones, but Donnie Yen steals the show in my opinion – and he’s certainly no token Asian in this movie. The famed Ip Man star steps into the Star Wars universe as Chirrut Îmwe, a blind former Jedi Temple guardian on Jedda. The Force appears to be strong with him, though he is no Jedi. However, he is one badass in Rogue One – a good one, that is – to the extent that we feel we are watching Ip Man in action. If Chirrut weren’t blind, he might just be kicking Darth Vader’s ass too, besides all those Stormtroopers’.
Catch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in the theatres today.
This post also appeared here.