Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is an entry George Lucas would be proud of

The sci-fi franchise lives on with a vital prequel addition

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PG: some violence)

Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen Directed by Gareth Edwards

Lucasfilm’s first stand-alone Star Wars movie makes an excellent prequel addition to the canon. English actress Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso is an inspiring heroine, leading her ragtag Rebel Alliance — Diego Luna’s intelligence officer; Riz Ahmed’s pilot; Donnie Yen’s blind warrior-monk; Jiang Wen as his assassin protector (so strange to hear the Chinese actors converse in English); also a droid — on a mission to steal the Empire’s Death Star blueprint in a galaxy far, far away in the years preceding the 1977 Episode IV — A New Hope. The Force is with British director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). He returns classic characters in gratifying cameos without letting the legacy weigh down the adventure’s own fast-paced fun and diverse ensemble of new characters. His gritty combat action is the most welcome for introducing realism to the ongoing and — sorry, fans — ever jejune saga of good versus one-dimensional evil. 4/5

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