Cynics would say it's just a money grab for the holidays to suck in fans but "Rogue One" is a gamble that pays off. The story exists between episode three and four of the Star Wars saga and successfully bridges the gap between the original trilogy and the generally panned by fans, second trilogy. Of course if Star Wars is not your thing, this film will hold no interest.
The story contains all the elements we've become accustomed to; a female hero, Jyn, played by Felicity Jones, a dashing "cowboy" hero, Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna, a despicable villain, Krennic, played by Ben Mendelsohn, and a wise cracking droid, K-2SO, voiced by Alan Tudyk.
Mads Milkkensen,Forest Whittaker, Riz Ahmed
play other important characters. And of course what would a Star Wars story be without an appearance by Darth Vader, a quick cameo by R2D2 and C3PO, and a few other familar faces? Two actors are digitally recreated for continuity (a little creepy)and that's actually an alarming concept. At some point, movies won't need real actors at all.
There are some terrific action sequences and the requisite space battle and the film moves at a brisk pace. I missed the John Williams score but Michael Giacchino fills in nicely to add musical emotion to the space opera. The special effects are up to par, especially during the climax of the spaceship battle. And of course, the film is breathtaking if you see it in IMAX 3D.
All in all, a welcome addition to the continuing Star Wars mythology that won't disappoint.