A big thumbs up for latest Star Wars blockbuster

Reporter TOM MOLLOY stayed up way past his bedtime to join fellow Star Wars fans for the first showings of the new blockbuster Rogue One. Here's his verdict.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 9:33 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 10:06 am
An action shot from Rogue One

There were plenty of people feeling the force as Rogue One launched to cinemagoers at midnight on Wednesday.
Rogue One is the first in a new series of ‘Star Wars Anthology’ films, taking place in the same universe but acting as standalone spin-offs to the main series.

The film was given a midnight launch and despite it being way past most people’s turning in time, it seemed like a real event with people dressed up as jedis, complete with lightsabers, TIE fighters hanging from the ceiling and Death Star shaped popcorn buckets.

There was the option, as with a lot of films these days, to watch it in 2D or 3D. 3D has earned a bad reputation over the years, due to being used for the sake of it. But with a film like Star Wars, it makes for a more immersive viewing experience, as spaceships and planets seemingly fly past the audience.

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Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk).

Despite this, the 3D screening of the film was quite sparsely populated, with a number of seats still available.

The film itself, despite not being part of the official series, managed to work better as a prequel to the original trilogy than any of the three-part prequel series ever had. It focuses on the Rebel Alliance’s battle with the Imperial Empire, with a group of rebels trying to steal the plans for the newly created “planet killer” - The Death Star.

Unlike the previously released Star Wars film, ‘Force Awakens’, which cast relative unknown Daisy Ridley in the lead role, Rogue One stars Oscar-nominated Felicity Jones as the protagonist Jyn Erso.

She delivers a brilliant performance and her chemistry with co-star Diego Luna grows and grows throughout the film.

Actress Felicity Jones

As with Force Awakens there’s plenty of fan service with references to the original films, once again aplenty. However, fans hoping to see a lot Darth Vader may be left disappointed with his scenes being more quality than quantity.

What the film does do brilliantly is act as its own film while also having that Star Wars magic that made people first fall in love with the series.

The pacing in the middle was a little bit sluggish and the midnight showing claimed a few casualties of sleep but the final third of the film is such a triumph that it will no doubt warrant a second viewing for those who couldn’t stay awake.

Our man Tom, snapped with a Stormtrooper
Reviewer Tom Molloy with a Lightsaber
Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk).
Actress Felicity Jones
Our man Tom, snapped with a Stormtrooper
Reviewer Tom Molloy with a Lightsaber