Rogue One: A Star Wars Story bridges the gap of 28 years of productions. This movie takes place between The Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope - chronologically the 3rd and 4th movies that divide the original trilogy from the prequel trilogy. Rogue One delves into the background of what happened leading up to A New Hope - focusing on the Rebellion struggle against the Imperial Empire (as expected).
Rogue One has a completely different tone to it than has previously been used to illustrate the series. It brings a gritty, down-and-dirty style of film to Star Wars - one that sees a tremendous struggle and presents itself in such a fashion. It doesn't have the Star Wars intro that you're used to. The movie doesn't begin with the Star Wars theme song and a few paragraphs scrolling up the screen the let you know what's going on. So it feels like it's something completely different.
I heard before seeing it that the movie was very slow-paced until the end, when there was an extraordinary ending that just makes you want to watch the original trilogy all over again. While I've been excited for this movie for some time now, and skeptical of how well it would portray the Star Wars universe, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the movie, and it did a great job of carrying the Star Wars name. It is somewhat slow throughout the movie, but I'd say it just takes it time to thoroughly set everything up. There wasn't a single moment that it didn't have my full attention. That being said, I was a little let down as I expected Darth Vader to have a slightly larger role. Maybe it's just wishful thinking. There was no greater moment or shot in the movie than getting to see the powerful guy wield his lightsaber again.
While it did disappoint in some ways, I had huge expectations for this movie, so that's not saying much. It's Star Wars with far less cheesy moments, less bad graphics, and about the same number of of-course-you-were-there-at-the-perfect-time moments you'd expect to see in a movie of this nature. I was very satisfied with the story, and I think it did a tremendous job setting up for A New Hope. K-2SO is almost as loveable as C-3P0, and Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor do a great job leading the story along. It was a great movie, and one that will be joining my Star Wars collection when it comes out. Now time to go watch the original trilogy again.
Overall - 4.5/5
Cinematography - 4/5
Directing - 4.5/5
Writing - 4.5/5
Editing - 4/5