"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" feels both different and familiar. It's a terrific film, a serious film that stands alone in the space leading up to the 1977 original.
"Rogue One" is a serious minded combat movie about the creation of the Death Star and a young woman, Jyn, played well by Felicity Jones, who leads the rebellion to dismantle and destroy it's deadly power.
She is joined by Diego Luna and a fascinating droid voiced by Texas actor, Alan Tudyk. The force is strong in this enlightened film.
"Rogue One" also features a blind martial arts expert who "feels the force" and his gun toting partner who often find themselves in the middle of hand to hand combat. It's a compelling diverse universe that includes multiple Empire bad guys in white robes with British accents.
And it works, as an episode, and as cinematic glue that helps hold together the Star Wars universe.
"Rogue One" is impressively directed by Gareth Edwards who handles aerial action scenes better than most movies. His intense PG-13 film is more adult than kid friendly, taking itself seriously with an unusual amount of lives lost.
Rogue One" is complicated and wastes no time getting started. It has a lot to say about standing up for what you believe and at the center of the struggle is a young woman, who risks her life to do what is right.
This is an impressive film, with an equally impressive cast.