Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Will it help my English? This film uses several English accents throughout, with many subcontinent and European accents as well as the classic British and American. Excellent for intermediate to advanced students.


If, like me, you grew up in the late 70s through the 80s, the originally Star Wars films will have played a huge part of your childhood. They were exciting, new, and full of great characters and special effects.


The second trilogy of films from 1999-2005 almost burned the whole franchise down. They were awful, with boring stories and terrible direction (interestingly, the original film, which was also directed by George Lucas, was saved by some amazing editing work in post production. The classic Empire Strikes Back and enjoyable Return of The Jedi were directed by Irwin Winkler and Richard Marquand, respectively). 


So when the franchise, fighting back with the hugely successful Force Awakens, decided to do a prequel to the first film, I wasn't filled with much hope.


I shouldn't have worried. It's wonderful.


The story focuses on a team of rebel agents as they try to capture the plans that are later used to attack the famous Death Star in A New Hope. The characters are interesting, the action fantastic and the writing top notch for a science fiction blockbuster. But for me, the special effects are the greatest asset here. Special effects are designed to enhance a film, and they really do in Rogue One.


Film makers had for years tried to create a cgi human figure, with limited success (the last real attempt, Jeff Bridges' Clu in Troy:Legacy, was pretty rubbish). In Rogue One, they succeed. I watched this film with a friend and I grinned from ear to ear when a certain character appeared. Last seen in 1977's A New Hope, his age then meant it impossible for the actor to appear again. But he does, and the cgi is so good my friend, who isn't a big Star Wars fan, didn't realize it wasn't real.


Add to this a scene at the end with one of the franchise's, and cinema's, greatest ever characters bringing the house down, and you have one of the most surprisingly enjoyable films of recent years.