Prequels have become a tainted word within the Star Wars franchise.
People still harbour feelings of betrayal over the prequel trilogy, but this is a different story.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story offers something new while still feeling like its part of the Star Wars universe.
The movie tells the story of the team that stole the plans for the Death Star, which were instrumental to the climax of the original Star Wars film from 1977.
It is actually set between the original trilogy and the more recent prequel trilogy, acting as a perfect bridge between the two.
However, the movie takes a while to get going.
The first hour or so seems to drag on as all the characters are introduced and the stage is set, but as soon as that’s out of the way it escalates into an epic rebellion on a scale never seen before in a Star Wars.
Rogue One does take steps to set itself apart from the other films in the franchise.
The characters are not the clean cut good guys we’re used to, the action is intense and brutal – beyond anything the franchise has done before.
This is the grittier side of the rebellion where the rebels are willing to do anything it takes, no matter how morally questionable, to gain the upper hand and the Empire is throwing everything at them without remorse.
However, there are plenty of nods to the original trilogy – with cameos from characters you might expect and others you might not.
The humour and references are still there, but fortunately do not distract from the movie too much.
Meanwhile, the cast that makes up this wonderfully diverse film are all great.
Those that stand out are K-2SO, this movie’s delightfully sassy droid voiced by Firefly’s Alan Tudyk that brings so much humour to every scene he’s in, and the blind warrior monk Chirrut Îmwe played by Donnie Yen, who offers new insight into the spiritual aspects of The Force and has some stellar fight scenes.
Of course there’s the star of the movie Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones, who becomes the heart of the ragtag rogues – her character proves that women can and should take more central roles in science fiction and fantasy flicks.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is currently being screened at City Centre, Seef, Saar and Al Jazeera cinemas.