This movie is a prequel to the original Star Wars Episode IV. Rogue One tells the origin story of the Empire’s massive Death Star weapon. A major plot point in Episode IV was that the rebels had the Death Star plans and knew of an endemic design flaw that could be exploited to bring it down. Rogue One tells us how it came to pass that the Death Star was rigged and how exactly did the rebels get their hands on the schematics. Of course this is all thanks to a rag tag collection of rebel fighters and a very entertaining robot.
2016, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hrs 13 mins
DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, 2.39:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk and Donnie Yen
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Like many critics, I think this may be among the best Star Wars movies of all time. I will not go so far as to claim it to be "The Best", though, because how can you eclipse "Episode IV, A New Hope" which is nothing less than a cultural icon? Be that as it may, Rogue One benefits tremendously from the newer technologies available today and they exploit those technologies to the maximum extent possible.
This movie is consequently a technical tour de force in many ways. But we all know that a good movie has to have more than great visuals and great audio. The makers of Rogue One obviously knew this and delivered an experience with many new characters and a story that plays out like an epic war film with lots of heroics, personal sacrifice and death. I love the death part. There is a sticker on the outer shell that says this is "A Must-Own for Your Collection". I couldn’t agree more! Get this, watch it, keep it, watch it again.
I first saw this movie at a Regal RPX theater. RPX theaters have improved seating, audio and video. The experience was tremendous. So when I first watched the Blu-ray on my home system, I thought there was a problem with the picture. That’s because the opening scene has Krennic standing outside in the rain. In the theater, the individual raidrops on his uniform stood out very clearly. On the Blu-ray, not so much. But I soon realized that this was a limitation of my home system due to a loss of resolution associated with motion. Once he stopped moving, all the individual drops were discernible.
So my final score on the disc’s PQ is five stars. This demanding film requires the disc to render light values from pure black to the highest brightness possible. And there are many dark scenes that rely on the system’s tracking to reveal all the shadow details. But in the end I was won over by the detailed image that never let me down (unless my system blurred the image due to all the motion).
The audio also grew on me as the movie unfolded. The soundtrack started off sounding a bit compressed and flat to be perfectly honest. As the action heated up later in the movie, however, I began to appreciate what I was hearing more and more – taut bass, massive amounts of detail and high dynamics. I further appreciated that the bass was strong and deep but in good balance with the midrange (not too "ripe").
This is a three-disc set with the Blu-ray of the feature film, a Blu-ray of Special Features, a DVD and a Digital Streaming Code included. On-disc extras are plentiful and quite entertaining:
- A Rogue Idea
- Jyn: The Rebel
- Cassian: The Spy
- K-2SO: The Droid
- Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills
- Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary
- The Empire
- Visions of Hope: The Look of Rogue One
- The Princess & The Governor
- Epilogue: The Story Continues