Teen Book Talk returns! After a short hiatus, teen book talk is back, with all new reviews, written by local teens. This week, we’re sharing a review of the film, Rogue One: a Star Wars Story.

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Neha H., Teen Reviewer

Name of Movie: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Release Date: December 16, 2016

MPAA Rating : PG-13

My rating : 4.5 stars

Genre : Science-fiction, action

The latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One serves as a prequel to 1977’s A New Hope, and follows the Rebel Alliance’s mission to steal the plans for the Death Star – crucial to its later destruction by rebel fleets led by Luke Skywalker.

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is the estranged daughter of the Empire’s lead engineer for the Death Star, Galen Erso, who holds the key to its destruction. Jyn must join forces with veteran Rebel pilot Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), an Imperial spy, a reprogrammed droid, and other resistance fighters to fulfill the Alliance’s mission. However, things take an unexpected turn when Imperial Commander Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), desperate to please Emperor Palpatine and Lord Vader, begins to freely demonstrate the Death Star’s destructive potential.

Although it was an unexpected addition to the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One certainly delivers, filling in the missing pieces from A New Hope. The film, directed by Gareth Edwards, boasts stunning visuals and fast-paced action sequences, deftly weaving both together into a compelling narrative with messages of loyalty, bravery, and familial love. It features a diverse yet talented cast, and introduces a new strong female protagonist in the form of Jyn Erso, who joins the ranks formed by Rey and Princess Leia. Missing are the familiar rolling title graphics in the beginning, supplemented by John Williams’ iconic theme; instead, the film features a new score composed by Michael Giacchino (who previously worked on Up, Inside Out, and Jurassic World, to name a few). Rogue One draws upon elements of the original Star Wars trilogy for nostalgia’s sake, but is noticeably darker and grittier; it blends together old and new, with a result that is truly satisfying.