A collection of non-spoiler Twitter reviews for the 'Star Wars' stand-alone.
Status Report: The Death Star movie is fully operational.
Full reviews of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are embargoed until Tuesday, but a wave of reactions hit Twitter immediately after Saturday night’s premiere — most of it exuberant.
At times, applause in the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood was so loud that it drowned out the rest of the dialogue being cheered. During the afterparty, some complained about an abundance of fan service, with numerous in-jokes and references for die-hard fans, but most of the crowd was jubilant, with some saying it may rank among the best of the series. (This was often expressed with surprise, given the fan community’s fretting over reshoots this summer.)
Without giving away any spoilers, here are some general descriptions about what to expect when Rogue One opens on Dec. 16:
• The film, starring Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, an outlaw recruited by the Rebellion to steal the plans for the original Death Star, is set just prior to the events of 1977’s original Star Wars, and references to the first trilogy abound, foreshadowing events-yet-to-come.
• The tone is, as promised by Lucasfilm, a war story — a relentless action tale. Fears that much-discussed reshoots were softening the story or watering down the ending appear to be unfounded, since the movie presents a much grittier soldier’s story than previous films. Think of it as Band of Brothers with a Star Wars setting, more than earning its PG-13 rating.
• Chirrut Imwe, the blind warrior monk played by Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen, and K-2SO, the blunt-talking security droid played by Firefly star Alan Tudyk, steal the movie. Ironically, they both provide some of the movie’s funniest and most heart-tugging scenes.
• Much like The Force Awakens, there are a significant number of shots from the Rogue One trailers that aren’t in the finished film. Director Gareth Edwards says he shot a lot of footage in a cinema verite style, trying to capture the chaos of battle, so either trailer-makers drew heavily from material that was later unused, or portions of those scenes were reshot.
• Despite its heavy tone, there’s a lot of humor in Rogue One. There’s also a lot of heart, particularly in the father-daughter story of Jyn and Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) a scientist who is stolen away to work on the Empire’s Death Star project. The film also features a gripping, almost prescient speech by Jyn that will leave many fans with a lump in their throats.
• Finally, Darth Vader… The Dark Lord of the Sith delivers one moment of pure horror. You could argue there’s even more than one scene that fits this description. Rogue One shows a ruthless, predatory side of Vader when he is at the height of his powers.
• Actually … one more note: Fans of the Disney XD animated series Star Wars: Rebels should keep their eyes wide open for a number of special surprises. (That’s all I’m going to say about that.)
Look for EW’s more in-depth take on Rogue On with film critic Chris Nashawaty’s full review on Tuesday.
For now, here are some other quick-hit online reactions from premeire night: