Please note: I have attempted to keep this post spoiler free.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first in the series of anthology movies which are being released on alternating years from the main saga movies. The purpose of the anthology movies is to add more depth to the Star Wars universe and tell stories which compliment the saga chapters of the franchise.
The prologue to Rogue One takes place 13 years prior to the main film, with the main events of the story taking place directly before Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (released in 1977).
Let me continue by stating that from the standpoint of the Star Wars universe there was no actual need to make Rogue One in my view. Episode IV began with that now very famous scene with the Star Destroyer chasing the Corellian Corvette as Vader chases the Rebels for the plans to the Death Star was an excellent opening to the movie and needed no further explanation as we knew what we needed to know and were happy with that at the time.
Having said that though I am glad they made Rogue One and here is why.
To begin with it has the look of a Star Wars movie however it does not have the complete feel of a saga movie and that is a good thing. For this reason the viewer is very much aware they are watching a movie set in the Star Wars universe but is a stand alone movie and not one of the saga entries.
Rogue One to me almost feels like a war movie in which the protagonists go on a mission to achieve something and have to faced insurmountable odds to complete their objective.
It has a good strong cast of characters led by Felicity Jones in the starting role of Jyn Erso. Other notable cast members include Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk & Forrest Whitaker. However it is the performance by Jones that really carries this movie. Over the course of the film we see Jyn Erso go through many stages of development as the film rolls on.
Effects wise Rogue One sets the standard very high with many ground breaking special effects used in the film to great effect. They did not in anyway overpower the movie which can sometimes be the case with big Hollywood movies. The effects in this entry compliment and add to the movie greatly.
The plot and storyline I felt moved along at a nice steady pace with the action scenes getting bigger the deeper into the movie you went.
Overall Rogue One is a solid entry into the Star Wars universe and after watching it one could not help but feel a desire to go home and put Episode IV into your player of choice and watch it. With that in mind Rogue One achieved it’s mission that it set out to achieve in acting as a direct prequel to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.