The Star Wars Anthology series has finally released their first stand-alone film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures originally premiered the film in Los Angeles on December 10, 2016 and officially released it to Europe on December 14, 2016 and the U.S. on December 16, 2016. The initial box office gross earnings projections had estimated that the Rogue One would gross approximately $280 million. However as of December 19, 2016, the gross earnings were pegged at $323.5 million, a stunning comparison to the initial start-up budget of $200 million.
Most major online movie critics gave the film very mixed reviews.
The majority of major online film critic buffs and solid Star Wars fan base rave about the new take on the Star Wars mythology. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie an approval of 84% and felt that the prequel drew very deep into the Star Wars fan world. Rotten Tomatoes did not just rave about the life-long fans, but also stated that it may very well be a successful launching point for an entirely new spin-off franchise.
On the other hand, The New Yorker contrasted the opinion of it being a completely tied-in prequel to the Star Wars story. The most promising aspect of the new movie, Rogue One, was that it place a huge emphasis on providing an important starting backdrop for a brand new generation of Star Wars fans.
However, from a film viewer who has not been a particular fan of the Star Wars movies, I found the storyline completely confusing. Having no basic understanding of any of the plots, I simply could not maintain an intensive interest in it. The scenes were dark and dramatic, and albeit beautifully staged, the dialogue, plot, and Star Wars fan lingo was very difficult to follow without having much original background information.
The amount of violence and epic battle scenes were almost too much to bear. I would certainly not consider it to be a family or child-friendly film. In fact, this film is best reserved for viewing by true fans of the sci-fi genre, with exceptional knowledge on the entire Star Wars Empire.