Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premiered in Hollywood on Saturday night, and early indications from those in attendance suggest that director Gareth Edwards has delivered a film truly worthy of its place in the Star Wars canon.
Much was made of re-shoots undertaken earlier this year, late in Rogue One’s production, as Collider notes. Writer/director Tony Gilroy was brought in to consult on those re-shoots, which were rumored to be more extensive than usual for a film of Rogue One’s scope. Concerns surrounding the production seem to be unfounded, however, as the audience who were privy to the film’s premiere, which began at 7 p.m. without introduction, are already raving about this latest installment in the Star Wars franchise.
— Attack Of The Fanboy (@FanboyAttack) December 11, 2016
While Disney has a review embargo in place that won’t lift until Wednesday, a number of those in attendance at the premiere used social media to share their reactions to the film. Collider’s Steven Weintraub singled out Rogue One’s action sequences for praise, while noting that fans will be particularly pleased with the script. He, along with several others, pointed to the movie’s third act as a significant part of that script, calling it “really amazing.” Pointedly, he also suggested that fans not read any reviews before seeing the film, for good reason.
— #MUSE (@socalmuse) December 11, 2016
Prior to the release of Rogue One, a number of fans have questioned whether the film’s trailers have given away too much of the plot. The presence of Darth Vader, which has been rumored since the very start of production, was confirmed earlier this year in one such preview. In another, the Death Star could be seen attacking Jedha, a new planet central to Rogue One’s story. Despite those concerns, Weintraub and others noted that Rogue One has no shortage of surprises in store.
Also do not read any reviews. So many of the twists and turns have not been revealed in marketing. My jaw hit ground a few times.
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) December 11, 2016
Other reactions to the Rogue One screening were overwhelmingly positive. As Variety notes, Dane Cook was on hand, and expressed to his Twitter followers that he believed Rogue One had the potential to be the best of the eight Star Wars films. Numerous fans singled out several of the film’s characters as standouts, specifically Alan Tudyk’s K-2SO and Donnie Yen’s blind warrior-monk Chirrut Imwe. Several people noted, however, that a tremendous amount of the footage and dialogue revealed to the public during Rogue One’s marketing campaign didn’t make the film’s final cut, though they added that the trailers released over the last few months did accurately capture its tone.
— Felicity Jones (@FelicityJones__) December 6, 2016
The initial reactions will no doubt come as a relief to Disney, which has acknowledged that Rouge One’s performance will largely impact the direction of the franchise going forward. The film is the first of its kind, an ancillary spinoff of the core Star Wars saga, and as such no one was quite sure what fan reaction would be. Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy acknowledged that the studio is approaching each of the Star Wars Story films “without a rulebook,” as the Verge notes, and Rogue One is specifically guiding Disney as it explores exactly what a Star Wars film can be, and how far they can stray from the original story.
Whatever the future of the Star Wars franchise holds, the initial reactions to Rogue One should give fans worldwide confidence that the newest film in the iconic saga will not just live up to, but in fact will far exceed, their expectations.
[Featured Image by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Disney]