Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (or simply Rogue One) is a 2016 American epic space opera film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta. It is the first stand-alone film in the Star Wars Anthology series. The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. The story follows Jyn Erso, the daughter of the unwilling designer of the Galactic Empire's superweapon, the Death Star, and her quest to retrieve his
plans for destroying it.
Produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film is chronologically set in between the events of Revenge of the Sith and immediately before the original Star Wars film. Principal photography began at Elstree Studios near London during early August 2015 and wrapped in February 2016, with reshoots and additional filming taking place in mid-June 2016. Rogue One premiered in Los Angeles on December 10, 2016, and was released to the rest of the United States on December 16, 2016.
The film received generally positive reviews, with the acting, action sequences, musical score, darker tone and visual effects being praised, and has grossed $653 million worldwide.
Research scientist Galen Erso is in hiding on the planet Lah'mu when Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic arrives to take him to complete the unfinished Death Star, a space station-based superweapon capable of destroying an entire planet. His wife Lyra is killed in the ensuing confrontation, but their daughter Jyn escapes and is taken to safety by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.
Fifteen years later, pilot Bodhi Rook defects from the Empire, smuggling a holographic message from Galen to Gerrera on the desert moon of Jedha. After learning about Rook's defection, Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor frees Jyn from Imperial captivity and brings her to the Rebels, who plan to use her to extract Galen and learn more about the Death Star. Unbeknownst to Jyn, however, Cassian is covertly ordered to kill Galen rather than extract him.
Jyn, Andor, and reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO travel to Jedha, where the Empire is mining kyber crystals to power the Death Star while Gerrera and his partisans are engaged in an armed insurgency against them. With the aid of blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Îmwe and his mercenary friend Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera, who has been holding Rook captive. Gerrera shows her the message, in which Galen reveals he has secretly compromised the Death Star's design so it can be destroyed, directing them to retrieve the schematics located in a high-security Imperial data bank on the planet Scarif.
On the Death Star, Krennic orders a low-powered shot from the superlaser to destroy Jedha's capital, causing Jyn and her group to take Rook and flee the planet, but Gerrera and his group are killed. Grand Moff Tarkin congratulates Krennic before using Rook's defection and security leak as a pretext to take control of the project.
Rook leads the group to Galen's Imperial research facility on the planet Eadu, where Cassian chooses not to kill Galen. When Krennic directs that Galen's main team be killed for causing the security leak, Galen confesses that he is responsible. Jyn makes her presence known just moments before Rebel bombers attack the facility, resulting in Galen being wounded. Jyn reunites with her father only to have him die in her arms before she escapes with her group onboard a stolen Imperial cargo shuttle. Krennic visits Darth Vader, seeking support with granting an audience with the Emperor, but Vader dismisses his appeal for recognition.
Jyn proposes a plan to steal the Death Star schematics using the Rebel fleet but fails to get approval from the Alliance Council. Frustrated at their inaction, Jyn's group is supported by a small squad of Rebels intent on raiding the data bank themselves. Arriving at Scarif via the stolen Imperial ship, which Rook dubs "Rogue One", a disguised Jyn and Cassian enter the base with K-2SO while volunteers attack the resident Imperial garrison as a distraction. The Rebel fleet learns about the raid from intercepted Imperial communications and deploy in support. Rook is killed by a grenade just after informing the Rebel fleet that it must deactivate the shield surrounding the planet to allow Jyn and Cassian to transmit them the schematics. K-2SO sacrifices himself so Jyn and Cassian can retrieve the data. Despite this, Jyn and Cassian are ambushed by Krennic, who has traveled to Scarif, and shoots Cassian.
Îmwe is killed after activating the master switch to allow communication with the Rebel fleet while Malbus is killed shortly after. Most of the Rebel squad are killed as well. Krennic corners Jyn, declaring the Empire's victory; Cassian, still alive, incapacitates Krennic. Jyn transmits the schematics to the Rebel command ship. The Death Star enters Scarif's orbit, where Tarkin uses the weapon to destroy the Empire's base. Krennic dies instantly, while Jyn and Cassian embrace on a beach before dying in the ensuing shock wave.
The Rebel fleet prepares to jump to hyperspace, only to be attacked by Vader's flagship. Vader boards the Rebel command ship and massacres Rebel troops with his lightsaber in his pursuit of the schematics, only to watch as a small starship escapes with them to hyperspace. Aboard the fleeing ship, Princess Leia declares that the schematics will provide hope for the Rebellion.
- Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, a young woman who is detained by the Empire for her crimes against them until freed by the Rebels. She has used many aliases during her life such as Lianna Hallik, Tanith Pontha, and Kestrel Dawn, while her father affectionately calls her "Stardust".
- Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, a Rebel Alliance Captain and Intelligence officer.
- Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic, the Director of Advanced Weapons Research for the Imperial Military.
- Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe, a Zatoichi-esque blind warrior who believes in the Force. He is said to be one of the Guardians of the Whills.
- Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso, Jyn's father and a research scientist.
- Alan Tudyk as K-2SO, a Rebel-owned Imperial enforcer droid whose memory is wiped by Cassian Andor.
- Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook, a former Imperial cargo pilot who defects to the Rebels under the influence of Galen.
- Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus, a Rebel warrior, mercenary and best friend of Chirrut Îmwe.
- Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, a veteran of the Clone Wars who had mentored Jyn in her later childhood years.
Jimmy Smits, Genevieve O'Reilly, and Anthony Daniels reprise their roles from previous films as Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, and C-3PO, respectively.
James Earl Jones also reprises his role from previous films as the voice of Darth Vader, who is physically portrayed by Spencer Wilding and Daniel Naprous replacing David Prowse who played the role in the original films. Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia Organa are physically played by Guy Henry and Ingvild Deila, respectively, while digital likenesses of the late Peter Cushing and a young Carrie Fisher are used in their portrayal. Henry also provides the voice for Tarkin, while archival audio of Fisher is used. Angus MacInnes and Drewe Henley are featured in their roles as Gold Leader Dutch Vander and Red Leader Garven Dreis, respectively, via unused archival footage from A New Hope.
David Ankrum, who voiced Wedge Antilles in A New Hope, reprises his role in a vocal cameo. Ian McElhinney and Michael Smiley play General Jan Dodonna and Dr. Evazan, respectively. Warwick Davis plays Weeteef Cyubee, a member of Saw Gerrera's Partisans.
Additionally, Alistair Petrie plays General Davits Draven and Valene Kane plays Lyra Erso, Jyn's mother. Jonathan Aris, Fares Fares and Sharon Duncan-Brewster appear as Senators Nower Jebel, Vasp Vaspar and Tynnra Pamlo, respectively. Simon Farnaby plays a member of Blue Squadron. Jonathan Stephens appears as Rebel Alliance member Corporal Tonc. Nick Kellington, Ian Whyte plays Moroff, a member of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, director and producer of Star Wars: Episode VIII, respectively, cameo as two Death Star technicians.