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Thoughts About 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'

1. This is the eighth movie in the Star Wars saga, but it really has nothing to do with the Skywalker/Vader family drama - even though there are callbacks and cameos from the other films. And it is better than many of the movies that came before it.

2. This movie is set right before Episode IV: A New Hope. It tells the story of how the original Death Star was built. The movie is about a scientist forced to work on the Death Star against his will, and how his daughter is captured by the rebel alliance to find and stop him.

3. While the action scenes are very well done, the focus of this movie is on story. For example, there are three sides in this movie - the Empire, the rebel alliance, and an extremist offshoot of the rebels. There are also competing assassination plots. You have to pay attention.

4. The movie gives a clever and believable explanation for one of the corniest parts of A New Hope - why would the Death Star have a vulnerable exhaust port?

5. There are some great characters in the movie, such as the asshole droid K-2SO, and Chirrut Imwe, a blind warrior (who is basically the famous Japanese character Zatoichi) who believes in the Force, even though he's not a Jedi Knight.

6. There are no Jedi Knights in this movie. That means there are no light-saber fights.

7. The stormtroopers still can't melee fight. They also still can't hit anything with their laser pistols. Well, except each other.

8. Since it exists on its own in the Star Wars cinematic universe, there are noticeable differences between this movie and the others. For example, there is no famous screen crawl of words telling us the story so far. And the theme music has been altered.

9. Even though it's a stand-alone movie, it fits into the official saga very well, fleshing out parts of the known story, but introducing entirely new characters and planets. It also ends right were Episode IV begins. Fans of the Star Wars universe need to make sure to see this one.

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