Warning: SPOILERS follow. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” has been a huge success, both critically and financially. Kevin Smith said it was on par with “Empire Strikes Back,” widely regarded as the best “Star Wars” Film, and it’s grossed over $500 million worldwide. So it’s safe to say the gamble of a standalone film featuring brand new characters has paid off, and the curse of prequels set in the “Star Wars” universe has been shaken. But aside from the new characters, there was a lot about “Rogue One” that was different and made it stand out.

First of all, why it i

Rogue One” is a “Star Wars” film because it’s a fun, intergalactic adventure featuring a loveable band of misfit characters. One of them has problems with her dad, a staple of the saga ever since its inception. There’s a snarky droid who likes to mouth off (and reminds me of Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory”). C-3PO and R2-D2 are in it. It’s been influenced by war movies. It’s about good defeating evil. Well, at the end evil defeats good, but good accomplished its mission and set in motion a grander scheme that would eventually defeat evil in the next film, and for good two films after that. Anyway, I’m saying it’s quite traditional “Star Wars” on the surface, until you get down to the nitty gritty...

Why it isn’t: no opening crawl

This is the biggest one. Every “Star Wars” film before “Rogue One” featured an expository dump of information in order to jump right into the story, but this one didn’t. The opening scene kind of functions as a visual opening crawl, since if there was one, it would probably describe that scene and that scene would be cut, so let’s face it, it’s much more exciting to watch it than read it all weird and slanted and moving up into the depths of space.

Also strange in terms of titling, the title doesn’t appear right at the beginning after “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...” but instead appears after the opening scene, and only “Rogue One” appears. The “Star Wars” name is nowhere to be scene. It was terrifying.


At one point in “Rogue One,” Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has a flashback within a dream sequence in which her father gets drunk with the bad guys and puts her to bed.

Now, this is not the first time a “Star Wars” film has featured a dream sequence, since Luke has one of his own face behind Vader’s mask in “Empire” and Rey had Force visions in “The Force Awakens” (actually I don’t know if that was a dream or visualisations of what was going through her head), but never a flashback, so that was a first. And the leap through time after the opening scene was also a first, since every other “Star Wars” film has taken place in one place on the saga timeline and stuck to it.

Some other minor differences...

Rogue One” director Gareth Edwards took a lot of liberties with tried and true traditions. He didn’t use wipe transitions, he put text on the screen to tell us what planet we were on, he brought Peter Cushing back to life and made Carrie Fisher look forty years younger (although if he were making it now, sadly he’d have to bring her back to life too), he spliced in footage from the earlier films, and he switched out John Williams for Michael Giacchino, whose score sounds like he’s desperately trying to mimic Williams and sound nothing like him at the same time.

It’s weird.

"Rogue One" is also the first “Star Wars” film to feature no Jedi at all. Not even one. There was Darth Vader, but I don’t think he counts since he went to the Dark Side of the Force and slaughtered pretty much every Jedi that wasn’t Yoda, hadn’t been born yet, or didn’t cut off all his limbs to prevent it. Oh, and everybody dies. That was a surprising change of pace that I don’t think anybody saw coming, since this is “Star Wars” and children eagerly watch it.

Rogue One” is in cinemas now. If you haven’t seen it, then you shouldn’t have read this article. But anyway, you should watch it because it’s very good.