Earlier this year the cries of millions of Star Wars fans the world over were heard when news came in that the gareth edwards directed 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' was undergoing several weeks of reshoots post production. Could it be that the film was in trouble? The words "I've got a bad feeling about this" have never been so relevant to any Star Wars fan. It is my pleasure to report that any fears can be allayed.

The prequel you have been waiting for

It is universally agreed that George Lucas' original trilogy are sci-fi adventure classics. It was all the more disappointing when the prequel trilogy failed to live up to fans expectations.

People blamed it on the extensive use of CGI, the demystifying of the Force with those dreaded midichloriants and one of the most annoying characters to ever enter the Star Wars universe, Jar Jar Binks. So it was with some relief when Lucas sold the Star Wars rights to Disney, and despite fears of a Mickey Mouse cameo and singing intergalactic princesses, the move was a good one. The first official sequel 'The Force Awakens' was a critical and commercial success and 'Rogue One' is set to be the same.

Feel the force

Set just before the original film, Rogue One captures the look and feel of the original trilogy. This universe feels lived in, unlike the shiny CGI prequels that came before. Centered around just one line in the opening crawl of the 1977 film, "Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star," the film is light on force and heavy on a gritty war movie vibe, less lightsabers more blasters.

Whilst the film has many throwbacks to the original movie including classic Stormtroopers, familiar characters (no spoilers but prepare to be very surprised at the appearance of two in particular) and the use of practical effects and real location filming, the film is more than the sum of its nostalgic parts. It feels like Star Wars but as a stand alone film the stakes seem higher.

You won't be seeing these characters in any sequel so you don't know which, if any, of the likeable cast of characters will survive. These include Felicity Jones' Jyn, a girl with a personal vendetta against the Empire, Rebel Captain Cassian Andor played by Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk's K-2SO, a snarky, sarcastic reprogrammed Imperial droid who would easily win C-3PO in a fist fight if it came down to it.

On the side of the Empire is Ben Mendehlson's Director Krennic, as oily and vile as another recurring character (again, no spoilers here) and Darth Vader makes a much heralded return. Whilst not on screen for long Vader certainly makes an entrance, thus confirming his status as one of cinema's greatest villains.

Do or do not. There is no try

Director Gareth Edwards successfully and effortlessly recreates classic Star Wars landscapes and design. It is respectful of the original film and possibly deepens our understanding of the events within that iconic movie. There are the occasional pacing issues and the story occasionally drags but come the third act this will be forgiven as the Rebel forces take to land and air in a bid to retrieve those Death Star plans.

The space battles are incredibly exciting as X-Wings and Tie Fighters go into battle whilst down below the gigantic At-At vehicles destroy everything in sight during blaster battles between the Rebel forces and stormtroopers. This is classic good against evil and fans and newbies to the universe alike will thrill at the events unfolding on screen. This is the Star Wars you grew up with and is reason enough to make you excited at the other standalone movies on their way. You need to see this film and enjoy it in much the same way as you saw the original Star Wars when the internet didn't exist to spoil things for you. Rogue One is not perfect but then neither was the original. What it is, however, is one of the best films of the year and one of the best Star Wars films ever made. The force really is strong with this one.