Thursday morning at one minute past midnight saw cinemas up and down the country open their doors for the first spin off set in a galaxy far, far away – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Disney’s decision to fill in a huge hole of the Star Wars saga was much anticipated from fans and critics alike, and they delivered with a thrilling, comical, engaging standalone film that finally reveals how The Rebellion got their hands on the Death Star plans.

It takes place immediately prior to the first 1977 film A New Hope, and lays the groundwork for the original trilogy.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story strays away from the Skywalker family, apart from a few cameos, and follows the adventure of a small group of Rebels as they face an almost impossible task.

Using a very similar tone as The Force Awakens, Rogue One is aimed at a younger audience.

Although Star Wars is a franchise for kids, the generation that grew up with it should also have been considered, and that is the only criticism.

However, the good guys aren’t Jedi’s for the first time and we see our heroes face the brutal reality of war; something which makes the series seem a little more grown up.

All the characters, some old and some new, were fantastic. Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn and Forest Whitaker played their roles perfectly, and of course the return of Darth Vader and a few other favourites was a pleasant feature.

There will be no sequel to this, and there doesn’t need to be. It plays its part as a plot hole filler exceptionally, and although not considered part of the main line of films, (it didn’t have the infamous rolling credits or music and it’s reported none of the spin offs will) it explores the much loved universe in a much finer detail.

There are some slow points as well as moments that feel a little rushed, but the overall pace of the film is exhilarating.

There’s emotion, laughter, suspense and surprise, but the last half an hour is sure to make you sit on the edge of your seat and feel like a seven-year-old again.

Star Wars as a franchise franchise is definitely heading in the right direction.

In terms of storytelling so the Han Solo and rumoured Obi Wan Kenobi film can’t come quick enough.

The next film, which will be episode eight, is set to come out next December and will return to the main story.

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