The Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:
Extras:
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

96
Details:

Studio and Year: Disney - 2016
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 133 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Forrest Whitaker, Jiang Wen, Alan Tudyk
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Written by:Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: April 4, 2017
"A Rebellion Built on Hope"

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My Take:

Star Wars: A New Hope or Star Wars, as it was called back then, debuted in theaters on my 13th birthday in 1977. I remember sitting in the theater not knowing what to expect but being excited because I sensed that the film was somehow different from anything I had previously seen on the big screen. Little did I realize how right I was as my jaw dropped upon seeing that huge Star Destroyer come into view and fill the screen. I remained captivated as the story unfolded, introducing me to iconic characters and their compelling plight which would evolve into the most talked about and anticipated movie events over the next six years.

I, like many of you reading this am a Star Wars fan, with a particular love of Episodes IV, V, VI. When I saw the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story I was a bit puzzled at first. Then it became clear that this was going to be the story of the oft referenced Rebellion Force that sacrificed so much to acquire the plans necessary to destroy the Death Star. I wasn’t quite sure what my feelings would be as these were going to primarily be unfamiliar characters. I went to see it with my family, and any uncertain feelings were quickly assuaged. I thoroughly enjoyed it. As a fan, I reveled in the story, which wonderfully detailed the events, characters, and connective tissue necessary to provide an enriching Star Wars tale.

The background on who, what, where and why was fulfilling as it filled elements of the Star Wars mythos that were only knew before by reference. Seeing them brought to life as well as the interplay between them and familiar characters and plot points was good fun. I appreciated the attention to detail that went into providing the appropriate period weaponry, clothing, locations, and technology. The production design as a whole, is excellent, lending an authenticity that underscores not only the proceedings, but the feeling of nostalgia (Peter Cushing and a young Carrie Fisher..love it!). The script is solid in its development of the characters, narrative depth, and thematic context.

I thought that Felicity Jones and Diego Luna knocked it out of the park. The supporting turns by Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, and Mads Mikkelsen were excellent as well. To say that I am pleased at the handling of this Star Wars ‘tale” doesn’t quite say it all, but, I will finish with my thoughts after seeing The Force Awakens for the second time:

“As I sat at home with my family experiencing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for the second time, it didn't lose any of its luster. Once again, I felt like that 13 year old boy sitting in the theater, eyes wide open, imagination piqued and thrilled to partake in the adventure and spirit of the spectacle that is…Star Wars.”

I am not certain what lies ahead, but as it stands now, I am all in.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE= 92-100/EXCELLENT= 83-91/GOOD= 74-82/AVERAGE= 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE= under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element):
Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Storycomes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 5 Mbps.

This film utilizes a variety of settings, visual schemes, and cinematographic processes to create its world (s) and having seen it theatrically I had high hopes for its presentations on Blu-ray. I wasn't disappointed. The video is rendered well, with a gratifyingly sharp aesthetic that presents its elements faithfully. Images are gradationally adept and dimensional, so that wide angle perspectives, unevenly lit interiors, and shadow laden environs have a seemingly infinite level of depth. Where applicable, colors are vibrant, delineated, and pleasingly saturated, without appearing unnatural. The palette of secondary hues used throughout are vivid. Flesh tones are lifelike with varying degrees of complexional separation among the cast. Contrast is well balanced and dynamic which energizes colors, empowers whites/grays and engages blacks. The video has a filmic aesthetic that plays hand in hand with the film’s stark visual style, providing an incredibly entertaining experience that looks great, regardless of the size of your display.

Having seen this film in the theater I had high hopes for its soundtrack in the home environment and I wasn’t disappointed. This DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack has excellent dynamic range and boasts superlative clarity and high level detail. Dialog is definitive and appreciably lucid through the center channel, never getting lost even during the film's most active moments. Front channel separation and imaging is excellent. This draws out both large and small sound elements and allows their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be readily definable. The mix makes effective and active use of the surround channels to reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this rewarding soundtrack. During chapter 19 when the Empire tests the Death Star on Jedha, or during the large-scale conflict on Scarif, the listening position is bombarded with well-placed sound effects. This is a dynamically charged sound mix that frequently utilizes the subwoofer to provide room energizing impact. The audio’s low frequency effects are applied authoritatively to underscore the bombastic aspects of the presentation and does so quite effectively.

I found this to be a terrific audio/video presentation that most assuredly complimented the source material, making for an entertaining home theater experience.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray
    Disc 2: Bonus Features Blu-ray
    • A Rogue Idea – Hear how ILM’s John Knoll came up with the movie’s concept – and why it’s the right film to launch the Star Wars stand-alone films.
    • Jyn: The Rebel – Get to know Rogue One’s defiant, resourceful survivor, and hear what it was like for Felicity Jones to bring her to life onscreen.
    • Cassian: The Spy – Diego Luna shares insights into his complex, driven character, who becomes a hero through selflessness, perseverance and passion.
    • K-2SO: The Droid – Explore the development of this reprogrammed Imperial droid, from initial pitch and character design through Alan Tudyk’s performance.
    • Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills – Go deeper into the relationship between these two very different characters, with Chinese superstars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen.
    • Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary – Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed reflect on Saw Gerrera, the broken Rebel leader, and Bodhi Rook, the Imperial pilot who defects.
    • The Empire – Meet a dangerous new Imperial adversary…and cross paths once more with the most iconic villain of all time.
    • Visions of Hope: The Look of “Rogue One” – The filmmakers describe the challenges and thrills of developing a bold new look for the movie that can fit within the world of the original trilogy.
    • The Princess & The Governor – See what it took to bring the vibrant young princess of “Star Wars: A New Hope” – as well as one of her most memorable foes¬ – back to the screen.
    • Epilogue: The Story Continues – Filmmakers and cast celebrate Rogue One’s premiere and look forward into the future, to the Star Wars stories yet to be told.
    • Rogue Connections – Uncover Easter eggs and film facts hidden throughout the movie that connect “Rogue One” to the Star Wars universe.
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy
Final Thoughts:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story exceeded my expectations, delivering an enjoyable, and entertaining Star Wars film experience. It comes to Blu-ray from Disney featuring faithful high definition video, reference quality lossless surround sound and a complimentary supplemental package that offers lots of insights from the cast, crew and those responsible for bringing the film to the big screen. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story makes for a terrific audio/video presentation on Blu-ray and belongs on the shelves of every fan.
No code has to be inserted here.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package