Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Featured In Issue 216, April/May 2017

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A B & C
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Gareth Edwards
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DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of the Star Wars standalone films from Lucasfilm (now owned by the Walt Disney Company). The all-new epic adventure takes place in a time of conflict in which a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, The Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. (Gary Reber)

Special features include 11 featurettes: A Rogue Idea (HD 09:00), Jyn: The Rebel (HD 06:16), Cassian: The Spy (HD 04:14), K-250: The Droid (HD 07:43), Baze & Chirrut: Guardians Of The Whills (HD 06:20), Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary (HD 08:35), The Empire (HD 08:18), Visions Of Hope: The Look Of Rogue One (HD 08:24), The Princess & The Governor (HD 05:49), Epilogue: The Story Continues (HD 04:15) and Rogue Connections (HD 04:31); and a digital copy.

The 2.37:1 1080p AVC picture was digitally photographed using the Arri Alexa 65 camera system in Ultra Panavision® 70 and Hawk Scope. The intermediate was produced in 4K resolution. The color palette is varied in accordance with the production design, from cold to warm, from gray to colorful backdrops. The rendering of the imagery appears perfectly natural and suitable to the varied environments, either earthy or grayish, in mostly darkened settings. To optimize the experience, a display device capable of exceptional native contrast is recommended, as well as a completely dark viewing environment. Black star fields are beautifully deep and rich. At times colors are bold and contrasty, while human facial features consistently appear natural throughout. Some scenes exhibit bursts of warm hues and explosive highlights. Contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Resolution is superb throughout. Facial features are nicely nuanced in fine detail, as well as in the varied and intricate object textures exhibited by planets, spaceships, interior environments, and costumes. Even digitally created characters appear realistic. The picture is such a visual assortment of spectacular visuals and textures that the eyes are constantly mesmerized. The imagery is effectively spatially dimensional with a good sense of depth. This is a wonderful cinematic experience that will thrill fans of the Star Wars saga, delivering reference-quality visuals. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is propelled by a wonderful Michael Giacchino orchestral score that is constant throughout the duration of the soundtrack. Within this musical soundfield, all manner of atmospherics and sound effects play out dynamically and directionally, extending aggressively, but not overpowering, to the four surrounds. As with all great soundtracks with holosonic® immersive imaging, there is often an effective sense of height to the sonics, without the use of immersive sound formats. But the added two channels really add dimensional impact to the soundtrack. Panning sound effects are deliberate in their paths, which heighten the excitement. Such action effects dominate the sonics from one portion of the soundfield to the next. Laser and blaster fire are powerful, as well as the engine roar of spacecraft. Such sound effects and explosions are propelled with deep bass to sub-25 Hz frequencies in the .1 LFE channel. And the debris from the intense action scenes are nicely crisp and defined. Foley effects are also impressive, adding to the sense of realism. Every manner of sonics are wonderfully clear and distinct, even when layered together. Nuanced atmospherics are impressively detailed throughout. The battle scenes are explosive in their sonic impact and will really challenge a home theatre system with their incredible dynamic energy. Throughout the mayhem, dialogue retains perfect intelligibility with good spatial integration. This is a full-force holosonic soundtrack with all channels often strongly energized, for an exciting reference-quality experience. (Gary Reber)