Luke Skywalker is America’s favorite insurgent. The plucky orphan at the heart of Star Wars is thrust into greatness through luck and fate, his own actions forging and defining a new path for the citizens of the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance. Star Wars: Rogue One is not his story. It is the messy prequel, the intricate set-up before the big pay-off.
Who are the rebels that built the alliance before Luke swoops in to save the day? Rogue One, the latest Star Wars story (don’t call it a prequel), places its action immediately before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. The Galactic Empire, which gestated inside the Old Republic through three deeply underwhelming films set before the original trilogy, is full ascendant. It’s Star Destroyers loom large in space, threatening destruction to all who challenge Palpatine’s totalitarian rule.