A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

You know when you see that sentence that a Star Wars experience is about to pop off and Rogue One does not disappoint.

Like with any franchise, there are elements that need to be consistent in order for the film to work and Star Wars is no different.  The droids provide the much-needed humor, the heroine is gorgeous, tough, fit vulnerable, the leading man needs to have a heroic streak and a battle has to ensue in order to save the planet.

Like everyone else,  I seriously wondered what else could we possibly learn about the galaxy, the Rebellion or its characters and then Gareth Edwards brought us Rogue One.

This much-anticipated installment takes us back to the humble beginnings of how Princess Leia ends up with the plans for the Death Star, setting up for the epic saga we now know as Star Wars.  It is that moment when you realize, "Oh yeah...this is why I love tis franchise"!!

Directed by Gareth Edwards, who is no stranger to Sci-Fi action adventure flicks, literally only had one moment where things were just a tad slow during one of many battle scenes.  However, by the time you realize it, the action is back in full swing and your attention is right back with the force.

Other than the original, this cast, led by Oscar winner Felecity Jones is by far my favorite.

Jones (Jyn Erso, the daughter of Galen Erso ) played by Mads Mikkelsen, a scientist whose allegiances straddle the line. One character who NEVER straddles the line is Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), is simply one of the most marvelous villains  to date complete with a cape that billows as he struts down a starship catwalk.  He can definitely give Doctor Strange a run for his money.

While I was ecstatic to see much diversity in the galaxy in the way of Forrest Whitaker (Saw Gerrera, his presence in the film is way too brief...but memorable.  However, my favorite characters were the blind monk (Donnie Yen) and his loyal bearded protector (Wen Jiang).  Their scenes were funny, prolific and heart-breaking.


Of course, I would be remiss in not mentioning the latest droid to the franchise...K-2SO, who is brilliantly acted and voice by Alan Tudyk, with all the sarcasm as fervor these types of characters need to be effective amongst all the chaos popping off behind them.

As an avid fan of the franchise, I was not disappointed and can't wait for the next installment.  Like The Force Awakens, the next Star Wars: Episode VIII – will feature yet another Carrie Fisher relative...her  granddaughter and "Scream Queen" star Billie Lourd as Lieutenant Connix.  I can't wait!!!!

Go behind the scenes and learn more about Rogue One's Jyn Erso. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters December 16.

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!