Is ‘Rogue One’ worth the trip to the theaters?

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Before Luke Skywalker and the rebel fighters could blow up the Death Star in the original “Star Wars”, they had to have the plans to the orbiting space station. “Rogue One” is the story of the brave band of misfits and mercenaries who takes on the dangerous mission. Lead by the Daughter of the Death Star’s designer, played by Felicity Jones, and a rebel leader played by Diego Luna, they must sneak past Imperial forces all across the galaxy.

The plans are hidden deep in Imperial run parts of the galaxy. The mission is very dangerous and puts them right in the cross hairs of Darth Vader.

“Rogue One:  A Star Wars Story” is a good solid film, but it doesn’t soar quite as high as last year’s “The Force Awakens.”

I think that’s mainly because the audience doesn’t have as much familiarity with the characters. The first hour of “Rogue One” drags a bit with a lot of character introductions and planet hopping explanations on what the empire has been doing since episode three.

It finally hits its stride during the second hour that’s loaded with action and space battles. It is exciting and fun and offers clear references to the classic films in the series.

The hand-to-hand ground combat in the finale is some of the best in any “Star Wars” film. The strong second hour really makes up for some of the weaker moments in the first making the movie a holiday treat for fans. “Rogue One” gives me a new hope that future companion movies in the Star Wars universe will do the series justice.

“Rogue One” earns a B.