Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (or simply Rogue One) is a 2016 American epic space opera film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta. It is the first stand-alone film in the Star Wars Anthology series. Rogue One stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker, and follows Jyn Erso, the daughter of the unwilling designer of the Galactic Empire’s superweapon, the Death Star, and her quest to retrieve his plans for destroying it.
Produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film is chronologically set after the events of Revenge of the Sith and immediately before the events of A New Hope. Principal photography began at Elstree Studios near London during early August 2015 and wrapped in February 2016, with reshoots and additional filming taking place in mid-June 2016. Rogue One premiered in Los Angeles on December 10, 2016, and was released to the rest of the United States on December 16, 2016.
Research scientist Galen Erso is in hiding on Lah’mu when Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic arrives to force Galen to return to work on the unfinished Death Star, a space station-based superweapon capable of destroying entire planets. Galen is taken into custody and his wife Lyra is killed in the ensuing confrontation, but their daughter Jyn escapes and is taken to safety by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.
Fifteen years later, pilot Bodhi Rook defects from the Empire, smuggling a holographic message from Galen to Gerrera on the moon of Jedha. Meanwhile, Jyn is freed from Imperial captivity by the Rebels on Wobani, who plan to use her to track down her father. However, General Draven orders Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor to kill Galen rather than extract him.
Jyn, Andor, and reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO travel to Jedha, where the Empire is mining Kyber crystals to power the superweapon; Gerrera and his partisans are engaged in an armed insurgency against them. With the aid of blind warrior Chirrut Îmwe and mercenary Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera, who is holding Rook captive. Gerrera shows her the hologram in which her father explains that he has secretly compromised the Death Star’s reactor design, directing them to find the plans at an Imperial high-security data bank on the planet Scarif.
Grand Moff Tarkin meets with Krennic on the Death Star and expresses skepticism about the project and its management. As a demonstration, Krennic uses a low-powered shot to destroy Jedha’s capital and crush the insurgency, forcing Jyn and her group to flee while Gerrera elects to remain behind and die. Tarkin uses security breaches under Krennic’s command as a pretext to take control of the project. Krennic meets with Darth Vader to seek his and Emperor Palpatine’s support, but Vader dismisses his suggestions.
The Rebels track Galen to an Imperial research facility on the planet Eadu, where Cassian chooses not to assassinate Galen. Confronted by Krennic and his troops, Galen admits responsibility for the leaked information. A Rebel bombing raid begins before Jyn can attempt a rescue and Galen dies in his daughter’s arms. The Rebels escape in a stolen Imperial cargo shuttle.
Jyn proposes a plan to steal the Death Star schematics from Scarif, but the Rebel council is split and cannot agree on a plan. Frustrated at their inaction, Jyn, Cassian, K-2SO, Îmwe, Malbus, Rook and several Rebels decide to use the stolen Imperial shuttle to raid the data bank. They arrive on Scarif where Jyn and Cassian disguise themselves as Imperial officers and search for the plans, while the other Rebels mount an attack on the resident Imperial garrison. Rook contacts the Rebel Alliance fleet which soon arrives to take down the shield surrounding the planet. K-2SO is destroyed holding off Stormtroopers, allowing Jyn and Cassian to retrieve the Death Star plans from the data vaults. Rook, Îmwe, Malbus, and most of the Rebel ground troops are killed in the battle. Krennic confronts Jyn, declaring the Empire’s victory. Cassian shoots him, enabling Jyn to transmit the Death Star plans to the Rebel command ship. Tarkin fires the Death Star to destroy the compromised base. Krennic dies in the blast while Jyn and Cassian embrace before being killed by the ensuing shock wave.
As the Rebel fleet retreats, an Imperial fleet led by Vader arrives. He boards the Rebel command ship to retrieve the plans, only to watch a small starship escape with them. Aboard the fleeing ship, Princess Leia declares that the plans will provide hope for the Rebellion.