Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Don’t call it a prequel.
The first stand-alone movie outside the Skywalker saga, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, takes place directly before 1977’s Star Wars (A New Hope).
As anyone who’s seen that sci-fi classic will remember, the Death Star was blown up because Luke Skywalker and his band of rebel pilots had secret plans of the base that revealed its fatal flaw. Rogue One is the story of how those secret plans were stolen, by a band of brave strangers willing to fight back against tyranny.
The last three autumns gave us the sci-fi masterpieces Gravity, Interstellar, and The Martian. While December’s Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt-starring Passengers has gotten more buzz online, the heir apparent in tone has seemed like it would be Arrival.
On the surface, Arrival tells the tale of what it might be like if we make first contact with an alien species. Below that exterior of entertainment, though, the latest piece of cinematic wonder from director Denis Villeneuve also examines what it means to be a self-conscious being, while still finding time for visuals that will linger in your memory.