If the main saga Star Wars movies are The Lord of the Rings, then Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is more like Game of Thrones. Instead of legendary heroes and Jedi magic, Rogue One is more grounded in reality with a small, rag-tag group of rebels who manage to do something extraordinary. Because of the shift away from the fantasy roots of the main trilogy and a stronger focus on action, Rogue One is a more grown-up tale from the galaxy far, far away.
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The Force Awakens is first and foremost a film for Star Wars fans. Even the heroes themselves are fans, well-versed in the legends of Luke Skywalker and General Leia. With great performances from the new stars and a director who understands how to deliver a film worthy of its source material, The Force Awakens gives me hope that the new era of Star Wars films will live up to the original trilogy.