Although it’s not part of George Lucas’ prequel trilogy, Rogue One is arguably the most informative Star Wars prequel there is, both because of its close proximity to the events of the original trilogy and most importantly, it fills in story gaps that actually enhance those earlier movies as a result. Rogue One successfully avoids some of the follies of the prequel trilogy because it doesn’t try to offer convoluted explanations for bits of Star Wars lore and instead focuses on providing context for important events and characters fans are already familiar with, with A New Hope in particular benefiting the most from Rogue One’s revelations. While there really isn’t a way to make the original trilogy “better” than it already is, here are a few ways that Rogue One will enhance the viewing experience for Episodes IV-V going forward.
11. Expands the Universe
Although Rogue One’s first act is definitely its weakest, suffering from slow pacing and frequent cuts to too many different characters, one benefit of all that jumping around is that it shows us more of the galaxy in about twenty minutes than The Force Awakens managed to do in its entire runtime. One might argue that Rogue One is more quantity than quality in this respect, but that really isn’t the case as the various planets that are introduced feel like unique and worthwhile additions to the Star Wars universe.
Unlike the Tatooine and Hoth stand-ins featured in The Force Awakens, the war-ravaged plains of Jedha and sun-soaked beaches of Scarif are exciting new settings for the franchise. Most importantly, Rogue One does a better job in detailing what life would be like living under Imperial rule than the original trilogy, which besides Bespin, largely features planets that are desolate or mired in conflict.