The first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrived on Thursday morning, giving fans a taste of the first spinoff standalone film that will plug a hole in the ever-expanding universe launched by George Lucas in 1977.
Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), the film is technically a prequel, focusing on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, an event that immediately preceded the original Star Wars film, A New Hope.
While the cast of Episode IV returned for J.J. Abrams’s smash hit sequel The Force Awakens, the focus here is on a previously unmentioned (and well, not-yet-invented) cast of characters, led by Oscar nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen.
Jones leads the trailer as a young troublemaker named Jyn Erso — she’s been on her own since she was 15, and is labeled by Rebel leader Mon Mothma as “reckless” — who is brought on board by the Rebel Alliance to help crack the Death Star. Whitaker is a wizened old leader whose warnings echo through the end of the trailer, while it’s Yen’s job to train the rebels in the ways of the warrior. Luna is an X-Wing pilot, and a pretty cool-looking one at that. Mendelsohn, meanwhile, looks to be playing a high-ranking Empire official.
Here is our shot-by-shot analysis of the Rogue One trailer.
There have been rumors that Darth Vader will play a role — timeline-wise, it’d make sense – and perhaps we’ll get a glimpse at a young Princess Leia. It’s unlikely we’ll get a look at young Han Solo, though — he’s getting his own film, and its leading man has yet to be cast.
Rogue One hits theaters on December 16, 2016.