Last year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens began a new chapter in the linear saga of the Skywalker family that started with The Phantom Menace and continued on through Luke’s self-imposed exile in the new movie. But the latest from Lucasfilm and director Gareth Edwards in the same beloved universe will take us all the way back to the beginning.
Set immediately prior to the events of the original Star Wars movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will give fans a first look at a movie that doesn’t directly deal with Luke, Han, Leia, or the Force. Instead, the action/heist movie will follow a group of Rebel Alliance fighters —led by actress Felicity Jones as the ne’r-do-well badass Jyn Erso — banding together against all odds to attempt to steal the plans for the first Death Star.
It gives fans a peek into something that has been merely hinted at since the first movie’s original opening crawl:
“Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.”
This sure does look like the original jungle Rebel base on Yavin IV seen in A New Hope. And check out that life-sized X-Wing hiding in the background!
Here’s our first introduction to actor Diego Luna, who some think might be Luke’s friend from Tatooine, Biggs Darklighter, who died during the battle to blow up the Death Star in A New Hope. Whoever he ends up playing he looks to be an important part of the Rebel Alliance, mostly because he’s in the room with the next person…
Mon Mothma returns! The revolutionary leader of the Rebels first seen in 1983’s Return of the Jedi is back, and sporting the same white cloak and hairdo. Many Bothans died to bring the Alliance the information on how to destroy the second Death Star. How many people in Erso’s rag tag group of resistance fighters will meet the same fate?
“This is a rebellion, isn’t it? I rebel.” Yep, that looks like you’re rebelling against the Empire alright.
Here’s actor Ben Mendelsohn’s bad guy, who looks to be a Grand Moff Tarkin-esque Empire stooge who will most likely try to stop at nothing (and fail) to defeat Erso’s group from stealing the plans to the Death Star.
Speaking of the Death Star — ladies and gentlemen here’s the best shot of the new Rogue One trailer. It’s no moon, it’s a space station, and it’s good to see Edwards and the crew are wisely keeping the same aesthetic of the older movies while adding their own unique little touches like having the Empire put the laser on the Death Star in place.
Mendelsohn’s unnamed bad guy will be the superficial villain, but this is Star Wars, and you know there’s going to be someone even more evil lurking around. There was no obvious reveal of Mads Mikkelsen’s character in the trailer, but is this him? Or is it another bad dude in a dark cloak whose name rhymes with “Smarth Shmader”? Either way this is the most mysterious shot in the whole teaser. Those red guys on either side of the shady kneeling character are Imperial guards, so does this mean we’re going to get a look at the Emperor too?
So Forest Whitaker is some wise old dude in a steampunk costume spouting off pseudo-philosophical musings about identity and good and evil and stuff? Yeah, we’ll take it.
Word on the street is these stormtroopers decked-out in all black are called “Death Troopers.” We approve.
In only two minutes, the trailer manages to perfectly convey the dire situation of the Rebel Alliance. This shot alone shows the David vs. Goliath task on their hands as the Empire seems to be winning the fight.
We present to you Donnie Yen kicking a stormtroopers ass with some kind of sword or stick. It’ll be interesting how they handle Yen’s character if he’s skilled in swordplay. It’d be the first time in a Star Wars movie someone uses a sword that isn’t a lightsaber.
Who is the droid on the left, and who is the dude running with Erso in what looks to be some kind of Imperial subway station?
At some point the Rebels launch a major attack on the Empire in the movie, and seriously blow some shit up in the process.
But if you scope out this ominous looking shot of Mendelsohn’s bad guy walking through water strewn with dead stormtroopers it looks like the Rebels win this time.
Actor Jiang Wen, weapons expert?
This shot should give any Star Wars fan some serious goosebumps since it’s both a nice little contrast to the AT-AT’s in the Battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back and a totally kickass shot of what will most likely be Erso’s team trying to sabotage the Empire.
Here’s one of the final shots of Jones wearing what appears to be an Imperial TIE Fighter uniform. Coupled with Whitaker’s “If you continue to fight, what will you become” line, does it mean she switches sides, or is the costume change all part of a gambit to steal the plans to the Death Star?
All the questions will be answered when Edward’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — starring Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, and Jonathan Aris. — is released in theaters on December 16.