If you’re one of the many fortune-less Star Wars fans who can’t journey to London for this year’s Star Wars Celebration starting on July 15, you’re in luck – because you’re not missing much. It’s a bummer that you can’t witness what will likely be some revealing presentations featuring Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, and standalone Han Solo movie co-directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Presumably, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards will also reveal a new trailer for his film too. But don’t panic, there won’t be an FOMO about the Rogue One footage. If you tune into the network television debut of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey — the feature length making-of documentary on ABC on July 15 — you’ll get a glimpse at the forthcoming standalone Star Wars standalone movie without leaving the comfort of your home. Being a lay Star Wars fan pays off.
The new trailer is a big deal for the fan fervor surrounding the new movie. It’s the first peek at Rogue One since the much-ballyhooed reshoots made fans freak out that a large portion of the film had to be redone. It prompted Kennedy and Edwards to put out interviews to tell everyone to calm down, which tempered the anxiety surrounding the reshoot, which, don’t forget, is a common practice with gigantic multi-million dollar franchises.
That said, here’s what needs to happen when we get our second look at Rogue One in the new trailer.
5. More Ben Mendelsohn
The villain of Rogue One has been shrouded in a bit of mystery. Being secretive in an age where an entire movie gets spoiled in the advertising goes a long way, but when it comes to Mendelsohn’s Imperial officer villain we don’t know much. We know that his name is Director Orson Krennic, and that he likes wearing capes. That’s about it.
The next trailer needs to show Krennic actually scheming about building the first Death Star so we get a sense of what his overall deal is; but it’ll do some easy legwork in fitting good exposition-heavy bits in to give context to the potentially confusing pre-A New Hope storyline.
4. Anything With Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen is in Rogue One, but you wouldn’t know that from the trailers and photos thus far. Mikkelsen is playing protagonist Jyn Erso’s father, and his absence from anything we’ve seen so far means he’ll likely play a big part in Jyn’s role in trying to take down the Empire. Will he be an Imperial officer too, or have something to do with the building of the Death Star and thus give Jyn some personal stakes in her mission? The next trailer doesn’t need to give us a ton of info, but a quick look at Mikkelson’s distinctive visage wouldn’t hurt.
3. More context
More about Krennic’s involvement with the Empire would be great, but some more context about the timeline of the movie is absolutely essential. The biggest hurdle Rogue One has to clear is conveying to a non-Star Wars addict where in the saga’s timeline this cinematic curveball actually takes place. Unassuming theatergoers might just assume that Rogue One picks up right after The Force Awakens and wouldn’t be the wiser. The first teaser hinted at its pre-A New Hope setting using the classical trilogy iconography like old Star Destroyers and Stormtrooper designs, but it’s too subtle. Drive home the point and get everybody on board.
2. More Saw Gererra
There was a big to-do about the reveal of Forrest Whitaker’s previously unnamed character as Saw Gerrera, a Rebel sympathizer who already showed up in the animated Star Wars Rebels TV series. It’s a nice bit of franchise synergy, but the new trailer needs to give people who don’t have the time to watch a cartoon a reason to want to know why Gerrera is helping Jyn and her crew out with their mission. His “what will you become?” voiceover was the highlight of the first trailer, but we should get a better sense of where Gerrera fits into the Rogue One equation in the next trailer beyond some killer dialogue.
A New Rogue One?
The biggest controversy surrounding the much-publicized reshoots was that studio executives allegedly thought Edwards’s first cut was too much of a serious war film. Reports said that the reshoots were to effectively make the film lighter and more in line with the space opera spirit of the main episodes. Kennedy directly shot down those fears in an interview with Entertainment Weekly saying, “There’s nothing about the story that’s changing.” To get a sense of how this standalone Star Wars movie will standalone, it would be more than appropriate to get that tone across in the next trailer. The teaser set it up, this trailer needs to knock it out of the park.