Roge One opens on December 16.

The count down is on, with two weeks to go until Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters. While Lucasfilm has not yet released the entire film to critics, the company did offer a sneak peek today at Lucasfilm in San Francisco. Attendees were treated to an exclusive look at 28-minutes of the film, followed by a special discussion with the talented folks behind the camera. So far, early viewers have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts, with many describing the film as “fantastic” and “gritty as hell.”

Official early reviews of the film as a whole aren’t expected to before next week, we’ll be sure to break those down when they become available. Right now, we’re feeling optimistic thanks to the flood of encouraging reactions on Twitter.

Today’s event follows another special screening on Friday that took place at the Skywalker Ranch. Many fans were concerned when talks of reshoots emerged, but despite any production issues that may have arisen, the film appears to be nothing short of fantastic.

In the most recent trailer, which dropped last week, we saw K-2SO — a droid voiced by Alan Tudyk — providing a bit of humor amid action-packed battle scenes. While he may be less adorable than R2D2 and BB-8, his performance as the duty-driven droid is sure to be crowd pleasing.

The film, which is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, hits theaters nationwide on December 16.

In the Star Wars universe, the end of Rogue One takes place 10 minutes before the first events in A New Hope. As such, Lucasfilm executive, Kathleen Kennedy is hoping the movie can be a real introduction for those folks who are new to the Star Wars universe. (Yes, they do exist).

Kennedy also tells viewers to not get too attached, as it’s unlikely any of us will see our favorites from the movies popping up in any future installments of the epic space drama.

During the Q&A session Edwards discussed receiving the highest honor any Star Wars director could hope for: George Lucas’ approval. He joked with the audience, saying he could now die a happy man.

The cast and crew also regaled audiences with humorous anecdotes from their time on the set. Including the fact that Ben Mendelsohn — who happens to be a HUGE Star Wars fan — was slightly intimidated working with Darth Vader and tried like hell to control his inner fanboy whenever the Sith lord was on set.

He was also known for serenading fellow cast mates in between takes. 

Photos via Disney/LucasFilms

Elizabeth Moss as Offred in The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood’s dystopian Republic of Gilead in her classic novel The Handmaid’s Tale might have a maddeningly vague ending for protagonist Offred — but the story is getting a fresh new beginning onscreen.

The impending 10 episode Hulu drama starring Elizabeth Moss and Joseph Fiennes has unveiled its first photos. Among them is a glimpse at an eerie looking ceremony for the Handmaids.

As a brief refresher, in this alternate future that feels all too close, an Islamic extremist terrorist attack on the United States emboldens a theocratic military dictatorship to take over, suspending the constitution on the pretext of acting for the greater good.

Under the new regime, citizens live Old-Testament-inspired lives in which women are relegated to secondary citizens, hence the protagonist being called “Offred.” Fred, better known as The Commander — the man she is assigned to reproduce with — is the only relevant signifier of her identity.

In Gilead, women are classified into categories with rigid societal roles. The Handmaids are concubines. But bizarrely, when Offred has her sexual “ceremony” with The Commander, his wife must be present.

In the photograph below, the Handmaids assemble in their uniforms as a row of men — perhaps officials like the Commander; perhaps men like the driver Offred engages in an affair with — stands before them.

As the novel contains copious flashbacks, this could be a scene depicting Offred’s first meeting with the Commander.

Then again, it could also be a simple religious ceremony. As women are not allowed to read in Gilead, it’s fitting that they have pillows in lieu of prayer books.

Here’s Joseph Fiennes looking tormented as The Commander — perhaps tormented by his ambiguously inappropriate emotions towards Offred.

And here’s Elizabeth Moss as Offred, perhaps in The Commander’s bedroom.

The Handmaid’s Tale premieres in April 2017.

Photos via Hulu

Get Inverse In Your Inbox