A Star Wars Story
This morning, a trailer finally burst onto the scene for the first film in the Star Wars Anthology Series, Rogue One. This film sets to tell the story of the beginning of the Rebel Alliance, immediately prior to A New Hope.
The trailer is explosive, and has set the internet ablaze with theories and hype. Here are 10 moments that are bound to make any Star Wars fan want to hibernate until Dec. 16th.
10. Our New Female Lead!
The first few seconds of the trailer introduce Jyn Erso, our new loveable rogue, and main protagonist of Rogue One. She starts in chains walking into the rebel base on Yavin 4, stating her name as her crimes are listed. Forgery of Imperial documents and aggravated assault, to name a few. We can already tell from her calm composure and track record that she’s a completely capable badass, and more a Han Solo than a clean-cut Skywalker.
The internet is already going wild over her history, speculating if she could be the mother of Rey. It may seem like it, but not every character in Star Wars has to be related, and Felicity Jones’ acting chops here make it clear that she can stand on her own two feet.
9. Mon Mothma
She’s back! Yes, as a staunch opposer of Palpatine’s power grabs, Mon Mothma was a crucial member in the foundation of the Rebel Alliance, and it’s great to see her back in the Star Wars universe!
The casting here is so on point I actually thought it was CGI, but it’s Genevieve O’Reilly, who looks almost identical to Caroline Blakiston’s portrayal from the OT. O’Reilly’s Mon Mothma was actually cut from a scene in Revenge of the Sith.
Does this mean we might see more of the Loyalist Committee? I’d be happy to see Bail Organa, but not so much Jar Jar…
8. “I Rebel”
We get a quick glimpse at Jyn’s capabilities as she blasts away countless stormtroopers, and shields what looks like another rebel officer from a deadly blast. This is inter cut with her first line of dialogue, “This is a rebellion isn’t it? I rebel” which sets in stone her character as a confident scoundrel, much like Han, who knows how to hold herself in a fight. She seemingly convinces the committee here that she can be of use to the Alliance, instead of being tried for her crimes.
This sequence also lends to Rogue One’s ‘heist’ formula, as we can see characters are being drafted for their abilities to carry out the most dangerous mission of them all!
7. The Death Star Reveal
If you hadn’t figured it out already, the weapons test that the Alliance needs information about is none other than the first Death Star from A New Hope.
Our new ragtag group of heroes are going to have to infiltrate the Empire’s inner ranks and get the plans from the inside. The Death Star looks just as daunting, and it’s amazing to see a star destroyer back in business.
6. Preparing for Battle
This shot of the pilots leaving the rebel base on Yavin 4 is especially cool for a number of reasons. First off, we can see the old X-Wings in the background, the old pilot costumes back in force (we might find out about Dosmit Raeh, the owner of Rey’s helmet from The Force Awakens) and of course, GONK DROIDS! Look at that little guy go.
Another big thing to note is Jyn’s second in command here, the character played by Diego Luna, who we saw smirking at her inside the rebel base. My best bet is that this guy is a well-to do Rebel officer with all the experience, another member of the team. There are rumours this could be Biggs Darklighter, Luke’s best friend from A New Hope, but he does have all the looks of a Dameron, and a familiar jacket to boot. Who knows?
5. New Stormtroopers and… Forrest Whittaker?
With the Imperial Siren lifted straight from the Original Trilogy blaring in the background, we get a look at some of the Empire’s newest recruits. Lucasfilm have certainly tried to implement some of Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art for the old films that never made the cut, and we seem to have a new variant of Stormtrooper commandeering a Hover Tank, and a menacing variant of the Dark/Shadow Trooper.
Forrest Whittaker’s character appears, who, via his dialogue looks to be a mentor figure for Jyn and the Rogue One team. He has all the garb of a bounty hunter, and looks like he could have a wavering allegiance, or at least be neutral to the situation.
4. Trouble on the Death Star and a new Robot Companion?
It looks like it all doesn’t go to plan, and on top of the captured pilots being marched towards an Imperial ship, we can see Jyn, Luna’s character, and a new robot friend running from danger, with the decor painting the setting as the interior of the Death Star. It’s thought that this robot companion will be the motion capture character played by Alan Tudyk, and will accompany the heroes in their heist. You can also see him behind Jyn in the scene when she’s kicking Stormtrooper butt!
Blink and you’ll miss the moment you can also see what looks to be another Stormtrooper variant, clad in a dark brown suit chasing the group. It’s great to see there are going to be a lot more variants of Stormtroopers in Rogue One, rather than just the plain white guys who can’t shoot straight.
3. Bacta Tanks and Ben Mendelsohn
In perhaps the most alarming scene in the trailer, we see an Imperial official wading across water towards an explosion, juxtaposed with a cloaked officer bowing before a bacta tank, with the Emperor’s guards on either side.
We know the Imperial official is Ben Mendelsohn’s character, who, from the previous shot of him standing menacingly in front of the Death Star’s plans, looks to be one of the primary antagonists of the movie, akin to The Force Awaken’s General Hux. The quick succession of these two scenes might suggest the 2 people bowing are the same, but who might it be in that bacta tank? My bet’s on Vader or The Emperor, but it could be another force as yet unknown. Snoke?
2. AT-AT’s on the Beach?
Easily the coolest scene in the trailer, we are treated to a pretty amazing set piece. It looks like Rogue One is going to have one of its main battles on a tropical planet, possibly Lehon or Rakata Prime from the KotOR universe! We can see the terrifying All Terrain Armored Transports looming over the Rogue One team, and having a little splash in the puddles. Looks like a well-needed summer vacation.
It’s interesting that the team are actually running towards the giant vehicular monsters? It doesn’t seem like the most intelligent course of action, but I’m sure they have a plan, and from what we’ve seen in the trailer, if anyone could do it, it’s got to be these guys.
1. A Change of Heart?
The trailer’s big reveal, and ending shot shows us Jyn Erso in full Tie Fighter garb, standing in the midst of an Imperial ship. This, with Whittaker’s ominous statement “Who will you become” throws a real curveball in the story. Little is known of Jyn’s past or allegiances (“alone since she was 15”) so is there something we don’t know? Or is this just another part of the heist where the team are going to have to disguise themselves as Imperial officers to get past security, much like Luke and Han did in A New Hope.
It’s certainly something to think about, and there’s currently a very intriguing rumor going round that Jyn is the daughter of the man behind the Death Star design, who has an Oppenheimer-style turn, with her arc being about ridding the world of her family’s evil creations. Now that would be a story.
Alas, we’ll have to wait until Dec. 16th to find out, when Rogue One officially hits theaters.