Fresh on the heels of the home video release of The Force Awakens, a new kind of Star Wars hype has been awakened in us all, thanks to the first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The trailer, though not as immediately exciting as the trailers for Episode VII, has a lot of awesome moments and little tidbits, making this a perfect time to break down what makes it epic.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, this teaser makes it clear that the story of Rogue One will follow the Rebels just prior to the events of Star Wars Episode IV. The plot will revolve around the Rebels’ attempts to steal the construction plans for the Death Star, and stop an imminent weapons test (presumably the test that destroys Leia’s home planet of Alderaan in Episode IV).
The Rebel base shown in the trailer also looks very much like the base located on Yavin 4 in Episode IV. I like this Rebellion idea a lot more than the other upcoming character spin-offs that will focus on Han Solo and Boba Fett, because it allows the filmmakers to introduce an entirely new cast of characters, as well as bringing back old ones. Creating new characters allows the film’s director, Gareth Edwards, as well as the writers, to explore new avenues of creativity and storytelling, while still firmly planting Rogue One within the Star Wars universe.
Speaking of the characters in the film, the Rogue One trailer shows a lot of them. Unfortunately, information on them is scarce. First and foremost is the protagonist, Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. Little is revealed about Jyn, but she is described as, “reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined”. She seems to be a wonderful candidate for the Rebellion, considering her rap sheet (which includes charges of forging Imperial documents, aggravated assault, and so on). The final scene of the trailer shows Jyn fully decked out in a tie-fighter flight suit, making it seem like she could possibly go undercover as an Imperial pilot.
Next in importance is probably Mon Mothma, who originally appeared in Return of the Jedi, and also made an appearance in a scene which was subsequently cut from Revenge of the Sith. Mothma is the leader of the Rebellion, and is played by Genevieve O’Reilly.
There is a brief shot of the Grand Admiral, played by Ben Mendelsohn. He looks quiet and threatening, and is likely to be the film’s primary villain, unless Darth Vader comes in to show him up.
There are a host of other characters, including a Shadowtrooper (or maybe a Deathtrooper), and characters played by Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker (who plays an, as of yet, unnamed bounty hunter), and Donnie Yen, whose character looks like some kind of samurai, which is new to Star Wars. But, like I said, we really don’t know anything about these characters — not even their names. If you thought we knew little about The Force Awakens, then Rogue One makes it look like we actually had a wealth of knowledge.
The Force Awakens was full of wonderful callbacks and homages to the original Star Wars trilogy, but even the two-minute Rogue One trailer has plenty of those too. We get to see the original Star Destroyers, the Death Star, members of The Emperor’s Royal Guard, the previously mentioned Yavin 4 base, some Jawas, and even a GNK power droid. The Stormtrooper armour is also headed back to its roots. The new armour and helmets from Episode VII looked wonderful, but it’s very cool to see the classic Stormtrooper look make a return.
Of course, the penultimate moment of the trailer plays out with an assault by massive AT-ATs, which is perhaps the best moment of the teaser.
Finally, let’s get to just a bit of speculation. This brief moment in the trailer is one of the more mysterious ones. We see a hooded figure kneeling before a large pillar of light, with Crimson Stormtroopers (who typically act as guards for The Emperor) standing on either side. It’s unclear which, if any, of the major original trilogy characters will make an appearance in Rogue One, but could this shot be one of them? Darth Vader isn’t usually depicted wearing a hood — that’s normally Palpatine’s territory. But who, or what, would this hooded figure be worshipping? It’s not as if an entirely new, ultra powerful villain, would be introduced. . .right? Maybe it’s Snoke! I don’t know. Only time will tell.
What do you think of the first teaser trailer for Rogue One? Are you as excited for this spin-off as you were for The Force Awakens? Let us know in the comments!