Just when we thought this week couldn’t get any better in terms of Star Wars stuff to geek out over, Disney done went and dropped their first trailer for the standalone feature Rogue One: A Star Wars Story bright and early this morning!
Rogue One is the first in a series of spinoff films that Disney and Lucasfilm have on the docket in addition to the new Star Wars trilogy, including a Han Solo film slated for 2018. (Other non-cinematic supporting materials are in the works as well, such as a Star Wars: Bloodline, a novel by Claudia Gray that outlines how Leia went from Princess to General between EpisodesVI and VII, which comes out May 3.) This film takes place between EpisodesIII and IV (so, between the last film of the second trilogy, Revenge of the Sith, and the first film of the original trilogy, A New Hope) and tells the story of how the Rebellion was able to get their mitts on the plans for the Death Star, which, as you’ll remember, was the inciting incident that touched off the events in Ep. IV.
Check out the trailer below and then meet me for some nerdtastic speculation immediately after!
SO. Felicity Jones is, as expected, the star of this film, which is awesome, playing Jyn Ersa, a rebel fighter who is a loose cannon even for the Rebellion, which makes her the ONLY person in the Galaxy qualified for this dangerous mission! That mission being, to seemingly infiltrate the Empire in order to obtain the plans for the Death Star (as indicated by the shot of her toward the end sporting a black uniform with Empire insignia).
Now, there aren’t a WHOLE lot of other details, but there are definitely some things worthy of catching our attention, such as:
- Ben Mendelsohn (whom you already know I love) appears to be the new baddie in this film, which is great. Mendelsohn is able to bring all sorts of layers to villainous characters, as we saw in “Bloodline”, and I just love this new approach to Star Wars villains being more complicated and enigmatic. I can only assume that’s the direction they’re going with here. Much like Adam Driver, you do not cast an Actor (with a capital ‘A’) like Mendelsohn if you’re just looking for a one-note bad guy. There’s speculation that he’ll actually be playing Grand Moff Tarkin, which I suppose is reasonable. Either way, I am super excited to see what he brings to this role!
- This movie will also see the return of Mon Mothma, a senator who was an integral part of the formation of the Rebel Alliance in response to the rise of the Empire and the leader of the Rebellion in Return of the Jedi, so obviously her inclusion in this story is crucial! Though it naturally makes one wonder if Rogue One will also, at some point, feature Senator Bail Organa, Leia’s adopted father, as he worked closely with Mon. What we do know is, her inclusion in Rogue One is delicious retribution for actress Genevieve O’Reilly, who was cast for this role in Revenge of the Sith but left on the cutting room floor. Not this time!
- At the 1:18 mark, we see a guy in a black cloak kneel before what looks like some sort of alter or chamber… is that Darth Vader?? Just as with Bail Organa, it seems natural that this film should include Vader in SOME way, especially if Ben Mendelsohn is indeed playing Tarkin.
- Both Donnie Yen and Forest Whitaker appear to be playing a couple of Rebel-friendly (or at least anti-Empire) badasses, with the former displaying some wicked samurai skills and the latter doling out some words of wisdom while dressed like he got lost on the way to the Thunderdome (#iaintmadatit).
- Diego Luna is featured here as what will likely be the male protagonist, though he doesn’t have any lines in the trailer. He appears to be a Rebel fighter pilot and looks suspiciously like Poe Dameron from The Force Awakens, no? This has lead to some speculation that he might be Poe’s dad, and that Jyn might be Rey’s mom… and that Poe and Rey might actually be siblings! This seems highly unlikely, though, as Lucasfilm has stressed that these standalone films are meant to tell the stories of characters unrelated to the main characters from the Star Wars trilogy. It would be cool, though, I’m not gonna lie.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release on December 16, 2016 (which is one year from Star Wars: Episode VIII). Keep on nerdin’ on!
In the meantime, check out our YH Studio chats with stars Felicity Jones and Diego Luna below!