If you’ve been on social media at all tonight you probably noticed the myriad of posts by impatient Star Wars fans tuned into NBC’s Olympic coverage. If you weren’t previously aware, the powers that be over in the Star Wars camp announced that they would be debuting a brand new story trailer for the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sometime during tonight’s coverage. It was a long, painful wait for a lot of us, but it was worth it in the end.
The new trailer provided new footage and served as a formal introduction to the film as a whole. From the music, to the visuals, to the scenes and characters revealed within, the trailer does a fantastic job of setting fans up for what should be an amazing film. The hype is with this one.
Set shortly before A New Hope, Rogue One tells the story of the ragtag group of Rebel spies who managed to steal the plans to the first Death Star. The new story trailer gives us a little bit more time with Felicity Jones’s Jyn Erso and Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, and helped set the tone for their relationship and perhaps the group’s dynamic as a whole. It also introduces us to Alan Tudyk’s droid character, who seems poised to provide some needed comic relief. We also get to see a bit more of Saw Gerrera played by Forest Whittaker, and brief glimpses of Donnie Yen and Riz Ahmed’s characters, as well. Even Darth Vader himself gets a very brief cameo in the trailer.
Even though we had seen a fair amount of footage already — including some of the footage in this trailer — it never gets old. Rogue One never stops feeling like this new, wonderful, and very different journey into a galaxy far, far away.
Honestly, with every new trailer we get and every new bit of information that’s shared, I become more and more certain that Rogue One could be my favorite Star Wars film of all time. Everything about the film just screams Star Wars. But unlike The Force Awakens, which intentionally copied the feel and general plot line of A New Hope, Rogue One makes it clear that it wants to set itself apart. The tropical setting of some of the scenes and the heist/war movie aesthetic take something familiar and make it appear fresh and new. It has a grittier feel and the stakes seem some how higher, the danger’s more real.
And yet, while it attempts to set itself apart, Rogue One could be one of the most compressively connected Star Wars films to date. Rogue One‘s connection to the rest of the Star Wars universe is one of the best things about this movie. While Marvel might have touted “It’s All Connected” when talking about their film and television franchises, Star Wars is really taking that to heart. Darth Vader appears in the final moments of the story trailer; it’s been confirmed for a while now that he’d appear in the film. Jimmy Smits let slip that he’ll reportedly be reprising his role as Bail Organa in Rogue One. Forrest Whittaker’s character, Saw Gerrera, was first seen in the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars series. Even K-2SO appears incredibly similar in personality and function to Temmin “Snap” Wexley’s modified battle droid “Mister Bones” from the Aftermath trilogy.
There’s been a lot of concern about this film due to the re-shoots and the fan outcry at the thought that Rogue One was too gritty for Disney, but I have faith. How can you look at this trailer and not? It’s stunning — and as much as I love The Force Awakens, I feel 100% more excited about Rogue One‘s potential than I did before The Force Awakens.
Rogue One hits theatres on December 16th, and it can’t come soon enough!