Early this morning, Disney and Lucasfilm debuted the brand new trailer to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on ABC's Good Morning America.
By now, I'm absolutely certain that you've watched the trailer to Rogue One at least a few dozen times, so I'm certain I don't have to explain to you how truly spectacular this trailer is in every way possible.It does an impressive job at blending the old retro feel of A New Hope with something so fresh and foreign and I couldn't be more thrilled by the results. So now, I'm taking a look at some of my favorite things about the very first trailer to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and taking a look at some of the trailer's biggest mysteries.
A Familiar Feel in an Unfamiliar Setting:
My favorite thing about the trailer to Rogue One is that everything instantly feels like a Star Wars movie, yet is unlike any Star Wars movie we've ever seen before. Though the setting and the world within this feel like a return to something so eerily familiar, everything is foreign and uncharted. It further explores another side to the story and adds a whole new depth to it, which both makes me thrilled and excited to return to this specific era of the Star Wars universe, and shine a whole new light on this adventure.
Right from the start, we're re-introduced to this universe by an eerily faint rendition of John Williams' The Force Theme, instantly drawing us back into this universe, except this time, we're introduced to a unfamiliar new character named Jyn Erso, played by the talented Felicity Jones. Set in the Rebel Base a little before the events of Star Wars (or later re-titled Episode IV: A New Hope), this story follows Erso and her team as they set out to steal the blueprint plans to the Empire's Death Star planet destroyer weapon. Somewhat in the same vein as Star Wars Rebels is doing on television, Rogue One teases a Star Wars film that isn't about any Skywalker, or any Force-sensitive characters, which is something that intrigues me the most.
New Characters Worth Caring For:
In just one teaser, the movie has shown us how Jyn is an intriguing character worth caring for. She comes across as reckless and disobeying, which makes her interesting and driven, and so entirely different than the heroes and heroines that we're familiar with in this universe. It'll be fun to see her recklessness result in mayhem for the crew and for some great storytelling. She's also clearly out with a vengeance, as if she has a personal vendetta against the Empire for something that happened in her life, and I'm curious what that is.
There are other characters in this story that don't yet have a name, like the ones played by Forest Whittaker and Donnie Yen, which we'll get to in a bit, but for now, they look super exciting and interesting to watch.
Never in a million years would I have expected that one day the most exciting part of a trailer was the return of Mon Mothma, a character so obscure that the average fan probably couldn't recite her name without a quick Google search. Yet, Mothma's return is one of the highlights of the film, one of the things that ground this movie as a Star Wars film. Though the portrayal of the character has been passed on to Genevieve O'Reilly, it feels familiar and welcome. Mon Mothma was a character that debuted in Return of the Jedi in only one brief scene, but is known as a cult favorite. I'm looking forward to delving into her character's backstory a little more in this film.
The Finishing Touches to The Death Star Mark I:
At the end of Revenge of the Sith, we catch a glimpse of Darth Vader and The Emperor watching the Death Star head into construction. In this trailer, we get a brief look at the final touches going into the planet destroyer, a short time before A New Hope. As the dialogue overlaying the Death Star footage indicates, the Rebellion task Erso and her team to obtain the blueprints to the Death Star and to find a way to destroy it.
Not only is it great to return to this era, it's super neat to see the Death Star look so pristine and stunning, another example of how this movie taking on the 1977 era works exceedingly well.
We've also learned that actor Ben Mendelsohn will be taking on the role of the film's villain, though no information about the character has been given as of yet. Many, myself included, expected fan-favorite General Tarkin to be making an appearance in the film, which was believed to be Mendelsohn's role, but it's not specifically addressed in the trailer, which leaves much speculation for the next several months.
The Impressive Visual Effects of Rogue One:
There's a truly impressive blend of gorgeous modern cinema and a great sense of retro look to Rogue One, which conjures up a sense of this film taking place in A New Hope era, yet feeling fresh and new. Prior to the release of this trailer, I was skeptical how they were going to recapture the look and feel of an era that was shot in 1977. Needless to say, my concerns have been put to rest.
This above frame is specifically my favorite of the trailer, because it establishes the fact that Rogue One will have a much darker tone than any previous Star Wars film, because of the dark era that it takes place within, and this frame alone does a great job at displaying the atrocities of the Empire during that transition period shortly after the Jedi-mass murders.
Who Is This Mysterious Cloaked Figure?
Who is this mysterious character with their back to the camera? Many believe this character to be Darth Vader and the fact he has two Imperial guards on both sides of him definitely strengthens that theory. It's rather hard to tell, so we'll leave that at pure speculation at the moment.
Who Are The Characters Played By Forest Whittaker and Donnie Yen?
We don't know much about the character played by Forest Whittaker, but is feature quite prominently in the trailer which leaves us to believe he has a large role in this film. Same goes for Donnie Yen, who is seen taking down a Stormtrooper in a ninja-style battle scene that looks like a scene pulled from The Raid. I'm curious how these two fit into the story.
Where Is This Battle Taking Place?
Though it's not specifically addressed in the trailer, but I believe these battle scenes to be taking place on the planet of Yavin, which is where the Rebel base was located during A New Hope. Gareth Edwards did a brilliant job at recreating the look and feel of the Yavin base, and it adds a whole new layer of nostalgia.
Another moment sure to cause nostalgia for any Star Wars fan is the recreation of the AT-AT walkers in one of the final glimpses of this trailer, which both look stunning and practical, making me curious exactly how they managed to pull off that look.
What Is Happening in That Final Frame?
To close off this absolutely brilliant trailer is an intriguing shot of Jen Erso dressed in an Imperial uniform, looking onwards at something ahead, perhaps ready for an encounter by Darth Vader. Additionally, the shot shows off Erso with the Imperial logo on her clothes, leaving us to believe the heist the Rebellion sets out for succeeds as planned. I'd probably be more satisfied if Rogue One ends up pulling out the rug from under us and the Death Star plans are captured as far from expected as possible.
Regardless, this short but effective Rogue One teaser trailer shows off a movie that looks like it will play perfectly in the style of what Star Wars is but adding a whole new exciting depth to a story we already know and cherish. Director Gareth Edwards as often the described the film to be a mix of a "heist film and a war movie" set in the universe of Star Wars. December 16th cannot get here fast enough.