Tucked into the middle of ABC’s Friday night showing of “Secrets of the Force: A Cinematic Journey,” which was basically a network broadcast of a Blu-ray Force Awakens special feature, Star Wars fans were finally allowed a more thorough glimpse at the upcoming Star Wars Story, Rogue One coming to theaters in December 2016. If I had any doubts fed by rumors this past June, those doubts were put to bed after seeing this trailer’s scenes of incredible action and interesting new characters.
If you missed the first trailer, you can catch up here; it focused on a few of the characters while hinting at the overall story. Tonight’s trailer, like the imagery of the new poster (seen above) that also dropped today, tells a more war-like story. The new poster's imagery feels like it could easily be for a new Star Wars: Battlefront video game. The trailer, which actually premiered at Star Wars Celebration Europe before airing on ABC, has fast cuts of fox holes, beach invasions, explosions and heavy machinery, very reminiscent of Episode V’s battle scenes on Hoth. And that seems to be the message: the characters in Rogue One are earning their place in the galactic history books with hard-won victories and gut-wrenching moments of defeat.
More of a “behind the scenes” teaser than a traditional trailer, many of the key makers and players can be heard commenting on the process of making the film. Director Gareth Edwards compares his role to the times he spent as a child playing with Star Wars action figures, only this time around he’s doing it with live-action players and a multi-million dollar budget.
Unfortunately, we don’t get learn anything more about Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), aside from seeing his terrifying squad of Imperial Death Troopers clad in shiny black armor. There is no hint of an appearance from Hollywood’s most recognized villain (you know his name…), but, instead, we get an eye-full of all the sweet Stormtrooper action! So many Stormtroopers! New Hope-style Imperial Stormtroopers and a new design of armor that belongs to a type of soldier that SlashFilm is reporting as being called a Shore Trooper. Also missing are any clues about Galen Erso, the character played by Mads Mikkelsen, even though he does add his commentary about the making of the movie.
Any scenes that develop the story and characters only create more delightful questions: blind Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) owns Stormtroopers without even breaking into a sweat (If he doesn’t have the Force, how is he so flipping awesome?); Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is constantly in motion as she runs, shoots and fights her way through the trailer, also owning an Imperial Stormtrooper with a swift staff blow to the head (Is she a Jedi? How come these Stormtroopers are so easy to kill?); and, who are all those wonderful Star Wars aliens?
Two-thirds of the way through the three-minute trailer, there is a nine-count beat where the editor flashes nine new characters in sync with the orchestral score, close-ups that show the variety of actors and aliens that will be appearing. I’m very excited to learn more about the Yeti-like soldier shown towards the beginning of the reel (long, white hair and some nasty looking tactical gear) and the not-Chewbacca gunner shooting out of an open bay door from a space craft of some sort. While more info is to be desired, apparent about these curious characters from the short time they appear on screen is that they are special effects driven, which is to say that the film crew created the costumes, suits and effects on set—no computer wizardry with these characters—just like 1977.
I’m still looking forward to a trailer that will tie all the characters and plot elements in a more traditional sense, but until then, I believe we’ve got plenty to discuss here. What aspects stuck out to you? Which characters are you looking forward to learning about? Pop over to our comments and let us know!