At this point, can we all agree that every major movie undergoes reshoots and that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story going back for more isn’t the huge, end-of-days-are-upon-us deal that many have made it out to be? Maybe the movie was/is in trouble, we won’t know for a few months until we actually see it for ourselves. But in the meantime, the latest trailer looks fucking fantastic. Don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself.
From what I gather, this is the trailer that showed at Star Wars Celebration. The rest of us saw that sizzle reel, but unless you were there, you didn’t get to see the actual preview, though this sounds like the play-by-play recaps that hit shortly afterwards.
This new look gives us more about the protagonist, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). It appears she’s some sort of rogue outlaw, not exactly a Rebel Alliance kind of lady, but one with her own particular skillset that will come in handy when leading a rag tag group of misfit weirdoes to steal the plans for the Death Star.
We get new glimpses of Diego Luna’s Captain Cassian Andor, who we know is a true Rebel at heart. Riz Ahmed’s ex-Imperial, Bodhi Rook, shows up, as does Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gererra. I’m stoked to see this character because he’s so different from every good guy we’ve seen thus far in the Star Wars universe. Sure, Han was a bit dodgy in the beginning, but Saw Gererra is straight up brutal. He essentially uses terrorist tactics and a by-any-means-necessary approach that exists in a moral grey zone. We’re used to seeing heroes be heroic—good fighting evil—not do questionable things in the name of the greater good that may make weaker stomachs queasy. Even many Rebels, even years after the original trilogy, still disapprove of his war-hardened, extremist methods. We’ve never encountered this element before, but it’s one that sets Rogue One: A Star Wars Story apart from its fellows, and it falls in line with what we’ve heard about this being a war movie.
Donnie Yen’s blind warrior monk, Chirrut Imwe looks super badass and is also a nice throwback to classic martial arts movies. I’m picking up what Jiang Wen’s Baze Malbus is throwing down with all of his heavy weapons. Alan Tudyk’s droid K-2SO is like a vicious C-3PO, or an anti-BB-8—he reminds me a bit of Mr. Bones, the droid from the Star Wars: Aftermath books, an Imperial droid reprogrammed and given free reign to evolve. I can’t wait to see more from Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Krennic. And then there’s this guy…
To be honest, I’m not super into the idea of Darth Vader showing up in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I like the idea of telling tales far removed from the purview of the Episode movies and those characters. I’m especially into the idea of these films focusing on the parts of that far, far away galaxy that don’t revolve around the Force and Force users. (For all his belief in the ancient religion, Chirrut Imwe does not, we’ve been told, have any Force aptitude.) But, I doubt Vader will actually be around much and expect him to be more of an ominous presence looming in the background. And this reveal, even though I knew it was coming, gave me a chill.
Speaking of ominous presences looming in backgrounds, that Super Star Destroyer, the Death Star sweeping over the surface of that planet (I expect that’s Jedha, a holy planet—a moon stuck in perpetual winter actually— for Jedi, a kind of Mecca for Force believers), and all the rest. I don’t care about the rumors and fear mongering, what we’ve seen thus far is promising and hopefully brings new wrinkles to the Star Wars universe.
We still have months to wait for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but December 16 is creeping closer and closer every day. I can’t wait. Hopefully a shitty airline won’t make me miss opening day of this one like it did for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.