The first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premiered Thursday morning and gave us a surprisingly thorough rundown of the movie’s plot. Set to premiere on Dec. 17, Rogue One is the first spinoff from the main Star Wars saga, takes places just before the event of A New Hope, and follows a ragged band of Rebels who are tasked with stealing plans for the first Death Star.
Who is Jyn Erso?
Felicity Jones’s Jyn Erso is a defiant, reckless, Stormtrooper-bashing rebel who’s just wild enough to be sent on a high-stakes heist. But beyond that: Who is she, and how does she fit into the larger Star Wars universe? Could she possibly be The Force Awakens’ Rey’s missing mother? Online speculation immediately centered on that, focusing on everything the resemblance between actresses Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones to the characters’ identical British accents.
Mon Mothma in the house!
The regal Chancellor of the Rebel Alliance first appeared before the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi (played by Caroline Blakiston), where she mournfully reminded the assembled forces that “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.” A younger version of her appeared in Revenge of the Sith, played by Genevieve O'Reilly. O’Reilly makes a return appearance here, recruiting young Jyn to the cause.
All signs indicate that the Rebel base in Rogue One is on Yavin 4 in the same temple from which the Alliance launches its attack against the Death Star in A New Hope. Jyn and an unnamed Rebel played by Diego Luna (perhaps Luke buddy Biggs Darklighter?) are surrounded by familiar trappings: urgent pilots in the familiar orange jumpsuits, a parked X-wing, and a GNK power droid (a.k.a. gonk droid).
Nice cape, Ben Mendelsohn
Does the Australian actor play a younger Grand Moff Tarkin, the role originated by Peter Cushing in A New Hope? Considering that, per Star Wars lore, Tarkin is a chief architect of the Death Star — the character (played by actor Wayne Pygram in Cushing-esque prosthetics) can be seen supervising construction alongside Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine at the end of Revenge of the Sith — it’s easy to see how the scheming villain should be a key figure in Rogue One. Then again, Mendelsohn’s uniform is different from Tarkin’s.
Rogue One is bridging the gap between the original and the prequel trilogies, so we start to see the emergence of some very familiar technology. Among them are the first onscreen appearance (at least in the cinematic timeline) of the old-school X-wings, an ominous Imperial Star Destroyer, an exploding Imperial shuttle, and — of course — a terrifying AT-AT attack on our band of Rebels.
The black-armored Stormtroopers are unlike any we’ve seen on the big screen before. The suits are reminiscent of the Storm Commandos or Shadow Troopers, special-ops teams that appeared in books and comics. The teaser also offers a glimpse at some tan-suited Scout Troopers, presumably in camo armor.
Who is Mr. Cloak?
Is that you Lord Vader? Based on the presence of the Royal Guards and all that mood-setting smoke, we are guessing (and hoping) that this is indeed a peek at the Sith all-star about to kneel before the Emperor (or a hologram of Palpatine).
The trailer ends with this provocative image. With Forest Whitaker’s raspy voiceover (”What will you become?”) the teaser suggests that Jyn, a.k.a. the rogue one, might be going to the dark side. Our guess: It’s simply a misdirection and Jyn is just in disguise.
But we’ll know for sure when Rogue One arrives in December. Until then, hit us up with your theories in the comments section.
For more ‘Rogue One’ action watch as Yahoo’s SuperFan digs into the new teaser: