The third and final trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars story has dropped and it's given us the best look at the film yet.
The marketing challenge for the film has been to manage fan expectations while also building anticipation. Disney CEO Bob Iger dubbed the first Star Wars standalone film "an experiment of sorts," while those involved have downplayed the expensive reshoots it underwent.
More than the previous trailers, this one combines the gritty wartime story unique to Rogue One with elements familiar to Star Wars fans (a child with absent parents fighting evil, for starters). Let's break down the key moments for a closer look.
0:08-0:16: We get the first glimpse of Jyn Erso as a child, with the trailer establishing that her father Galen Erso (played by Mads Mikkelsen) is a caring parent: "Jen, whatever I do,I do it to protect you."
0:18-22: The Star Wars braintrust has already revealed that Mikkelsen plays the architect of the Death Star. But what's been unclear until this moment is that he's being forced by the villainous Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). What's also lovely about these opening shots is you get somewhat of a Luke Skywalker on Tataouine vibe - though given the lush surroundings of the planet, its safe to assume that Mikkelsen is not playing a moisture farmer.
0:26-38: The biggest paradigm shift this trailer reveals is that Jyn starts as a prisoner of the Empire and then rescued by the Rebellion and the people she eventually teams up with for the mission. (Side note: it's pretty sad to see that poor alien on the left wallowing away under a blanket in the cell.)
0:46-1:03: Jyn learns her father Galen is critical to the development of the Death Star, with that providing the impetus for her to join the Rebellion. (In case the fact that the Empire was in control of a world-destroying weapon weren't enough.) We also get a look at Galen, decades later. There's so expressed through his face, and he truly looks like a broken man, standing there in the rain.
1:05-1:14: The team comes together, with what soon-to-be- fan favorites such as Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) and Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) showing off their charisma and their skills.
1:16-1:19: This subtle shot has to be one of the coolest in the entire Rogue One marketing campaign. "The power that we are dealing with here is immeasurable," Krennic tells Darth Vader. Someone speaking to Vader as an advisor is fascinating to watch. We're used to people simpering to him, so seeing these two on screen together adds a whole new layer of excitement for the film.
1:31-1:32: The toys for Rogue One let the cat out of the bag that Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) has a robotic leg, but seeing in action is pretty darn cool. The fact that his war veteran wounds can't be completely healed with robotics (as Luke's hand was by the end of Empire Strikes Back) reminds us that this really is a war movie and not quite like any Star Wars we've seen before.
1:43: There's nothing more Star Wars than our heroes dressing up like the bad guys, as Jyn, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) do here.
1:44-1:50: Early on, there was talk that Rogue One would divorce itself from the Jedi, but Chirrut Imwe is a believer in The Force .. and honestly it was spine tingling to here him inspire the troops, saying, "Take hold of this moment. The Force is strong." The trailer followed that up with more inspirational speech ("make ten men feel like 100" - Cassian) and Jyn declaring, "we'll take the next chance, and the next."
2:05: We get to see Vader in action. Bring it on.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released Dec. 16.