Descending upon us like an opening crawl of text just over two months to the day before it debuts in theaters, the (possibly) final trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit this morning during Good Morning America.
The first of at least three planned stand-alone films fleshing out the Star Wars universe, Rogue One details how the Rebel Alliance came into possession of those Death Star plans that set the plot of Star Wars: A New Hope into motion and, The Dirty Dozen style, follows the ragtag group of rebel operatives tasked with stealing them away from the Empire. We’ve seen several glimpses at this film since late last spring, but today’s trailer demonstrates there’s still a lot they haven’t spoiled, with the most notable thing this morning being first glimpse of Mads Mikkelsen’s Galen Erso, father of main character Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). As we see above, Erso the Elder is “critical” to the development of the thing that will eventually destroy the planet Alderaan. But, he’s also the reason the Rebellion learns of the weapon in the first place.
Yeah, this is a pretty great trailer. As with the previous trailer and teasers, it looks positively gorgeous of course, but the average (read: me) fan’s nostalgia glands are likely throbbing uncontrollably thanks to the large number of explicit connections to the original trilogy, like those moisture vaporizers (which, why?) on what appears to be Space Ireland. Better is Ben Mendelsohn as main villain Orson Krennic explaining to Darth Vader that the Death Star’s “power is immeasurable.” One assumes he’s about to be pithily informed that said power is insignificant compared to the… well you know the line. That it takes place in a room that looks very much like Vader’s office on the Star Destroyer Executor is an added bonus. Apparently Imperial ergonomic design requires plenty of smoke and dim lights.
Rogue One aims to prove the Star Wars franchise can sustain yearly installments with stand-alone stories alternating between chapters in the main saga. (The still-untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII comes out December 2017.) And while it’s not likely to do the kind of business The Force Awakens did last year, it’s probably going to be a solid ender for one of Disney’s most profitable recent years.
Directed by Gareth Edwards from a script by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, Rogue One stars Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and Forest Whitaker as the members of Erso’s crew of Death Star plans thieves, with Mendelsohn and Mikkelsen rounding out the main cast. It also sees the return of several Star Wars vets, including Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa (Leia’s father) and Genevieve O’Reilly as Rebel Leader Mon Mothma, reprising their roles from Revenge Of The Sith, and James Earl Jones (as always) voicing Darth Vader. It hits theaters December 16.