Trailer Breakdown: Rogue One

Well the new Star Wars: Rogue One was dropped today, and my initial reaction was very intense internal screaming. Rogue One is going to be a fantastic set up to the original trilogy in ways that the other prequels never could be (Surprise George Lucas no one wanted to watch people sit and talk about the space economy for 2 hours.). This film is going to follow the character Jyn Eros into her joining of the Rebel Alliance as she leads a team to steal the plans for the first Death Star. We didn’t get much of the plot with this trailer, but we see the merciless side of this universe.

   Finally, we are getting a story outside the Skywalker storyline; this will not be a film about the core trilogy. Rather, this will be a gritty spy movie that will be expanding the scope of this universe. Jyn isn't another Luke Skywalker; the trailer makes that clear. Between fighting stormtroopers and forging Imperial documents, she has caught the attention of the Rebellion. She accepts the mission of stealing the Death Star plans, but her “reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined” personality may allow her to be easily seduced by the Empire.

   As for the overtly obvious villain in white, this one still remains a mystery to me. Many fans suspect that this is Grand Moff Tarkin, who has been teased to appear in Rogue One. However, given the uniform differences and the different rank of the characters chest leads me to believe that this can’t possibly be Tarkin. Along with that, the possible inclusion of Darth Vader in Rogue One is beyond exciting. We may finally get to see the grim general on the battlefield instead of the control room.  And for the man the in black cloak, I doubt its the Emperor since he does drop to his knees and we know the Emperor bows to no man. So it could possibly be an undressed Vader, but the height just doesn’t seem right either. The man in black and the man in white are left to be mysteries for now.

Massive applause to the director for the shots in this film. Easily the best being when we see the AT-AT walkers shooting at our characters.The director can show scale extremely well thanks to the use of CGI. My heart was beating so fast when I saw the walkers because I remember being so fascinated with them as a child. Now to see them polished due to modern technology, is a dream fully realized. Even though this is a modern movie, it doesn't entirely feel that way. This film is still managing to maintain the aesthetics of the original trilogy with the Death Star control room, the Imperial alarm, original and new stormtrooper designs, and the old models of the ships. There is a vintage feel to that doesn’t feel anything like the Force Awakens. Every shot was 1977’s Star Wars and it just made me so happy.

This teaser was melancholy and eerie, setting the mood for a film that looks ready to explore the dark and grimy underbelly of the Star Wars universe. We have had Star Wars movies, but this is our first spy/war film.  If this film proves to be successful, there can finally be more offshoots of this massive universe that go beyond special Jedi wizard magic. There is a lot of lore that are far more interesting and complicated than the Skywalker lineage. This short trailer was a feast for fans and ended with a chilling image of Jyn in an Imperial uniform with Forest Whitaker's voice-over, “What will you do if they catch you. What will you do if they break you? If you continue to fight, what will you become?"

Shannon McHugh
shannon@titlerace.com

Reaction by Colin Johnson
colin@titlerace.com