If the scores of impatient tweets were anything to go by, NBC must have seen an uptick in its Olympics ratings tonight thanks to debut of a new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that aired immediately after the Men’s swimming competition. Fans tuned in for a new glimpse at the stand-alone Star Wars story and instead waited and waited while they witnessed real-life Jedi basically performing athletic feats only those truly strong in the force are remotely capable of. But enough about real world achievements, the new Rogue One trailer has dropped and you can watch it here now.
Directed by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One aims to be the most epic adaptation of a sentence in history. I kid, I kid, but the film is set in the period immediately prior to 1977’s Star Wars and depicts the events laid out in that film’s opening crawl: “Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.”
In Rogue One we see just how the Rebels got their hands on those plans (which were uploaded to R2-D2) – think of it as The Dirty Dozen in space. That aspect is full force in the trailer – which appears to be the same one shown off last month at Star Wars Celebration. Rag tag group? Check. Odds stacked against them? Check. Suicide mission? Check.
A stand out for me? “The Captain says you are a friend. I will not kill you.” That’s Alan Tudyk voicing K-2SO, an Imperial Security Droid reprogrammed by the rebellion to be a not evil robot. And so it is Star Wars finally has a menacing droid to go along with the slew of adorable (or just irritating, if you’re Han Solo) droids that already populate the Star Wars Galaxy. I’m into it. The Star Wars franchise has menacing droids before – the bounty hunter IG-88 in The Empire Strikes Back and the creepy overseer in Jabba’s palace in Jedi come to mind – but this is the first time movie audiences will get to spend so much time with a bot who has more to do than hack into servers and rattle off depressing statistics (though he does get some stats in of course.)
Of course you could just skip to the end for the first official glimpse of Darth Vader as he’ll appear in the film.
Rogue One has been through a ton of re-shoots this year. Reports vary on why that’s the case but in marketing, at least, it doesn’t look like per certain rumors that things have been softened that much, tonally. There’s more humor this time but it’s gallows humor in place of the previous teaser’s mournful tone. My hope is Rogue One is allowed to tell a story that doesn’t conform to the nostalgia and formula that the hugely successful The Force Awakens established. Here’s hoping this trailer isn’t full of scenes that never actually end up in the film’s final cut, as was the confusing case with Awakens.
Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, and Alan Tudyk star as the members of the rebel strike force, with Ben Mendelsohn playing the film’s Imperial heavy, Mads Mikkelsen, and Jonathan Aris rounding out the cast. Rogue One hits theaters December 16.