Ahead of tomorrow’s new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the stand-alone Star Wars spinoff set to hit theaters in December, a new poster for the film has made the jump to hyperspace – aka the internet – and you can see it here below. The poster was unveiled today first by director Gareth Edwards during an appearance on The Star Wars Show on Facebook.
Directed by Edwards from a script by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, Rogue One is set immediately before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and tells the story of how the rebels got their hands on the plans to the Death Star, as well as depicting the first victory won by the rebel alliance and alluded to in the opening crawl to the first film in the Star Wars saga. Presented as a kind of The Dirty Dozen in space, it stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and Forest Whitaker.
Notably, while Mendelsohn plays the film’s villain Orson Krennic, the Empire’s Director of Advanced Weapons Research tasked with completing the space station, he far less prominent on this poster – buried there in the back – than Darth Vader, confirmed last summer to appear in the film, superimposed over the Death Star right behind Jones.
Vader is probably not as heavily featured in the film as that might imply, though given his role immediately after the events of the film, it does make me wonder if we’ll be seeing Death Star Commander Grand Moff Tarkin. Portrayed by Peter Cushing in A New Hope, Tarkin died when the space station was destroyed at the end of that film. A much younger version of the character was seen briefly in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, played that time out by Wayne Pygram. Rumors have swirled for the better part of a year that either CGI would be used to recreate Cushing, or that Pygram would reprise his version of the character. Nothing has been announced, but the character Mon Mothma, leader of the rebellion, originated in Return of the Jedi by Caroline Blakiston, will be played in Rogue One by Genevieve O’Reilly, who also portrayed her in Revenge of the Sith.
Rogue One theaters December 16, nearly one year to the day after the record-shattering debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, though it’s not a follow up to that huge hit. The proper sequel to The Force Awakens, the still-untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII is directed by Rian Johnson and will debut a year later on December 15, 2017. Meanwhile, we’ll have the new Rogue One trailer as soon as it drops.