The new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was shown at this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the thousands who were experiencing the event via the live stream weren’t able to watch it. Most likely there’s an exclusive granted to someone (not Fandom, sadly), but there’s a good chance the world will see it soon enough. I was lucky enough to be in the room at the panel. Though the whole thing seems like a blur, there were a few substantial things fans can expect from it.
What’s in the trailer?
First of all, the movie looks phenomenal. It’s not glossy and cranked to eleven like many event film trailers are. The devil is in the details and not the volume and the sheen. Fans have always known that this is a war movie that is set in the Star Wars universe. Not a Star Wars film with a war element. The new trailer seemed to run less than a minute but what it did contain was a glimpse of Jyn Erso as a young girl. Knowing now that Mads Mikkelsen plays her papa does that mean he only appears in flashbacks? One would speculate that we discover how she gets that chip on her shoulder that allows her “to rebel” but it’s rather quick footage before we see Felicity Jones as the character doing her thing.
There’s some new combat as well. There’s nothing as jaw-dropping as the shot of the AT-ACT Cargo Walkers from the last trailer but it’s all very engaging. Gareth Edwards has a very distinctive and raw style and married with this world even trivial moments are deepened. It’s akin to the energy Paul Greengrass installed into the Jason Bourne movies but with more attention to what audiences want. It’s extremely immersive. Another alien species appears in the footage too. They are totally nailing the designs on each one. Ben Mendelsohn’s Krennic is given more screen time as well. The big reveal, one which won’t be a surprise to readers but one which still garnered a truly monstrous reaction, was that of a familiar helmeted entity. Darth Vader. It’s not a full glimpse at the character but rather a reflection on a monitor. The sound design makes up for the lack of a good look. Knowing that James Earl Jones recorded new dialogue completes the picture. We’re going to see the Vader we grew to love again.
The Freedom of ‘Rogue One’
Darth Vader may be the money shot but it’s the new stuff that is most exciting. The rumors about the nature of the reshoots? Ignore them. The only real barrier against Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is that it will be different. It’s only a barrier to those who allow it to be. It’s actually a liberating thing, freedom. It won’t feel as familiar. Star Wars will be able to really delve into various genres without as many constraints. Mark Hamill himself at his panel wished the Han Solo film would be funny. This footage proves that they are pushing the brand further and it’s a very good thing.