Following the teaser preview that we had last Wednesday, we finally get to see the first official trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which debuted in ABC’s Good Morning America. In case you missed it, here is the official trailer.
Taking place before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Rogue One tells the backstory of a group of rag-tag rebels and their attempt to steal the plans of the original Imperial Death Star. Since the trailer’s launch this morning, we had plenty of opportunity to play the trailer again (to our hearts content) to get a hint of how things will turn out in Rogue One.
Releasing a trailer and trying to capture the essence and feel of a movie in just a minute and a half of airtime is no small feat. It sets the tone and presentation of the movie, so much so that it will determine how fans will receive and welcome it. Rogue One’s trailer is certainly a cliff hanger of a teaser which leaves audiences with a lot more questions in mind.
Disney weaved this trailer to focus entirely on Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso – the young and impetuous new recruit that in the words of Mon Mothma, is “reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined”. It is interesting to ponder on the editors’ take to devote a minute of the trailer’s time to the character of Erso. Even with several appearances of familiar faces in the Star Wars verse like that of Mon Mothma (more about this later), and the haunting narration of Forest Whitaker toward the end, and other cast members that were announced earlier last year, you don’t need a rewind to clearly see that Rogue One’s first official trailer is focused on Erso.
This is just speculation at this point, but based on how Disney markets its latest films like that of Civil War, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and the live action remake of the Jungle Book where Disney slowly builds up the story based on its main characters, it is most likely that we will also see the same treatment with Rogue One. Considering as well that there were two official teasers and one official trailer for Episode VII: The Force Awakens that focused on the new characters introduced in the film (Teaser #1), and the old, albeit familiar ones (Teaser #2), it is not a far shot to consider that the next teasers for Rogue One will focus on the rest of the suicide squad’s team.
Of course, being a movie that serves as a transition for the classic Star Wars movies, Director Gareth Edwards remained exceptionally faithful with the original trilogy’s look and feel. Beyond the déjà vu set and droids of the Yavin 4 base, one perfect example was Mon Mothma’s reappearance. Just take a look at this comparison between the Mon Mothma from 1983’s Return of the Jedi played by Caroline Blakiston (right), and the more recent version of her in Rogue One as played by Genevieve O’Reilly (left). Edwards really did a good job in maintaining how the iconic Resistance leader looks that you might initially think it’s a CGI rendition. But of course it’s not. Credit goes to Gizmodo for the photo composite of Mon Mothma below.
Here’s Rogue One’s version of Mon Mothma up close.
As mentioned earlier, though the first 60 seconds of the trailer were devoted to Erso, the remaining part of it allowed fans to have a glimpse of Rogue One’s other equally impressive cast.
It’s customary for Lucas Films to throw in a droid or two in its Star Wars film, so Rogue One is not expected to depart from this tradition. As hinted by JoBlo’s Paul Shirey last January, there is one prominent droid in the film that is guaranteed to become a ‘scene stealer’. The said droid is originally an Empire droid which the rebels have captured and re-programmed to serve their purpose. Shirey’s prediction of how the droid will look like is impressively accurate.
“He’s two-legged and a dark grey or black color. In terms of appearance, the droid has long arms and legs and is very different than a typical protocol droid like C-3PO.”
Rogue One’s trailer seemed to have confirmed his prediction. Pay attention to the grayish black, anthropod that is constantly behind Erso in these shots.
Another puzzling question is the inclusion of this scene, where we can find a cloaked figure kneeling before a column of light or ethereal energy. It is clear that this is within the closed quarters of the Empire as evidenced by the presence of the red Imperial Royal Guards. Our first impression is that it might be Darth Vader’s façade, but knowing that Vader doesn’t normally don a hood throughout the Star Wars films (except when he was still known as Anakin), it is likely that this is someone else. Could it be Emperor Palpatine? If so, then seeing the ego –maniacal dictator bowing to another entity or person shows that there are larger, more sinister powers-that-be which will be introduced in Rogue One.
What is obvious definitely is Erso and the rest of her team will succeed in getting the plans for the Death Star, at the cost of many lives. But knowing how they manage to get it will just have to wait until we see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theaters on December 16.