Disney and Lucasfilm are getting ready to go full-steam ahead on getting the hype train moving for their next Star Wars movie. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is due out in December, and because it is a Star Wars movie, there will be months of press, details slowly leaking out and mounting anticipation for the follow up to The Force Awakens. But Rogue One is going to be a very different type of Star Wars movie, and Disney has their work cut out for them to help the mainstream audience understand that.
The studio recently got a lot of excitement built up thanks to a massive amount of coverage about the movie from Entertainment Weekly, which got a lot of people on board. Prior to all of the new details that were revealed about Rogue One in that EW spread, we didn't know all that much about the movie. We knew that it was going to be a spinoff movie taking place in the Star Wars universe, we knew the timeline in which the story took place and we knew the main beat of the plot. But beyond that, much of Rogue One was a mystery. That is no longer the case.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be taking place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and will center around a band of Rebels who are tasked with stealing the plans for the first Death Star. That band of Rebels will be led by Felicity Jones' character Jyn Erso and she is being joined by a very seemingly interesting cast of characters. Not only do the characters sound very much like nice additions to the Star Wars universe, but the cast is absolutely stacked with top shelf talent like Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk and Ben Mendelsohn.
Disney recently had to do a little bit of damage control after it was revealed that Rogue One would reportedly have to undergo substantial reshoots. It still isn't totally clear to what degree of severity these reshoots were because reports varied widely, with some saying the movie was a total disaster and others saying it is all very standard. We do know that Disney plans for reshoots with their larger movies, so it did seem like a lot of the panic about these reshoots were a bit overblown. Either way, Disney is committed to making Rogue One the best movie that they possibly can, and that should be encouraging.
J.J. Abrams managed to successfully re-invigorate the Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens last year, and Disney wants to capitalize on that momentum. Rogue One is going to be the first ever Star Wars movie to take place outside of the main episodic Star Wars timeline, and it is going to be a very different kind of movie in a galaxy far far away. It is going to be a war movie, it will feature the most famous bad guy in all of Star Wars history and it will answer a lot of questions Star Wars fans have had for a long time. You may very well be excited about the movie, but here are some reasons that you should be a lot more excited about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The Introduction of Jyn Erso
Felicity Jones is one of the most promising actresses working in Hollywood today and Disney managed to lock her down to play the lead role in Rogue One, which should be a very exciting prospect for Star Wars fans, or fans of movies in general. Going all of the way back to A New Hope in 1977, the Star Wars movies have a long history of featuring strong female figures, and Jyn Erso looks like she will be another addition to that legacy. The first teaser trailer for Rogue One featured her character heavily, and it was very clear that she can handle herself in action.
Her character is described as a very streetwise troublemaker who has been living on her own since the age of 15. She has a very troubled past and has connections to the underworld. When she eventually crosses paths with the Rebel Alliance, they decide to try and put her skills to good use in order to help steal the Death Star plans. What is perhaps most interesting is that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy described her character as a "Joan of Arc" in Rogue One, so that could be something we haven't ever seen from a female character in the Star Wars universe before.
The Return of Darth Vader
It is pretty much no contest when it comes to who the greatest movie villain of all-time is. Darth Vader is to this day unmatched in his ability to be an imposing force of evil on screen, and it has been quite some time since we have seen Vader on screen. He showed up briefly at the end of Revenge of the Sith, but that wasn't the Darth Vader we all know and love. That will soon change though, because we are getting real deal Darth Vader in Rogue One. We don't know exactly how much screen time Vader is going to get, but the fact that he is going to be in the movie at all is very exciting.
Rumors had been circulating for quite some time that Darth Vader would be making an appearance in the movie, but it has been confirmed and that is a really big deal. James Earl Jones is even returning to voice him for Rogue One, so this is truly the Vader we have been dying to see on screen again ever since Return of the Jedi. Not only that, but because of the time period that the movie takes place during, this will be a version of the character that we have never seen. If there is only one reason any fan of Star Wars or of movies at all should be excited about Rogue One, Darth Vader is it.
Director Gareth Edwards
There are elements of the 2014 Godzilla reboot that not everyone loved, but for the most part, Gareth Edwards did a very good job of finally being able to get that right outside of the original Japanese movies. The movie made a lot of money and put Edwards on Disney and Lucasfilm's radar, which is what landed him the coveted job of directing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The task of tackling the very first Star Wars spinoff ever is no easy one, but even if you didn't love Godzilla, he very much seems like the right guy on paper. For one, Rogue One is going to be more of a war movie with elements of espionage with the theft of the Death Star plans. Everything we have seen from Edwards points to these things being able to play into his strengths. With Godzilla, Edwards was able to bring an interesting take on the classic franchise by showing all of the monsters and disaster through the eyes of the people around the chaos. He understands the importance of character and how to look at something through fresh eyes. That is something Star wars could really use and it should be really great to see what Edwards is able to do in the Star Wars universe.