The Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer finally arrived earlier today. And it's driving fans crazy. Just a teaser at a little over two minutes, we know a heck of a lot more about this exciting sci-fi adventure than we did just yesterday. The main character has been revealed. We got to see the AT-ATs back in action. And there is going to be a lot of battles in this sure-to-be classic adventure. So, what did we learn about the movie? Quite a bit, actually.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story follows a group of unlikely heroes who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. It is a period of Civil War. The Rebel's have scored their first major victory against the Galactic Empire after a surprise attack from a hidden base. And It's during this sneak raid that a team of Rebel spies manage to steal the secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon.
The Rogue One: A Star Wars Story cast includes Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed and Wen Jiang. The movie is directed by Gareth Edwards. The script is by Chris Weitz, with the story coming from Gary Whitta and John Knoll based on characters and ideas created by George Lucas. It is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, and Simon Emanuel, executive produced by John Knoll and Jason McGatlin, and co-produced by John Swartz and Kiri Hart.
Almost immediately after the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer dropped, fans started speculating that Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones, is Rey's (Daisy Ridley) biological mother. Fueling the fire is that both actresses look incredibly alike. Though, there is the question of what happened to Erso before the events of A New Hope, because until now, she hasn't been seen from or heard of. And she's apparently a big part of this adventure. Rey is a teenager 30 years after the destruction of the second Death Star. Erso looks to be in her mid-to-late 20s, and actress Felicity Jones is actually 32. Do the math. Erso would have been in her late 40s early 50s in giving birth to Rey. But perhaps this theory shouldn't be discredited too quickly.
Speaking of parents, it's been rumored that Mads Mikkelsen is playing Jyn Erso father in Rogue One. But he's nowhere to be seen in this footage. We don't get to learn anything about his character here, but back in September of last year, Mads Mikkelsen signed an autograph for a fan, revealing that his name is Galen in this new adventure. Many fans have speculated that he could be Galen Marek from the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game. This character was the secret apprentice to Darth Vader, who went on to become instrumental in the formation of the Rebel Alliance, after uniting several of the Empire's enemies. While we still don't know for sure if Mads Mikkelsen is playing Galen Marek or not, further details seemed to point to this being at least partially true.
The character has been described as a scientist by insiders working for Lucasfilm. He is said to have taken over the Geonosian Death Star project, solving several of the space station's key flaws. He is revered by the Empire, getting compared to Robert Oppenheimer, who helped design the atomic bomb and later felt remorse for the death and destruction he helped create. Mads Mikkelsen's character reportedly flees from the Empire, and tries to "make things right," by enlisting the help of his only daughter, played by Felicity Jones. Which, if true, makes him a bad guy-turned-good guy. Mads Mikkelsen calls his character 'vital' and 'important' to the story.
So, what did we learn from this first trailer? We learned more about the characters, who they are, why they're fighting, and exactly who they are up against. It looks to be another rousing sci-fi classic. Here's 16 Things We Learned From the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer. And we start with perhaps the biggest reveal of all. Just who is leading this mission to steal plans to the Death Star.
Felicity Jones is Jyn Erso
The Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer introduces Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso as a career criminal chosen for her skills in fighting back against the Galactic Empire. She is more of a Han Solo type than a Luke Skywalker. And she doesn't appear to be force sensitive in this preview, but not all has been revealed yet. While many thought the title referred to an X-Wing Squadron, or a specific pilot, it actually refers to Jyn being the number one rogue. Though she is not someone the Rebellion trusts right away, she does appear to be their only hope. For the time being.
Diego Luna has a Mission
While the first teaser trailer didn't mention Diego Luna by name, we have it on good authority that his character is actually called Cassein Willix. We first meet him listening in as Mon Mothma scolds Jyn while simultaneously recruiting her for the dangerous mission to infiltrate the Galactic Empire. He appears to be a grounding force in the movie, and will serve as a mentor of sorts. It's his job to accompany Jyn on her mission to retrieve the Death Star plans. While Jyn appears to be a loose cannon, he appears to be flying straight. He also has a little bit of that Han Solo swagger. Together these two will don Emperial disguises and go on the run.
Donnie Yen is a Badass
While we don't get to learn too much about the blind character played by Donnie Yen, we do learn that he is an absolute badass. And this movie is going to give fans what they wanted as soon as they heard the martial arts legend had been cast. The guy is going to single-handedly fight off a squadron of Stormtroopers with nothing but a stick. If done right, this could go down as one of the all-time great moments in any Star Wars movie. At the same time, it also looks like the best ever fan film. We don't know what Donnie Yen's deal is yet, but this could potentially be the movie's break out character. if you look closely at this scene, you'll notice a crashed X-Wing in the background.
Does no Lightsabers Mean No Jedi?
We're pretty sure Darth Vader has an extended cameo in the movie. And while it's debatable on whether or not he'll unsheathe his lightsaber, he's not a Jedi. He is a member of the Sith. There are no lighstabers at all seen in this first look footage. This spinoff is the first big screen Star Wars movie that won't directly focus on the Skywalker saga, though it does heavily influence it. While we just might not be seeing any lightsabers here, one or two could show up in the finished movie. But it doesn't look like there are any Jedi in Jyn's covert spy team. Will this be the first Star Wars movie that doesn't feature a Jedi? It sure looks like that right now.
The Death Star is Operational (Yet Not Fully)
We know that the Death Star is not fully operational until A New Hope. What we didn't know before seeing this trailer is in what state of disarray the galactic space station is actually in. It looks far more complete than the second Death Star did in Return of the Jedi. And that makes perfect sense, because what we see happen in this movie takes place just months, maybe even weeks before the events seen in a New Hope. And as we all know, it is fully operational in that movie.
There are New Stormtroopers
As we've been hearing for months, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will bring back the classic white Stormtroopers first introduced in A New Hope. We'll also be getting several new Stormtrooper soldiers as we see in this teaser. This spinoff will introduce the Scarab Trooper, Pinnacle Trooper, and the Death Squad Trooper for the first time. The sand colored Troopers seen running in the Emprial facility are the Scarab Troopers. And the black troopers are members of the Death Squad. How these new Troops will factor into the story, or what their particular mission is, we don't yet know. But we'll surely get some cool new action figures out of it.
Stromtroopers Have a Hover Tank
Now this is cool. We don't know much about it yet, but in their search to capture rogue Rebel soldiers, the Empire will be utilizing a Hover Tank. And it also comes with its own unique Trooper. The Hover Trooper has a helmet similar to the Scarab Troopers, which are based on original Ralph McQuarrie concept art created for the very first movie way back in 1977. Again, this is going to make for one cool toy this Christmas. Though, we should note, the Hover Tank may not be very effective, as we've never seen it in the original trilogy or anywhere else.
Ben Mendelsohn is a Grand Admiral
Ben Mendelsohn is yet another character whose name is not revealed. He appears in white Emprial garb with a flowing cape. And these first images of the imposing figure show that he is a Grand Admiral in the Imperial Navy. He's basically the Empire's version of Admiral Ackbar. His rank is given away by the insignia on his chest. While there have been a few Grand Admirals in the extended Star Wars universe, which is no longer considered canon, this is the first time we've seen one on the big screen. He's no Grand Admiral Thrawn, but perhaps he'll prove to be even cooler. He is said to be the main villain in the movie, and is on the hunt for Jyn Erso and Cassein Willix.
AT-ATs Return to Battle
Perhaps the biggest geek-out moment in the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer comes when a trio of AT-AT Walkers come lumbering across a palm tree littered beach during what will surely be an epic battle. These aren't the same At-Ats we remember from Empire, though. They have a slightly different coloring and seem to be sleeker and more agile in design. They also appear to be taller. With these things attacking ground troops, we're sure to see at least one Rebel soldier get stomped on!
There is going to be an epic Beach Battle
Star Wars: Episode VIII is going to have scenes that take place on a beach, and out in the surf. But Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is getting their first. In quite a few shots, we get a glimpse of this new unnamed beach planet. It kind of looks like Florida, and we're sure it's one of the more exotic planets in the Star Wars galaxies. Though with all the dead Stormtrooper bodies littering the sand, it doesn't appear to be the best vacation spot. Ben Mendelsohn gets to show off his flowing white cape in one of these quick scenes, as he wades through the shallow surf to survey the damage done to his troops. Dead Stormtroopers liter the ground while black smoke billows ominously. Whatever goes down here is going to be epic.
Alan Tudyk is Jyn's Droid Sidekick
If you missed Alan Tudyk in the first teaser trailer, you're not alone. It was confirmed some time ago that the Firefly actor is playing a motion-capture character. We don't get a good look at him here, but he is playing a new droid that accompanies Jyn and Cassein on their mission. He is seen running along with Felicity Jones and Diego Luna in some sort of Imperial facility, where a squadron of Stormtroopers are seen on the other side. Tall and bony, this unique robot is also spotted in another scene where Jyn ends up cornered in an alley by Stormtroopers. It appears, at least according to the way that the trailer is cut, that Jyn and this unnamed droid are together before she joins the Rebel Alliance.
Mon Mothma Returns
While it has long been rumored that Darth Vader or Boba Fett might show up in this sneak peek footage, it was another iconic character that completely took fans breath away. Simply because she doesn't look to have aged a day since we first saw her in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi over thirty years ago. First introduced in Return of the Jedi, Mothma served in the Galactic Senate and Imperial Senate as the representative of Chandrila, the leader of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and the first chancellor of the New Republic. At the end of the Clone War, as Palpatine continued to amass power and ultimately transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire, Mothma worked with Senator Organa to begin planting the seeds of rebellion against the Imperial regime. Though she remained in the Imperial Senate as a proponent of democracy, these seeds ultimately led to the formation of the Rebel Alliance to militarily combat the might of the Empire. We'll finally get to see some of this backstory play out in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Caroline Blakiston originated the character in Return of the Jedi. Genevieve O'Reilly took on a much younger version of the character in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. And she is believed to be reprising her role here, though her casting has not been confirmed by Disney and Lucasfilm.
The Empire Has a New Shuttle
We say new, but what we really mean is old. This ship appears to be a prototype for the Emperor's shuttle in Return of the Jedi, and it reminds us of the shuttle Kylo Ren flies in The Force Awakens. Though, it has four upright wings instead of two. We have no idea how this image plays into the finished movie, but it's clear this thing is getting destroyed. It must be noted that all of the weapons and ships in this movie are not as good as the ones we've seen in the original trilogy or the latest sequel The Force Awakens. And hopefully their design and function reflects the idea that all of this stuff needs to be replaced in the near future.
Is That Darth Vader or The Emperor?
We've heard a lot about a Darth Vader cameo in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. And the Emperor is also looming around the edges of this insane heist thriller. But we didn't get to see either fully revealed in this first look footage. Though, we did get to see an ominous dark figure from behind that is either Darth, Palpatine or a completely new character all together. The character approaches a glowing tank, which is flanked on both sides by the iconic crimson colored Royal Guards, who were first introduced in Return of the Jedi. We're not sure what is going on in this scene, but it doesn't look good. Whoever this is. Our money is on Emperor Palpatine, though. As we've never seen Darth Vader rock a hoodie.
Forest Whitaker is Messed Up
What is Forest Whitaker's deal? He doesn't look to be a part of the rebel alliance. And we've previously heard rumors that he's neither a villain or a good guy. He just straight up looks insane. He is heavily armored, so he could be an AWOL solider from the Clone War. He is hiding out in a sewer, and doesn't appear to be all there. Perhaps he is an ally to Jyn. Whatever his deal is, he's quite fascinating.
That sure looks like Yavin 4
Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin were eager to find the location of the secret rebel base in A New Hope so they could blow it up with their new planet sized weapon. It looks like Yavin 4 will be making a return to the big screen this December. While we're not 100% positive, those sure look like the stone walls we've come to know and love over the course of the past forty years. And the place is packed with X-Wing fighters and pilots. Even if this isn't the Rebel's stronghold, we'll at least to get to see a new Rebel base, and it looks pretty 1970s. How's that for reaching in and tickling that nostalgia bone? Cool, right? This could be one very cool callback.
What'd you think? Did we catch everything there is to see in this teaser trailer? Did we tap into your excitement level? What'd we miss? Or are you starting to feel the Star Wars burnout? Remind you too much of a video game? Fan film? Let us know your thoughts...And please remember: It's only a movie!