We are getting to that point where the massive rollout for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is going to kick into high gear. Because it is a Star Wars movie, and because Disney is Disney, it won't just be a press tour a couple of weeks before the movie drops. There is going to be a massive amount of teases, interviews and of course, merchandise. What is nice about the merch specifically is that it can reveal some details about the movie that we may otherwise not have known. Such is the case with a new children's book coming out as part of the Rogue One merchandise line.
A new report from Star Wars News Net has uncoverd a preview of an upcoming activity book that is scheduled to be released right around the same time as the movie. The preview includes several full pages from the book, most of which reveal very generic character or story details that we were already aware of, but a couple of these pages reveal some major details. For one, we now know the name of, and a little bit about the tropical planet that was featured at the end of the Rogue One teaser trailer. We also get another glimpse at the new Imperial Tie Striker that was first mentioined in leaked images from an upcoming book a few months ago.
"The construction of the Death Star is taking place on a secluded world, the planet Scarif. This would he a beautiful tropical paradise, were it not for the major Imperial military installation. Huge tracts of land were excavated to build ships and supply the Death Star, and in orbit overhead is an enormous docking station to maintain multiple Imperial Star Destroyers. The world is enveloped in impenetrable deflector shields and is heavily defended."
At the very end of the Rogue One teaser, there is a shot of Felicity Jones' character Jyn Erso and the rest of her Rebel gang running for their lives into an army of proto AT-ATs on what looks to be a tropical paradise of sorts that has been turned into a military base of operations. We now know that this planet is called Scarif, and that it is supposedly very isolated, which would make sense if that is where the Empire were building the first Death Star. They obviously would want to keep it quiet until that Alderaan business from A New Hope. From the sound of things, it looks like the Empire is not just building the Death Star there, but has absolutely taken over, similar to what they did on the forest moon of Endor in Return of the Jedi, but seemingly more extreme.
That is all pretty significant, especially considering we are getting this information from the pages of a kids book. But that isn't all we learned. The book also gave a preview of a brand new Rebel ship called the U-Wing, which actually looks pretty interesting and is one that we have never seen in the Star Wars universe prior to now. The ship is apparently intended to be able to navigate very dangerous situations with heavy fire and is supposedly also used to drop soldiers onto the battlefield, even though the cockpit looks pretty small. Here is what the preview page says about the U-Wing.
"The U-wing starfighter is a well-armed vessel serving as both a sturdy troop transport and a gunship for the Rebel Alliance. It is designed to enter heavy fire zones to drop off soldiers onto battlefields and then fly air support during dangerous missions against the Empire. Rebel Alliance fighter pilots come from all walks of life, and are united by a love of flight and a determination to overthrow the Galactic Empire. U-wing pilots are brave and daring, but must also exercise caution to protect the lives of soldiers aboard, and safely deliver them to carry out crucial missions."
We haven't seen the U-Wing used in any of the other promotional materials for the movie, but maybe we will get a glimpse of one in action in the new Rogue One trailer that is set to drop next week. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release on December 16 and is being directed by Gareth Edwards. Be sure to check out the new preview images for yourself below.