Rogue One tells one of the most speculated-about stories in the Star Wars universe: taking place shortly before Episode IV, it details the Rebellion mission to steal the plans to the Death Star. The story itself was hatched by legendary ILM visual effects artist John Knoll, and fleshed out by screenwriters Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz. Gareth Edwards, director of 2014's Godzilla reboot, came on board to direct. In one of the earlier interviews about the project, Edwards mentioned how this is grittier than the rest of Star Wars: "No one cares about the Force...there's no Jedi swooping in at the last minute to save you."
Not much is known about our cast of characters yet. The only whose been named so far is the one named in the trailer, Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. She'll be leading a ragtag group of Rebel commandos on this mission, including Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, Hannibal himself Mads Mikkelsen, Hong Kong action legend Donnie Yen, and Wash from Firefly, Alan Tudyk. Of course we need villains, so we get Ben Mendelsohn as an Imperial admiral.
Watching the trailer today, I was amazed at how much the actress playing Mon Mothma looks like the original actress from Return of the Jedi. A quick search online reveals that that actress is Genevieve O'Reilly, and she actually played Mon Mothma in Revenge of the Sith, but her scenes were cut!
In this trailer, there's definitely much to like. They play up some of the classic Star Wars imagery quite well. That scene of the Death Star's dish being lowered into place. The Imperial Walkers marching along the landscape. But we do get a few new things too, like some funky new Stormtrooper design and that one guy taking out a Stormtrooper with some martial arts moves.
In all honesty, I'm having a little bit of trouble getting excited for this one. I think I'm still on a massive Force Awakens hangover. I'm older now...I need more time to recover before the next Star Wars party comes along. If anything, I think we're going to see Star Wars hype level out from here on out. Force Awakens was very much like Phantom Menace in the "OH MY GOD!!! IT'S BACK!!!" mentality in the advertising.
I'm cautiously optimistic. Like I said, there's a lot of good-looking stuff in that trailer, but I need to take to Tylenol, crash on the couch, and wait for The Force Awakens to finish passing through my system.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theatres on December 16.