A slightly longer time ago...1 of 12It might be eight months before Star Wars: Rogue One hits theaters, but the speculation begins today as Lucasfilm released the first trailer for the anthology film. We’ve painstakingly watched (and re-watched) the trailer, and come up with 10 questions and observations about the prequel film set in a galaxy far, far away.
She’s a Rebel2 of 12Based on her rap sheet and the fact that she’s been taken in cuffs into custody, Jyn Erso (played by Oscar nominee Felicity Jones) sounds like a real Rebel’s rebel - running afoul of the law at every turn - and given that she’s been brought before Mon Mothma, it sounds like that expansive criminal record might be the reason why Jyn is the best person to infiltrate the Empire’s soon-to-be-fully-armed-and-operational Death Star.
Not Anyone’s Soldier3 of 12“Is that clear?” an unnamed Rebel commander coolly asks Jyn of her mission. Yet it doesn’t sound like this Death Star heist is going to be a necessarily smooth operation - given the defiant look in her eyes, it doesn’t look like Jyn is necessarily on-board with orders in general, let alone a likely suicide mission. Given Star Wars’ history of protagonists wrestling with their own morality, is a double-cross - or a crisis of faith? - in the cards for this would-be hero?
Clothes Maketh the Man4 of 12What uniform is Ben Mendelsohn wearing? The white cloak does evoke some of the generals that Darth Vader menaced in A New Hope - could this be a Grand Admiral?
In the now-non-cannon Expanded Universe continuity, Imperial Grand Admirals wore all-white uniforms… but so did the Empire’s Imperial Security Bureau. That too is of EU origin, but the ISB were folded into canon thanks to Kallus’ appearances in the animated Star Wars Rebels -- but conspicuously without a white service uniform.
Mendelsohn’s character is first seen in the Death Star’s operations deck, but later walking in through the fiery aftermath of a battle between the Rebels and the Empire – very hands-on, for a Grand Admiral, but not so much an ISB operative overseeing the final touches on the Death Star, perhaps.
One Tough Customer5 of 12Meanwhile, Forest Whitaker could inspire a whole article full of questions, from his bulky, cobbled-together body armor and his pronounced limp. He sounds like one tough customer, as he asks Jyn what will happen when the Empire catches her. Is he a bounty hunter? A local warlord? A Rebel sympathizer? Something tells us that he’s not one for speaking softly, but that he’s willing to more than just carry that big stick. If Rogue One follows the standard arc of a heist story, he could the rough equivalent of Ocean’s Eleven’s Saul Bloom – the aging fighter who warns the protagonist against the plan, before lumbering out of retirement himself to help out as part of a team.
A New Breed of Stormtroopers?6 of 12Given the introduction of Phasma in The Force Awakens, a deviation from the traditional Stormtrooper uniform is rarely a good thing for the Rebel Alliance. Who are these Stormtroopers clad in an all-black uniforms? There have been several all-black Stormtroopers before in EU canon, known as Black Hole or Shadow Stormtroopers, but their helmets were configured differently.
Speaking of Stormtroopers, although many of the white-clad Stormtroopers were in the original trilogy design, there are a few Clone Wars-era Stormtroopers to be spotted if you look closely in some scenes.
Is This The Return of a Classic Star Wars Villain?7 of 12Watching a cloaked man in black bowing before a mysterious object- complete with the crimson warriors of the Emperor’s Imperial Guard looking on - points at only one person. Could we be seeing the return of Darth Vader in this prequel? The figure looked to be wearing a hood – something that would be new for Vader’s traditional ensemble, but that can’t remove all speculation that it is indeed the fallen Skywalkr.
And if it is Darth Vader, can Grand Moff Tarkin or Emperor Palpatine be far behind? It’s not unheard of, given that James Earl Jones provided his deep baritone voice for Vader in Star Wars Rebels, but seeing the Dark Lord of the Sith for the first time since Revenge of the Sith might provide a sharp hook for any Star Wars fan.
Looking deeper at that scene, it’s worth noting that the object the figure is bowing took looks very much like a Bacta Tank similar to the one used by Luke Skywalker to repair his injuries at the beginning of Empire Strikes Back. If that is indeed what it is, could it be Palpatine recovering from injuries of his own?
No Lightsabers Required8 of 12Donnie Yen breaks some boundaries (and some heads) as the most prominent Asian character in the Star Wars universe yet, as he mows through some Stormtroopers with what looks like a deadly spear. Given that in previous installments, hand-to-hand combat was usually reserved either for Force-users or for scavengers from backwater planets like Jakku, it’s unlikely Rogue One will gloss over Yen’s extensive martial arts skills without comment.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?9 of 12Given that this is a plan from the Rebel Alliance, things rarely go off without a hitch - just ask the planet Alderaan. Yet it seems that things are especially dire for the Rebels in this trailer, with a fleet of AT-ATs causing a wave of destruction, not to mention images of crashed X-Wings and pilots being led off in chains. This could just be clever editing at play, but it seems as though a key Rebel base - perhaps even Mon Mothma’s - might just be the target of an Imperial ambush.
Who’s That Droid?10 of 12With Jyn and her comrades on the run, who is the droid keeping pace with them? Alan Tudyk has already been announced as a “performance capture” character, which leads us to wonder - given Star Wars’ long history of iconic droid sidekicks, will the former Firefly pilot wind up front and center in another sci-fi universe as a prominent member of Jyn’s crew?
Hello from the Dark Side?11 of 12Speaking of costumes, it seems as though Jyn is wearing an Imperial TIE Bomber uniform in the last scene of the trailer. Given that Forest Whittaker’s character asks, “What will you become?” it wouldn’t be a surprise here if Jyn at least pauses to wonder whether or not she’s fighting for the right team. And considering it’s not even clear whether or not the team will actually survive the heist - after all, many Bothans died to get information on the Second Death Star in Return of the Jedi - will Jyn’s decision wind up being a fatal one? She sure wasn’t around in A New Hope.
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