While it may be set in a time period familiar to "Star Wars" fans, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" could have one major change when compared to the other seven films. As the first anthology film, a film set outside the currently-unfolding new trilogy set after "Return of the Jedi," "Rogue One" is free to take some stylistic leaps. As part of Entertainment Weekly's coverage of the film, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy spoke about one thing the film might shake up: the opening.
“The [opening] crawl and some of those elements live so specifically within the ‘saga’ films that we are having a lot of discussion about what will define the [stand-alone] 'Star Wars' stories separate and apart from the saga films,” said Kathleen Kennedy. “So we’re right in the middle of talking about that.”
The opening crawls have introduced every previous "Star Wars" film, from "A New Hope" in 1977 through the prequel trilogy and up to 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The decision to remove the crawl might make sense considering the subject matter of "Rogue One"; the film is set just prior to "Episode IV," but it can't be called "Episode III" in the crawl as that movie already exists in the form of 2005's "Revenge of the Sith." Removing the crawl also frees Lucasfilm from trying to assign "Rogue One" a number ("Episode 3.5"?).
That's not the only stylistic difference, either. “He [director Gareth Edwards] does a lot of handheld, intimate, close-up work. That’s not something you’ve necessarily seen in a Star Wars movie before,” Kennedy said. “And we brought in [cinematographer] Greig Fraser, to shoot it, who had done Zero Dark Thirty. So a combination of Greig and Gareth…just gives it a really unique style.”
Set outside of the main sequel trilogy that began with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Rogue One” is set just before 1977’s “Star Wars” and details the Rebel plot to steal the Death Star plans from the Empire. Directed by Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) from a script by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz, “Rogue One” stars Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna and Riz Ahmed.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens December 16.