For all of the promotion and marketing for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” never once was a lightsaber, the iconic weapon of the Jedi and Sith, seen or used. Disney’s President of Marketing Ricky Strauss revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that this was intentional.
“In the marketing materials, there are no lightsabers, there are no droids and there is a brand-new group of actors,” Strauss shared. “When you look at the outdoor campaign, the only thing you can see that is similar are Stormtroopers — but like you’ve never seen them before, standing on a beach. It’s very clear that ‘Rogue One’ isn’t one of the episodic Star Wars films.”
Disney’s plan was to distinguish “Rogue One” as its own separate story that wasn’t a sequel. Strauss says they made it happen “by calling [Rogue One] a Star Wars ‘story’ as opposed to an ‘episode.’ The movie builds on the Star Wars legacy and mythology but has a different feel and complexion.”
Though the film is devoid of Jedis, the Sith Lord Darth Vader appeared in television spots and trailers for “Rogue One” but was not depicted with his crimson red lightsaber. Fans got a glimpse of ground battles that leaned heavily into making “Rogue One” feel more like a war movie than a space epic.
Directed by Gareth Edwards (“Monsters,” “Godzilla”), the film follows a ragtag group of freedom fighters who undertake the dangerous mission to steal the plans for the Galactic Empire’s planet-destroying new superweapon, the Death Star. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker, and is in theaters now.
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