The rebellion that’s built on hope just released a trailer that’s built on jaw-dropping moments. Disney dropped the latest trailer for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and if you weren’t already hyped for the film, odds are you are now.
The anthology film, directed by Gareth Edwards, takes place outside of the main “Star Wars” trilogies and is set in the moments just before 1977’s “Star Wars.” Instead of following the Skywalker family tree, “Rogue One” tells the war story of the group of Rebels that stole the plans for the Death Star, thus ensuring the planet-destroying battle station’s destruction in the first “Star Wars” film. We’ve learned a lot about the cast of “Rogue One,” which includes Felicity Jones’ wily Jyn Erso and Diego Luna’s accomplished Rebel Captain Andor. This trailer dives deeper into the film’s cast, revealing more than what we’ve previously seen.
Because it’s impossible to watch a “Star Wars” trailer and not gasp and freak out over all the awesome moments, we’ve compiled a list of the 13 standout sequences and shots that caught our attention.
13. The Empire Looms
“Rogue One” takes place at what is most likely the darkest period in the entire “Star Wars” timeline. At this moment, the Empire is at the height of their power having created a massive weapon and taken over the galaxy. The Rebellion has yet to land a decisive victory against them and they’ve yet to gain any sort of upper hand. This shot right here, which kicks off the trailer, sets the tone: the Empire looms over everything, forbidding and foreboding. A giant Star Destroyer hovering in a planet’s atmosphere, casting a deadly shadow, is an apt metaphor for their oppressive regime.
12. Unlikely Partners
She’s a rough and tumble renegade that can take care of herself. He’s a highly respected Rebel Intelligence officer that plays by the rules. Together, they’re gonna take on the Empire. The unlikely partnership that we’ve seen in previous stills gets plenty of attention in this trailer, as Andor tells Jyn “If you’re really doing this, I want to help.” How well the two will work together remains to be seen, especially considering the drastically different backgrounds they come from. But we could be looking at the beginnings of a classic “Star Wars” partnership here, along the lines of Luke and Han or Rey and Finn. Let’s just hope Jyn and Andor’s friendship goes better than Obi-Wan and Anakin’s.
11. Baze Fires
After brief glimpses of Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) and Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) in action in previous trailers, this one goes all out and shows us just how dangerous these two partners can be. We also see each of them putting their own specific fighting style to work. Baze fires on the enemy, proclaiming that they “destroyed our home.” Through Baze, it’s likely that we will get a close-up look at what Imperial occupation does to a world and the effect it has on the population.
10. Chirrut Fights
And then there’s Chirrut, who we know believes in the Force even though he himself is not a Force user. In his standout scene from the trailer, the blind martial arts master stalks through a crowd of stormtroopers and doles out wisdom: “I fear nothing. All is as the Force wills it.” And then he attacks.
9. Meet Cute?
This trailer also introduced us to K-2SO, the motion capture droid performed by Alan Tudyk. He’s been mostly absent from trailers and stills up until now, so this clip offered Star Wars fans their first meaningful glimpse at their new favorite droid. Sure, he’s nowhere near as cuddly as the feisty BB-8 — in fact, this reprogrammed Imperial droid’s idea of small talk is telling people that he won’t kill them. This makes K-2SO stand out from the rest of the droids we’ve seen, especially the speaking ones. While R2-D2 and BB-8 get up to some hijinks, their beeps and whistles make them seem cheery, and C-3PO is a worrywart that’s programmed to assist with etiquette, not murder. K-2SO is the first good guy droid we’ve seen that’s apparently capable of killing — that is, as long as his master says it’s okay.
8. Total Eclipse
This is an eclipse that you really, really don’t want to see happen in your sky. This shot shows the Death Star doing something we haven’t seen before: moving through space. And upside down, no less, because there is no up or down in zero g!
The previous two times the Death Star was in a film, it was kept in the black void of space. We never got to see it actually moving into position as it approached one of its intended targets. This time, however, we get to see the battle station at cruising speed — a truly harrowing sight. And then we meet the man steering the station…
7. Growing Stronger
With his clean white suit and flowing cape, Imperial Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) looks to be another fine addition to the Empire’s already rich ranks. At the very least, he’ll inspire thousands of cosplayers for years to come. And while he doesn’t do much in this trailer, he does prove that he can glower on the level with the most evil and cunning of cinematic villains. This is the guy who oversaw the Death Star’s construction, after all, and he’s dying to test it out.
6. Storming The Beach
This is what’s been missing from “Star Wars” films: realistically executed, ground-level footage that puts you right in the thick of the battle. Most “Star Wars” skirmishes pull way back to show off the daring moves of starfighters, or they zoom in super close to follow our lead characters. But this shot right here shows the grunts, the hardworking soldiers of the Rebel alliance running into battle with guns blazing. Gareth Edwards has said that he set out to make a war movie in the “Star Wars” universe, and shots like these would indicate that he accomplished his mission.
5. “He Means Well”
We also get more of K-2SO in the trailer, doing a riff on C-3PO’s classic routine from “Empire Strikes Back.” The ex-Imperial droid states that Jyn and her crew have a 97.6% chance of failure. Instead of responding with “never tell me the odds,” Andor offers up a “he means well.” Although that doesn’t seem to comfort Bodhi, the pilot played by Riz Ahmed.
Speaking of war footage, here’s a bazooka. Forget depicting the reality of war in a sci-fi setting, this moment right here is straight out of Saturday afternoon play fighting with your childhood friends. “And then I grab a bazooka and shoot it at the AT-AT!” That’s a thing eight-year-old you would shout as your friends while mimicking a thing that’s actually never happened in “Star Wars” before — except now, it’s a real thing that Baze is doing. This is too cool, and it’s awesome. Also — this explains why the Empire later invested heavily in armor for their AT-ATs.
3. Jyn vs. TIE
Not to diminish the scene that closes out this list, but this is the moment that will be remembered from the lead up to “Rogue One.” This is the moment that we see just how tough Jyn Erso is, and how determined she is to succeed in her mission. Erso, equipped with a pistol and attitude, limping her way to a showdown with a TIE fighter is the iconic moment in an already impressive trailer. Before “The Force Awakens,” we rarely saw TIE fighters interact with characters at all, and now, here’s this moment where the hero of a film defiantly makes her way towards an armed starfighter to take it on.
2. Rogues Assemble
The trailer also gives us this shot of Jyn’s team, most likely on a ship preparing to take on the full might of the Empire. Jyn asks if this ragtag group is with her, to which Andor replies “all the way.” This is the kind of camaraderie we love to see in “Star Wars,” where groups of unlikely heroes band together in the face of impossible odds. Baze and Chirrut are there, as is K-2SO and a dozen other Rebel troops that will definitely have their names and backstories burned indelibly in fans’ minds within 72 hours of “Rogue One’s” release.
This is the other major moment from the trailer, and it’s a major one because it visually confirms what we’ve been told for a little while now: Darth Vader is back. And not only is Vader back, but original voice actor James Earl Jones is back as well. We know that Vader will be used sparingly in the film, possibly only in one scene, but more Vader, even in limited quantities, is definitely a good thing. What’s his relationship with Imperial Director Krennic? And will he come face to face with Jyn? Will we see any more of him in future trailers and TV spots, or will “Rogue One” (wisely) leave us with this one tease? Only one thing is for sure: December can’t come soon enough.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” arrives in theaters on December 16.
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