‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Trailer Breakdown: New Droids, Deathtroopers and Mon Mothma!
You’ve probably seen the first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that debuted earlier this morning. If not (or if you just want to watch it again), you can see it here. So now that the initial shock and excitement has worn off, it’s time to do what we do when a trailer like this arrives and take a deep dive into the footage to see what we can learn. And considering we knew relatively little about Rogue One, there is a lot to learn. Let’s get started!
Oscar-nominee Felicity Jones stars as Jyn Erso, a self-described rebel (“This is a rebellion, isn’t it? I rebel.”) who has been charged with “forgery of Imperial documents, possession of stolen property, aggravated assault and resisting arrest.”
She’s in custody on Yavin and as she’s doing the perp walk, we go through a temple on Yavin and get a look at an R6-series astromech droid.
Jyn is brought before an old, familiar face: Mon Mothma! Director Gareth Edwards cast Genevieve O’Reilly, the actress who briefly played the role in Revenge of the Sith (before her scenes were cut from the film) and was cast because of her likeness to original actress Caroline Blakiston.
Pretty impressive resemblance here:
This is Diego Luna, whose name is not mentioned but is reportedly playing a character named Cassein Willix. He eventually will become part of Jyn’s team to steal the plans to the Death Star.
General Dodanna, is that you?
Our first glimpse in the background of the new droid that Alan Tudyk plays in the film. The motion-capture character was originally an Imperial Enforcer Droid before being reprogrammed to work for the Resistance.
Like Rey before her (or, after her, if we’re going by the official timeline), Jyn knows how to handle her business.
While Jakku served as a modified version of Tatooine in The Force Awakens, here it certainly looks like some of this action is taking place on the desert planet itself. Notice some of the structures similar to what we’ve previously seen on Tatooine.
A shot of the original Tatooine set:
We learn that Jyn is not on the mission to steal the plans to the Death Star on her own, she’s been recruited. Mon Mothma and the Rebel Alliance are giving her the option to help them instead of going to jail for her crimes. A pretty easy decision.
A visually impressive shot of a Star Destroyer flying past the Death Star looks like something directly out of the Original Trilogy.
The Imperial alarm sounds on the Death Star giving this trailer a very distinct Alien vibe. The Rebels leave their base. In the background we can see a classic X-wing, plus a good, old-fashioned GNK droid. (Diego Luna also like “Poe Dameron ain’t got s–- on me.”)
Our first look at Ben Mendelsohn as the Rogue One villain. There were rumors he might be playing Grand Moff Tarkin in the film, but that clearly doesn’t seem to be the case. He is certainly wearing Grand Admiral type clothing though. He’s holding a fairly large gun in his hand, and by the look on his face, he intends to use it.
Those appear to be a new type of Stormtrooper helmet on the guards in this war tank.
Hey, it’s Forest Whitaker! His character also doesn’t have a name, but he appears to be no stranger to the cause. He’s walking with a cane and a limp, likely the result of his time done in battle. His attire also suggests that he served time as a bounty hunter at one point in his career.
Another new Stormtrooper. These have commonly been called “Shadowtroopers” on the internet, but will reportedly be called Deathtroopers in the film, a far more ominous title.
Another look at Jyn, Cassein and Tudyk’s droid on the run.
Stormtroopers in pursuit and, if you look closely, yet another new Stormtrooper costume. These are what are called Sandtroopers in the film.
A closer look at the Rogue One Stormtrooper helmets from Donnie Yen’s Instagram page (since deleted):
Donnie Yen doing what Donnie Yen does and kicking some ass, Ip Man style. He’s walking as if he’s blind, but if he is, it certainly doesn’t slow him down at all.
Deathtroopers firing at will. A new Imperial landing craft type-ship explodes.
Mendelsohn’s character arrives on the scene to survey the damage. Dead Stormtroopers float lifelessly in the water.
A cloaked figure bows down to an unseen person flanked by of the Emperor’s Royal Guard. It certainly looks…Vader-esque.
AT-ATs storm a beach similar to the one we saw previously. Rebel forces, seemingly overmatched, run into battle. This shot has a similar vibe to one of Edwards previous films, Monsters, the film that got him Godzilla, which eventually got him his own Star Wars movie.
Our final shot: Jyn going undercover as an Imperial Gunner looking 100% badass.
Now, if you listen very, very closely you can hear the faintest sounds of Darth Vader’s breathing over the logo as a slowed down version of the Imperial March plays, seemingly confirming what we’ve all suspected: Anakin is back. We’ve isolated the audio; let us know if you hear it too, or if we’re just a little crazy.
What’s interesting about the trailer is that it’s a Star Wars trailer without a single lightsaber. This goes back to what Edwards said at Star Wars Celebration about the film taking place in a film without any Jedi. One of the biggest questions was how Lucasfilm and Disney would differentiate Rogue One from the Force Awakens and Episode 8 timeline (would casual fans go into this film thinking they’d see Kylo Ren and BB-8?). But, Rogue One definitely feels different enough, while still aesthetically similar, to stand on its own feet.