Yesterday, we got a tantalizing (and all-too-brief) glimpse of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and today it’s here: the first teaser trailer for the inaugural Star Wars stand alone film. And it’s a doozy.
The trailer introduces us to Felicity Jones’ character Jyn Erso, a young girl with a history of subordination and reckless behavior. Or, as she says, “This is a Rebellion isn’t it? I rebel.” From there we get some gorgeously Star Wars-y visuals, including the circular, radar-dish-style piece of the Death Star being lifted into place, a sinister baddie, dressed in white, standing in an imposing looking room, AT-ATs blasting at Rebel soldiers on a sandy beachfront, all accompanied by a repetitious noise that could only come from a galaxy far, far away. The severity of the mission is underlined by Forest Whitaker dialogue: “What will you do when they catch you? What will you do when they break you? If you continue to fight, what will you become?”
So, yes that was very exciting: the perfect blend of hair-raising new footage and warm waves of nostalgia. The film, which follows a group of unlikely heroes coming together on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star, was a story first chronicled in the opening crawl of the very first Star Wars film back in 1977. It’s never been fully explained … until now.
What makes this teaser trailer so successful is that it is clearly firmly planted in a recognizable Star Wars universe, but this is an entirely new spin. You can see images and moments that call back to the original film and original trilogy, but their context is wholly different. Director Gareth Edwards, the filmmaker behind Godzilla, seems to have a visionary take on the material, emphasizing the danger of this heist while never losing sense of the charm, fun, and personality that makes Star Wars great. Also, that cast! Besides Jones and Whitaker, the international, all-star cast also includes Mads Mikkelsen, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen (seen briefly here), Riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk, and Ben Mendelsohn.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens on December 16.