'Rogue One': 5 Things We Learned From New Trailer

‘Rogue One’: 5 Things We Learned From New Trailer

Last night, as the greatest athletes from around the globe competed for the highest distinction in the sporting world, something actually important happened: a new trailer for the upcoming Star Wars spinoff Rogue One premiered! It’s already racked up 2.8 million views on YouTube and counting, and in two minutes and 15 seconds, a lot of material to sort through gets thrown at you — new characters, new locations, and new hints to fuel brand-spankin’-new conspiracy theories. (So Forest Whitaker, what, just grew hair between the first teaser and this clip?)


We’ve taken the liberty of singling out five key takeaways, from a sassy new android to the reappearance of everyone’s favorite Sith lord. Read on. May the Force be with you:

1. Looks who’s back: Darth Vader
Last things first — the shiny black helmet that pops up in the final seconds of the trailer looks awfully familiar. Rumors had long been swirling that the former Anakin Skywalker would show his his face — or rather, creepy robotic mask — in this spinoff, and the trailer confirms it. The extent of his participation is still a big question mark, but catching an eyeful of Darth Vader certainly juices up the fans. Still, for all we know, his presence in the film could amount to a glorified cameo. It hasn’t even been a week since we collectively realized Suicide Squad‘s ad campaign fooled us into thinking Jared Leto’s Joker would be in the picture for more than five minutes; we could be walking into a similar bait-and-switch. Either way, that mechanical wheeze can still induce full-body chills.

2. Meet your new Han Solo
From the jump, the outline for Felicity Jones’ rebellion leader Jyn Erso bore a striking resemblance to a certain scruffy nerf herder. Spotty past, indomitable will, confident to the point of brashness — the phrase “female Han Solo” couldn’t have been far behind. (Which should be a nice way to pass the time while we wait to see Alden Ehrenreich’s version of the smirking intergalactic smuggler.) This trailer doubles down on the ready-made comparison, showing Jones outfitted with a dusty overshirt and brown vest, a Solo-esque ensemble if ever there was one. Still, judging from the scant bits of dialogue included here, she’s a bit more reserved and collected than Harrison Ford’s lovable rogue. Her brief exchange of with Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor — “Good.” “Good.” — feels a couple shades more formal than Solo’s usual heckling.

3. Fresh looks at that “galaxy far, far away”
The appeal of the Star Wars universe has always been linked to the immersive element, the feeling that a fan could get lost in one of the thousand worlds explored onscreen. And with the handful of eye-poppingly gorgeous landscape shots shown off in the trailer, director Gareth Edwards has amplified that quality exponentially. The opening pan over a bustling desert mecca, the sunbaked plateau 10 seconds in, an eclipse choking out the sun over a barren planet — this is some of the most sophisticated CGI the franchise has seen so far. In 2014, Edwards re-realized Godzilla on a grand scale, and it looks like he’s brought that same ambition to Rogue One‘s scope.

4. This may be the droid we’re looking for
The best lines in the trailer all go to the franchise’s newest comic-relief robot: K-2SO, an imperial droid reprogrammed by Cassian Andor to serve the cause of the rebellion. Alan Tudyk brings a tone-perfect deadpan to his greeting of Jyn Erso, flatly intoning, “The captain says you are a friend. I will not kill you.” It looks like K-2SO will fill the C-3PO role of resident downer android, too — his helpful reminder that “there is a 96.7% chance of failure” is kind of classic Threepio. Moreover, will the characters in the film refer to the bot as K-2? Does Gareth Edwards know that that kind of means something else these days?

5. More ‘wars’ than ‘star’
Naturally, the most exciting sequences displayed in the trailer are the bustling battles, already looking like the most elaborate set pieces in the franchise to date. The director has been upfront about his intention to shoot the picture like a war film, and the intensity of combat comes across in the brief snippet of a shootout near a palm-tree-lined beach. Edwards has already named films like Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down were big influences here, suggesting that the military vibe will outweigh the sci-fi/fantasy elements. (Not to mention that the film was shot by Zero Dark Thirty‘s cinematographer Greig Fraser.) That could be a good move, considering the big picture; it’s on Edwards to make this spinoff distinct from the main trilogies of films, and a bit of gritty genre drift could do the trick.

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