It’s only been a day since the first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released, but you better believe millions of excited fans were examining every frame meticulously to figure out who and what was going on. As much as we hate spoilers we do love to be teased, so here’s what caught our eye and what particulars we know in that specific frame.
The lead has a name! Felicity Jones is Jyn Erso, the scrappy heroine and key to the success of the Rebellion’s most ambitious operation. It’s clear Erso is special because the Rebels wouldn’t go out of their way to free/actively recruit any ol’ prisoner of the Empire. She appears to be vetted by Diego Luna’s character (a Captain in the Rebel Alliance) and is quickly put into service.
While it’s always a pleasure to see the esteemed Mon Mothma, what many of you may not be aware of is she’s being reprised by Irish actress Genevieve O’Reilly. In a blink-twice-and-you-miss-it moment, O’Reilly portrayed the future leader of the Rebel Alliance in Revenge of the Sith as the young senator was attempting to make a name for herself among her studied colleagues. O’Reilly’s lines were cut back in 2005, but life has a way of working things out.
We also had the first look of Ben Mendelsohn as an unnamed Imperial Admiral who definitely doesn’t have time for anyone’s mess. Sporting the surliest face and a massive pistol (for taking out daft subordinates?), this officer of the Imperial Navy isn’t taking the supervision of the Death Star’s construction lightly. He also appears to be very hands-on unlike Grand Moff Tarkin (his successor?) as he’s seen strolling in shallow waters, assessing the casualties and battle damage after a massive skirmish.
It’s apparent that Forest Whitaker will have a prominent role in Rogue One, being Jyn’s conscience of sorts. From his gait and the scars covering his face, Whitaker’s character has seen many battles and left a piece of himself on the fields of each campaign. At first it seemed his armor was similar to a Spec Ops Trooper’s standard issue seen just after Whitaker begins his speech. On closer observation it’s likely a life support suit, far cruder in design than Lord Vader’s.
These guys don’t have a designation yet, but they appear to be the aforementioned special operations troopers. Naturally, the Empire will employ the best of the best to protect the plans for their greatest weapon.
Out of all the secrets that are being closely guarded about Rogue One, very little is known about the motion-capture performance executed by Alan Tudyk. In two very brief scenes, audiences were finally able to see his “commando droid” in action (by ‘action’ we mean walking and running), though very few details about the configuration of his unique model were revealed. No worries, folks. I’m sure there’ll be plenty more clips to dissect between now and December!
During an escape sequence featuring Jones, Luna and Tudyk they apparently have dozens of troopers running not far behind them in an area on the Death Star we’ve never seen. The compartments on the sides could be cubicles for all we know (the Empire is 80% file clerks, fyi), but a variant of trooper is tagging along with the iconic armor design. Perhaps this alternative is for desert or urban settings.
Probably the most anticipated moment for entire film will be the appearance of Donnie Yen (“Ip Man”, “Dragon” and a bunch of amazing films before those). A Hong Kong film legend, the action star appears to have already dispatched at least one trooper in the trailer before being surrounded by others on patrol. Not a fair fight if you ask me. Then again, dealing with a blind man and his stick never fares well for bullies. Ask Matt Murdock.
OK, wtf is this?! Who is that?! What is going ON in there??? Who or what is inside that chamber?!?!?! Is it the Emperor’s personal sauna??? Whatever the case, this was an extremely intriguing 2.25 seconds of screentime. Although nothing alludes to it, the mysterious figure may be the currently undisclosed role played by Mads Mikkelsen, or upcoming actress Eunice Olumide. Perhaps both, as someone also has to be inside that cell. One thing’s for certain: this is damn interesting!
Also starring in Rogue One is Yen’s fellow compatriot and globally renowned superstar Jiang Wen (“Let the Bullets Fly”). An award-winning director, screenwriter and actor, this is Wen’s first big step in a massive, tentpole franchise. What a way to make an impression! Like all the other characters aside from Jones’ Jyn Erso, Jiang remains nameless but looks absolutely bad-ass running towards an armada of AT-ATs.
What is known for certain is the Yavin 4 base is already established as the Rebellion headquarters. Also, a few faces audiences know quite well will make cameo or two. How could they not considering the era this film takes place? C’mon now!
In case you already forgot, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16. Watch the full trailer below.