When Disney announced they would be releasing a new Star Wars trilogy, they also announced there would be three stand alone movies that would exist in the Star Wars universe but not an integral piece of the main story line. The first of these spin-off movies is the upcoming Rogue One feature which takes place just before the events of the original movie, Episode IV. There is a Han Solo movie in early pre-production and possibly a Boba Fett movie (although I’d love a Han Solo movie with Boba Fett as the villain.)
When I heard that Rogue One was confirmed for the first of these releases, I imagined a war movie set in the Star Wars movie. A heart pounding Kathryn Bigelow directed flick with a rag tag band of rebels battling storm troopers. With the release of the first teaser trailer, we have our first glance into the expanded cinematic Star Wars universe.
What struck me most was how different this trailer is from the first The Force Awakens teaser trailer. While the the initial The Force Awakens teaser trailer was full of nostalgia and emotion without revealing much plot, this Rogue One trailer feels like a standard trailer. The main character, Jyn Erso, is introduced and we learn a bit about her background, we get a brief idea of the plot, and some villains and secondary characters are introduced. There is more dialogue and character interaction in this teaser trailer than there were in all The Force Awakens trailers combined. We even have a cheesy joke with the “I rebel” line.
I quite like the simple single piano music which is reminiscent of the cold note opening of the final The Force Awakens trailer. I’m a sucker for any Star Wars action sequences and I’m excited about what we see here especially the AT-AT walkers trudging through beach terrain. I’m not so keen on the idea of an asian martial arts character which feels to me rooted from earthly reality. While I’m in favor of a diverse cast, why does the asian actor have to be the martial arts guy?
The full title of the movie is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, a lengthy title but serves the purpose of letting audiences know this is not Episode VIII. The title Rogue One does conveniently lend itself to a sequel title, Rogue Two, but since these events take place directly before Episode IV, we’ll have to see how our characters are left at the end of Rogue One and if there is room for a sequel. While Disney has only confirmed the new trilogy (episodes VII, VIII and IX) and three spin-off movies, there’s no reason they would stop there.
Each of the three The Force Awakens trailers were excellent but the Rogue One trailer feels a bit by-the-numbers. So while it is not the emotionally driven trailer like The Force Awakens first teaser, is serves it’s purpose to introduce us to the larger Star Wars universe. December 16th, 2016 is the release date for Rogue One, and with Episode VIII scheduled for December 2017, be prepared for a Star Wars holiday season for the next several years. Here’s the Rogue One trailer followed by a music only version of the final The Force Awakens trailer.