In the words of Marty McFly, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story looks heavy. Ala the Force Awakens trailer, it is chock full of nostalgic imagery, offering up glimpses of the Death Star, Mon Mothma, AT-ATs, storm troopers, the Red Imperial Guards and a cloaked Sith figure who may or may not be Darth Vader (it doesn’t quite look like him). Also like the Force Awakens trailer, it is centered around a new female character, Felicity Jones’ Jyn, who comes off a bit like a female Han Solo or Star Lord.
However, the Force Awakens trailer was all about hope, with stirring renditions of John Williams’ iconic score and money shot images of the Millenium Falcon. Rogue One, um, well one of its final shots implies Jyn might actually go to the dark side. Of course, that is likely a trick of out-of-context editing. Jyn probably goes undercover at one point thus the reason she can be seen wearing Imperial clothing. Still, it sets a completely different tone than I expected for this movie.
The iconic John Williams music is muted. The tone is dour. Forest Whitaker is around to rant, “What will you do when they catch you? What will you do if they break you? If you continue to fight, what will you become?” The Rebels are repeatedly seen getting their collective asses kicked, and the heroes have precious few hero moments, other than Jyn being a badass and Donnie Yen taking a sword to some storm troopers. That’s right – there are no light sabers in this trailer, but there is a Samurai-like dude chopping down some of the Empire’s finest.
That bit of awesomeness aside, director Gareth Edwards (or at least the Disney marketing people who put this teaser trailer together) appears to be taking a super serious approach to the story of how the Rebels got the plans to the Death Star. Then again, we were told that many people lost their lives getting those plans. Rogue One’s not backing down from that. I have a bad feeling, not about the movie but about how many of the characters will actually survive.
Oh, also, Jyn’s totally Rey’s mom, right? As Twitter has been quick to joke, this is two Star Wars movies in a row now led by a diminutive, white British lady. At a time when we still have to wait a year and half for our first female-led superhero movie, it’s awesome that Kathleen Kennedy is being so progressive with Star Wars. However, Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones look so similar that there has to be more to their plans than mere gender progressive casting, right?
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story comes out December 16, 2016.