Star Wars: Rogue One Trailer Review

04.08.2016

Disney’s second Star Wars film and first anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped its first story trailer this morning.

Set between the events of Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith and Episode 4: A New Hope, Rogue One has a familiar, yet fresh approach to the Star Wars saga, as we see the galaxy through the eyes of a new heroine Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones).

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Jyn is now the second heroine for Disney’s revitalized Star Wars films and is not as pure and innocent as past antagonists Luke or Rey. There seems to be a more serious tone to the new film as good and evil doesn’t appear as black & white. Felicity’s character Jyn seems to occupy the grey, as Jyn’s rap sheet is read out in the trailer; “forgery of Imperial documents, possession of stolen property, aggravated assault, resisting arrest.” we can’t help but think of another loveable rogue, “reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined.” none other than, scruffy Nerf herder, smuggler and antihero Han Solo.

Jyn has a harder and stubborn edge to her, appears very capable and deadly, as scenes of Jyn blasting her way through Stormtroopers are shown.

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As the audience is reintroduced to the Rebel Alliance leader Mon Mothma, who smirks as it becomes apparent that she has located her adept, yet expendable criminal, who will be charged with the extremely dangerous task of stealing the plans to the Empires new weapon – the Death Star!

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It seems likely that Jyn, with the help of Diego Luna’s unnamed character, will assemble a ‘Seven Samurai’ of sorts to help accomplish this daunting task. Along the lines of a heist movie, which I can’t help compare to ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ or ‘Suicide Squad’, where perhaps Jyn’s motivation to complete this deadly mission could mean that her criminal record would be wiped clean. This is a possibility, but is merely a guesstimate at present.  

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We do get to see glimpses of Jyn’s companions, who appear to be a rag tag team of the scum of the galaxy, bounty hunters and capable fighters. As Donnie Yen’s blind staff wielder knocks a few Stormtroopers around and Jiang Wen runs head first through explosions carrying a heavy blaster.

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As well as Forest Whitaker’s mysterious role, which is mentor or sage like, he asks’ “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?”  These questions will no doubt be answered as Jyn’s character will be forced to go to some dark places to achieve her goal.

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These scenes play amongst familiar backdrops of the Rebel Base on Yavin 4 and a new desert oasis location where we see AT AT’s blasting a path of destruction.  This also gives us an introduction to Ben Mendelsohn’s unnamed, but intimidating Imperial Admiral, who is no doubt the films main protagonist.  I for one can’t wait to see what he brings to the role, as I’ve observed the Aussie actor break into Hollywood on the back of some strong performances in The Dark Knight Rises, Mississppi Grind and Black Sea.

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Although Mendelsohn’s character will no doubt be the films baddy, we also see the briefest of scenes with dark hooded figure kneeling before a Bacta tank, flanked by two of the Emperor’s distinct Royal Guards. Let the speculation begin; as there have been rumours that Darth Vader will make an appearance in Rogue One and even that Hayden Christensen had been approached about a cameo in the film. We may be looking at Vader here – but where’s the classic helmet? Currently fans are speculating that this is the Emperor himself and that the Bacta tank actually houses Supreme Leader Snoke from Episode 7: The Force Awakens, which would be a revelation in itself.

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Noticeably absent from the trailer is Mads Mikkelsen, who when cast was tipped as the films baddy, due to his portrayal of Dr Hannibal Lector in NBC’s Hannibal, but rumour is he will be playing a scientist responsible for the design of the Death Star. Mads character is said to take real life inspiration from Robert Oppenheimer (1904 – 1967), who was one of a team of scientists who created the Atomic Bomb. He is famously quoted saying; ‘I am become death, the destroyer of worlds’, when the first Atomic Bomb detonated, which certainly sounds very Death Star like!

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More speculation also centres on Jyn’s character who many fans believe to be Rey’s mother and Luna’s character, who some believe is Poe Dameron’s (Oscar Isaac) father. But this maybe a bit of a stretch, as I believe it would be rather too convenient if all these characters were all related, I mean the galaxy is a big place after all. Either way, this film has a great cast and looks to be more mature film than its predecessors.

The film doesn’t open until December 15th this year, but regardless fans now have plenty of water cooler talk until May the 4th (Star Wars Celebration Day) where we may be lucky enough to see more footage, perhaps a full trailer or complete synopsis.

Article by Gene Harris


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