A new Star Wars trailer is here and it looks decidedly different. Whether or not you are ready for a Star Wars film every year, that is what's happening and Rogue One will hopefully be a successful test of how well the universe can be expanded without the aid of Skywalkers and episodic titles. The premise is certainly a juicy one, so let's hope this gritty espionage adventure delivers.
As you may know, the idea for this film is based around the team responsible for stealing the Death Star plans, which is of course what R2-D2 is holding onto for much of the original Star Wars. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) has been brought to this project and will ideally push himself to really capture a new version of this universe that both hearkens back to the original trilogy and allows for a unique aesthetic.
It doesn't seem like that will be a problem based on the cast. Felicity Jones leads the pack as Jyn Erso (not Princess Leia or other already known characters, as some had speculated) and she leads an incredibly diverse (and completely male) cast that includes Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen, Jian Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk as a droid. A clean Ben Mendelson dressed in white is the heavy presumably tasked with stopping this group and I wouldn't be surprised if Grand Moff Tarkin or Darth Vader himself stopped by to say hi as well.
Anything else I have to say is basically speculation and admiration of some of the cool shots. For instance, nothing seemed to stand out to me more than a shot of Mendelsohn's white caped character walker though a shallow lake, surrounded by death and destruction. We also get to see Yen taking on Stormtroopers with a bow staff and Whitaker speaking some words of wisdom as a steampunk samurai rebel warrior.
The real intrigue comes in the form of the visual stamp this film will have. It perhaps creates a lot of excitement to see a Star Wars film deliberately not trying to look like a traditional Star Wars film, but we are coming off The Force Awakens, which was a blast of nostalgia reconnecting us with what we liked seeing in the original trilogy. Of course, some complained about that, but regardless, Edwards is shooting this film digital and working with Ultra Panavision 70 lenses for some sequences. Given the grounded nature of this film (no Jedis), that puts this more attune with Genndy Tartakovsky's Star Wars: Clone Wars series, rather than the CG animated Clone Wars, as far as spin-offs are concerned.
Whatever happens, this is Star Wars and I am obviously excited. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16, 2016.
Oh! And here are a bunch of stills: