After watching Michael Phelps obliterate the opposition…again. Olympic viewers were treated to a new look at Star Wars: Rogue One.
Admist a tumultuous summer, with rumors running rampant about reshoots and even directorial shakeups, compounded by an underwhelming Star Wars Celebration 2016, Rogue One has legions of the Star Wars faithful a little concerned. Take also into account that Rogue One is the first non-saga film in the Star Wars franchise, a risky idea to say the least. So it’s safe to say that Rogue One needed a shot in the arm of good publicity. Enter visually stunning trailer packed with gritty, war-time action, capped off with a cameo to end all cameos and Rogue One got just that.
Many Star Wars fans were concerned that the much publicized re-shoots taking place over the summer would serve as a way for Disney to tone down the violent war-torn aesthetic that Gareth Edwards has been promising. Turns out noting could be farther from the truth. Our first shot is a weatherd Saw Gerrera played by Forest Whitaker telling the lead protagonist Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) that the “world is coming undone”. This sets the tone for a dark trailer, one in which its clear that the Empire is on the verge of its apex of power. Also it helps that we know what the Empire is capable of thanks to their atrocities in A New Hope. We see the Wars in Star Wars, ground troops assaulting AT-ACT’s, snipers picking off Stormtroopers, tanks rolling through city streets and the new black clad Deathtroopers engaged in battle. As evidenced by his previous film Godzilla, we see that Gareth Edwards is a master at showing scale. First we see flying Star Destroyers in slashes of white against the cold gray background of the imposing Death Star. Then again showing the size of the Death Star by flying over a desert planet and eclipsing its sun, behaving like the small moon Han Solo thought he saw in A New Hope.
We get a chance to hear more of the dialogue in this trailer, which isn’t much and we get a better look at some of the new characters, without giving away too much of the story of course. Then, we were hit with the title screen and just before fading to black we get one last surprise
Not much, just the back of his head for about a second. Of course that’s enough time to send the rabid Star Wars faithful into a sweaty, whirlwind of excitement. Hopefully we will finally get a chance to see Darth Vader unleash the full scope of his abilities in a battle against the rebel scum.
Another take away is the score. Rogue One will be the first Star Wars film not composed by the legendary John Williams. As blasphemous as that sounds it’s a sad inevitability, however the films composer Alexandre Desplate gave us an intense, ominous score complimented by a slow piano rendition of the Imperial March. The score sounded like Star Wars but had its own unique spin. Which in many sums up the identity of Rogue One.
Overall I was very pleased with the trailer and more excited than ever to see the Star Wars francise’s first foray into non-Skywalker centric films. Rogue One is due out in theaters on December 16th and stars Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelson, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn and Alan Tudyk