After the promise of a new trailer this past July (that ended up being more of a sizzle reel than a trailer), Lucasfilm finally delivered its next peek at Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which is arriving in theatres this December. Well positioned between swimming competitions and medal ceremonies, it was just as thrilling as a 50-meter freestyle race.
The trailer opens with Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker with a full-on British accent) bemoaning the state of the Imperial infested galaxy. Jyn (Felicity Jones) is issued a clear mission by Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) — bring back more details about the Empire’s new weapon. Jyn is quick to accept help offered by Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). It seems these two will be the protagonists driving the main story
A disembodied voice tells the audience that he has been recruiting for the Rebellion for some time (Cassian? Baze?) before cutting to Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) fighting off forces on his home planet. And then comes the first truly quotable line that will no doubt be found on t-shirts and lunch boxes come this autumn. The blind, Force-sensitive (but not Jedi) Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) proclaims, “I fear nothing, for all is as the Force wills it.” He then unleashes his special brand of violence on a platoon of Stormtroopers.
The pacing of the trailer moves briefly from galactic destruction to humor as K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) grants Jyn the privilege of living, but then rolls right back into the heavy stuff with a solar eclipse and then a brooding shot of Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). More battle scenes, both on the ground and in space, effectively convey the importance of this do or die mission before revealing some classic Star Wars lines and imagery: a quote by K-2SO about the odds of their mission succeeding (or failing) and star-lines. That’s right, star-lines, baby! Hyperspace! Lightspeed!
I believe we were all thinking the same thing when Jyn asks us, at the end of the trailer, “Are you with me?” “All the way!” Cassian replies and I’m sure the world agrees.
In a great “after credits” type of bonus scene, we finally get to see Darth Vader, even though it is just the back of his iconic cowl. But a well-placed audio burst of his labored breathing set my heart beating.
Without a doubt, this is a film that seems to be taking the Star Wars mythology seriously, which can only make fans young and old as happy as a Mandalorian with license to kill.