I’ve already been quite impressed with the trailers we’ve seen, and I have to say this one hit me like a charging bantha. This latest trailer takes what I thought might be a “mini” epic and blows it up to hugely epic proportions. Visually, Rogue One looks to be an astounding addition to the Star Wars universe. Wide vistas; skies filled with the ominous triangular fuselage of the mighty star destroyer; tie fighters and x-wings zipping around. (I caught a glimpse of x-wings in combat, too – always a joy to behold!) We see rebel troops and our main heroes constantly under fire, scrambling through the brush, across the beaches, and through the avenues of a town or city likely under Imperial siege. There’s the shore troopers and frightening looking death troopers. I love the shot of the AT-ST walking through the streets, blasting everything before it. Lotsa stuff to ingest!
The Death Star itself is revealed in a few shots, and one gets the sense that this movie really captures the essence and atmosphere of exactly what it going on in this particular time frame. The Empire is seizing total control of the galaxy, and those who stand against them are vastly outnumbered and overpowered. I also appreciate that the movie ties in nicely with the look and feel of Disney’s Rebels show, which, in turn, ties in perfectly with A New Hope. Rogue One looks to be the icing on an increasingly appetizing cake.
And yet despite all the visual goodies, what I found to be the most profound thing about this trailer was the revelation of more detail on Jyn’s place in this whole thing, which changes my perception of the focus of this movie. I just did a little write up on the upcoming novel that serves as a prequel of sorts to Rogue One – a book called Catalyst. The description of Catalyst talked about the Empire using the scientific talents of Galen Erso to complete the Death Star. It hadn’t even occurred to me (silly boy) at the time that I did my article that this was Jyn Erso’s father. Well, duh – Erso.
This really ramps up the dramatic tension of the trailer. Think of it – Jyn’s very own father is the guy who may be responsible for the completion of the Emperor’s ultimate weapon. The drama is further compounded because we witness Galen telling his young daughter that he has to protect her (I loved that flashback scene – it had an eerie, foreboding air to it, the quietness as Krennic looks upon him, troops flanking his either side. Galen looked resolute but tired and overwhelmed); so we know that at least somewhere in their relationship there was caring and closeness.
Rogue One, as much as it’s a story about retrieving/stealing the Death Star plans, may be about finding Jyn’s father, and some sort of redemption. This intensifies the emotional impact of the whole deal, here. Does Jyn feel abandoned by her dad? Does she harbor disdain for him, or does she long for him? Exactly how does she feel about him at the time of the events in the movie? Big questions that’ll really determine the overtones of what already appears to be a fairly dark and intense movie by Star Wars standards.
Now this isn’t just a military operation, a secret mission; now its a personal journey running right alongside the bigger narrative. Our main character has emotional ties to a guy who is directly responsible in the completion of something that turns out to be a nightmare for the Rebellion and the entire galaxy.
Oh man! Exciting.
And for those of us who have been wondering – how much Vader will we get? Well, there you go, we’re gonna get at least some significant time with him. Oh, I don’t know exactly how much, but by merely seeing Krennic having an exchange with him, I got chills. Vader has now been glimpsed in multiple shots if you count all the trailers.
Will we see him in action?? There’s another biggie I’m glad the trailer didn’t spoil.
That actually leads me to my one of my trepidations with all this. Have we seen too much? Have we seen it all? Modern day trailers have had a propensity to show waaaaay too much of the movie they’re advertising. We’ve seen a lot of really great stuff here; I sincerely hope we haven’t seen the best, or seen it all. The other point that clamps down on my enthusiasm is the rumors of Disney meddling with the intensity and tone in an effort to lighten up the movie. Please, nooooooo! Leave it alone! Well, geez, this trailer certainly didn’t give me the impression that this is the case, so I feel a little bit better about that, but that will remain to be seen.
So strap yourselves in, my friends, Rogue One is just about here, and boy it seems to get better and better – by combining the action and imagery with a personal element, this was one of the best Star Wars trailers I have witnessed.
Methinks it’s gonna be a good one, folks!
Red Two, Jason Alan, over and out….
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters December 16th. See the trailer below!
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