By Jack Dignan
So, I was just beginning to write my review for 'The Huntsman: Winter's War,' the sequel to 2012's mediocre 'Snow White & The Huntsman,' when all of a sudden, the trailer for this came out, so of course that review was put on hold. 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' is the first of an unspecified amount of Star Wars spin offs to be released every year that we don't get a new Star Wars movie in. So, basically, Disney have plans to release a new Star Wars film every year, and so far, it looks like they're doing it right. 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' was not only my favourite film of last year, but it may just be my favourite Star Wars movie ever. Yes, I said it. I saw it ten times in cinemas, so it's safe to say I'm a fan.
Rogue One I was sceptical about, seeings as how I wasn't sure what direction it would go in, but I remained hopeful. Despite my scepticism, it still rocketed into my most anticipated film of 2016 list (that I... um... never actually made. But it had the number 1 spot). The film is directed by Gareth Edwards, the man behind the brilliant 'Godzilla' movie we got two years back. Add to that the a-list cast, including Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker and Alan Tudyk, amongst many others, and I'm sold. After watching this first trailer, my expectations have instantly risen, bursting through the roof and shooting all the way into the stars. Rogue One is looking like the Star Wars prequel we deserve.
There are so many thoughts rattling around in my head about this movie, but first thing's first, this is a Star Wars movie alright, except this time around, there's a lot of focusing on the word 'wars.' It may be a Star Wars movie, but space is just the backdrop for what appears to be a full on war film. It's dark. It's gritty. It's got a shit tonne of action. I love it. It's a different side to Star Wars, rather than the usual lightsaber on lightsaber duels we get, not that there's anything at all bad about those. All I'm saying is that Rogue One is providing us with something a little different, all while keeping one foot back into the mythology of this universe.
One of the first reveals of this trailer is that Felicity Jones is playing a character named Jyn Erso. One internet user came up with the theory that she's Rey's mother. Do I believe this? Absolutely not. Would it be cool? Yeah, maybe. I don't want it to happen, though. But this trailer does give us a short snippet of her character, and I love what I see. She's rebelling, taking down stormtroopers left, right and centre, and it's this rebellion fighting that gets her taken in by Mon Mothma, a character from the original trilogy. Rogue One certainly did not need to have an original trilogy character in it, but having one is a nice nod to the fans, and it certainly feels like it's a part of the universe we know and love. I doubt Mothma will have a very big role to play, but I like that she's in there, and I have strong suspicions she won't be the only original trilogy member making an appearance, aside from Darth Vader, obviously, who has been semi-confirmed to be in the movie.
Throughout the chaos of the war, this first Rogue One trailer is showing us one thing in particular. The damn good camera work. One of my favourite things about Gareth Edward's Godzilla was the way he used the camera to his advantage, using it not only to make cool shots, but also to use it as a necessary part of the storytelling. Rogue One looks like the best shot Star Wars movie to date, and thankfully, it's looking like it's got a lot going on as well. It's an action packed trailer that shows more than I thought it would, all while keeping the film's best secrets well hidden. It raises a lot of questions, and to ask them all would take a whole other article. I guess I'll just ask the most important one here. Did Jyn get inspiration for her outfit from Katniss Everdeen? Damn, they look similar. Even the style of the shot was reminiscent of Katniss turning around while making a propaganda video in Mockingjay.
The best part about The Force Awakens' advertising was that the film's plot was well hidden. With Rogue One, this is not the case. Advertising this movie without giving us a glimpse at the plot wouldn't work in this film's favour. The Force Awakens sold itself, whereas Rogue One needed to convince people of its existence, and it did a damn good job at it. A group of rebels, led by Jyn, are trying to stop the Death Star from performing a test-run, presumably blowing up a planet, or something of the sorts. It's a simple plot, but it could work very well, and I'm excited to see where it goes. The Death Star isn't the only familiar weapon we see, either, as we get a good look at some AT-ATs at the end of the trailer, firing down towards a group of rebels. I have two words to describe that moment.... FUCK and YEAH. Now THAT is the sort of stuff I want to see in this movie.
It's been just over an hour since the trailer made its way online and to be honest, there's just too much to process, even after watching the trailer fifty or so times. I have so many questions, and while my initial thoughts are listed in this article, don't be surprised if you see a more detailed analysis appearing online this weekend. I'm beyond excited for Rogue One, and this trailer blew me away. There's so much I need to talk about, and so much more footage I want to see, but I'm glad we finally got to see this trailer, and I can't wait to watch it ten thousand more times tomorrow when I'm not half asleep. This is the only prequel that matters now. Star Wars, I have complete faith in you. Don't let me down.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in cinemas December 15, 2016