A 30-second TV spot for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” debuted overnight to herald Monday’s ticket-sales kickoff, and what we glimpse in that trailer cleanly encapsulates everything we’ve seen so far.
The new trailer opens with a sand-swept nod to the Jedi arts – an aspect that had been little on display in “Rogue” teasers before now. Quite deliberately, it seems, we have yet to see a bright lightsaber in the trailers.
Cut to our assembled Rebel heroes. “Rogue One” – the first stand-alone Star Wars film in what Disney is calling its Anthology series – is part heist flick and part war movie. And so, like any good heist picture, the band of upstarts is gathered around its goal – in this case, the Death Star, or rather, the blueprints for the Empire’s first Death Star.
(“Rogue One” is set before the events in the original film, “A New Hope,” so we know Darth Vader will soon be on the scene.)
Cut to a close-up of our new heroine, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). In previous trailers, we’ve learned that her father, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) – the kind of leading scientific mind who can be crucial to both the Empire and the Rebels – will appear, at least in flashback. He probably is the story’s Oppenheimer, and it is Galen’s knowledge that presumably leads the Rebels to recruit his troubled young daughter, the “chosen one” survivor. As so often is the case with Star Wars, the fractured parent-child dynamic set against the good and dark sides is central.
Then, suddenly and quickly, we see – silhouetted by the Death Star under construction – Grand Moff Tarkin, the Imperial commander first played by the late Peter Cushing, and then by Wayne Pygram. (Part of the “Rogue” mystery is whether Tarkin’s appearance will be part CGI.)
Jyn is soon at the controls and ready to help lead the Rebel mission, as she looks over to Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), the intelligence officer who must keep her in line. She’s fighting alongside such Rebels as Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) and new droid K-2S0 (voiced by Alan Tudyk), as led by Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly).
As we’ve seen consistently in all the trailers, “Rogue One” pivots into a war picture as the Rebels engage – with the highly anticipated Darth Vader appearing, again voiced by James Earl Jones. The new teaser is titled “Breathe,” and the Sith, as guided by Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), will no doubt challenge Jyn’s ability to use the Force.
“Rogue One” opens Dec. 16 in North America.