It’s been over a week since the first glimpse at Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped online and sent fans of the franchise into their latest flutter of online comments, geeking out and overall rebel scum-loving pandemonium. Continuing on from the world-beating success of the franchise’s latest hurrah in bringing us back to the glory days of Star Wars’ first emergence, Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One looks to lay waste to the fact that Star Wars prequels deserve only a place in the Sarlacc pit.
Rewinding back to a period before Han Solo and Luke Skywalker’s heroics, Rogue One is essentially throwback Star Wars, looking to step aside from the familiar lightsaber wielding and bring us a more grounded and human affair. Spearheaded by the wonderful Felicity Jones in the lead role, and backed by the likes of Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn and Forest Whitaker, this is certainly one of the hottest properties of 2016.
Much like The Force Awakens though, Rogue One is – for the most part – shrouded in mystery, leaving many to have already planted their own ideas and theories following that scintillating trailer. Predictions aside, we do have tidbits of information revealed by Disney and Lucasfilm so let’s explore them together as we return once more to a galaxy far, far away…
10. The Story
Let’s get this one out of the way first.
Rogue One is set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, meaning that those Death Star plans we saw being discussed via holographic means in Episode III are well and truly at the centre of it all.
Presenting us with a Rebel mission that sees a team, led by Felicity Jones‘ Jyn Erso, looking to steal the plans to the Death Star, Rogue One essentially creates the story of which we read about on the opening crawl of A New Hope.
Expect plenty of Rebel soldiers banding together to thwart the Empire’s plans to rise into full power and a much more grounded and warfare-driven Star Wars entry this time around.
9. Move Over John Williams
Now, the very thought of John Williams stepping aside from scoring a Star Wars movie may feel like a force choke from a very unforgiving Sith lord, but fear not, his replacement for Rogue One is just as satisfying.
As if guided by the Force himself, the very mention of Alexandre Desplat stepping in is bound to have many a film fan delighted and rejoicing.
After all, this is a man who gained his first ever Oscar for his sublime work on Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel, as well as working on accomplished features such as Argo, The King’s Speech and The Danish Girl.
We think it’s safe to say that although Williams’ absence is a sad pill to taste, his replacement is more than capable of bringing us a different kind of score.
8. No Force Required
Admittedly, much of the wonder of Star Wars comes in its introduction of the Force and the Jedi themselves. After all, the notion of wielding a lightsaber or Force Pushing individuals would be so cool that even Hoth itself would melt in admiration.
That being said, Rogue One has been confirmed as a very different type of Star Wars tale, focusing on the human side of things and very much presenting a war film more than anything else.
This, after all, is a film highlighting the Rebels and one of their key missions, so naturally there is no need for saber-wielding or Force utilizing. Director Gareth Edwards confirmed this some time ago, stating, “the absence of Jedi is omnipresent. It comes down to a group of people who don’t have magical powers who band together to bring hope to the galaxy.”
Colour us intrigued to see if they come up against Vader himself…
7. Familiar Faces
While the full trailer introduced us to the newer key players in the Rebel fight, Rogue One will definitely include some of the more recognisable faces from the Star Wars canon.
One said face we have already seen is that of Mon Mothma, the leader of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Reprised by her Revenge of the Sith actress Genevieve O’Reilly, Mothma will be the person tasking the newfound Rebel heroes to foil the Empire’s Death Star plan.
Aside from Mothma, expect plenty of other familiar faces – all expected to be secrets until the film’s release – but one can imagine the likes of Admiral Ackbar, Wedge Antilles, Grand Moff Tarkin or even Boba Fett may make an appearance.
Watch this space!
6. From Jedi to Samurai
Certainly one of the most surprising aspects of the upcoming movie comes in the form of the two characters played by Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen.
As showcased in the trailer and previewed in the first official still of the Rebel crew in the film, both men appear to be some sort of samurai characters, wielding the familiar swords and wearing the armour associated with such individuals.
Yen’s character is, in particular, most intriguing as he appears to be blind and yet skilled in combat like few others. As mentioned previously, he can’t be a Jedi so what else could he be?
Speculation has pointed towards Mandalorian origins for this pair but we’re sure we won’t find out much until the release.
5. Death Star Construction
Of course, with the film’s plot focusing on stealing the plans to the Death Star, naturally we know that the ultimate battle station of the Empire’s is under construction. You only have to witness the trailer to see the large dish being place on the planet-like structure and know that we could well be in for a treat.
Imagine if you will, the Rebels looking to storm the castle, so to speak, exploring the machinations of this battle station and stealthily going about their mission. It poses great excitement for us Star Wars fans and you can bet that we’ll get plenty of action set in the enemy base throughout.
4. Alan Tudyk In Mo-Cap
While Star Wars has done wonders for producing content via practical effects, it’s hard to deny the impact of some of the characters who have been motion-captured. You only have to look at Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke to see that some characters are more effective using this method.
That will hopefully be the case for Alan Tudyk, who has been confirmed for a role in the film through the use of mo-cap. No full details of his character have been revealed, but we do know that he will play a droid in the movie.
Those praying for a BB-8-type character may be answered, but rumours online have him, instead, playing a more commanding and dangerous droid, possibly one of the bounty hunters looming in the galaxy.
Whatever happens, we’re sure Tudyk will be another stellar addition to the franchise.
3. Other Major Rebels
Once again, with their names and specific roles kept under wraps (good job, Disney and Lucasfilm), we can only know that these two men will be key players in the main plot of the movie.
Gathering from the promotional image of the Rebel squad, it would appear that Ahmed will play the more technically gifted members of the crew, while one can assume that Luna will fit the mould of the heroic male. Think Poe/Luke/Han and we can imagine he’ll tick similar boxes.
There’s also the enigma that is Forest Whitaker‘s character. Many have him down as a bounty hunter of sorts, but there are rumours of him starring as a Rebel veteran – here’s hoping it’s the latter.
2. The Villains
While we haven’t seen or heard anything from Mikkelsen in the film, the sight of a white-caped Mendelsohn is already enough for us to know that he is going to mean business.
Very much looking like the commander-type on the Imperial side, Mendelsohn already appears to be a pivotal figure in the film and looks incredible in his attire. Thankfully all those rumours of him appearing in the film as a villain came to fruition in the end.
1. Our Female Hero
Much like The Force Awakens brought to us a fearless and empowering female hero, Rogue One looks to do that once more, as Felicity Jones leads the way in the fight against the Empire.
Playing Jyn Erso, we know that Jones’ mission leader is a rather rebellious and outspoken character, brash and often devoid of any awareness to rules. We also know that at the age of fifteen she was abandoned by any parents she had, so expect the possibility of her past being delved into.
Jyn will certainly be a character of mass interest and, with the internet already speculating that she is the mother or Rey, there’s going to be plenty more to learn about her come the release of the movie in December.