As promised, the makers of Star Wars released the very first teaser trailer for the prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is scheduled to hit theaters in December. It aired Thursday morning on Good Morning America and has since been posted online. The good news: it looks as good as promised.
The prequel is set in the Star Wars universe right before A New Hope, the fourth chapter in the Star Wars saga. It happens at some point between when Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader and his son, Luke, grows up to discover his destiny.
The film will be a standalone tale that ties back to the main story, but it doesn’t include the same characters or places. It will be a part of the resistance somewhere far away from the heroic actions of the characters we’ve come to know and love in the other films.
It opens with a woman (Felicity Jones) being marched into the base of the Republic. It’s later revealed that her name is Jyn Erso, and she’s been arrested for a list of aggressive and illegal behaviors.
When asked why she does it, she responds, “This is a rebellion, isn’t it? I rebel.”
It’s not long after that she’s given a mission to fight for the resistance forces. She’s asked to steal the plans of a new weapon being developed, and it turns out, those plans are for the original Death Star. You might remember that the resistance fighters had these plans in their possession, indicating a successful mission in this prequel.
This is all shown with intermittent explosions and fights showing Jones holding her own against several armed guards. There are also scenes of several other primary characters that have yet to be named.
It seems that the newest Star Wars films like to take on a lot of unknowns in their productions. Aside from Felicity Jones, most of the other actors weren’t standouts in Hollywood.
There’s also a sneak peek at a man who bears a striking resemblance to Poe Dameron. It’s pretty clear that it isn’t Poe, but a relation of some sort isn’t out of the question. He even has a brown flight jacket, scraggly hair, and scruff to match.
The theorizing has already begun regarding this man’s identity. So far, his jacket suggests he’s an officer for the Alliance, but he seems to be a less established, “devil-may-care” kind of officer who isn’t worried about all the pomp and circumstance.
What’s clear is that he’ll be working with Jyn in her mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. There’s a scene of the two running down a hall together as they escape stormtroopers, and the moment when they meet eyes early on in the trailer hints at a budding friendship, if not more.
Erso isn’t the typical Jedi-style knight, though, by this point, most of the Jedis have already gone into hiding or been killed. She’s a rebellious, take-care-of-herself kind of her person. She’s on her own side, but could be swayed to help a larger cause.
Sound familiar? It seems that Erso will be a Han Solo-like character but in female form. There’s a lot of woman power so far in the newest Star Wars films. It might not be equal to the manpower in the productions, but it’s a step in the right direction.
The trailer makes its exit after showing Jones wearing full battle gear while Forest Whitaker’s character talks to her about the dangers of battle.
“What will you do if they catch you? What will you do if they break you? If you continue to fight, what will you become?” he says.
What’s perhaps most notable in this film is the absence of the Jedi. It’s a raw, tangible feeling that hasn’t been experienced in the other films as of yet. There’s no savior figure coming to rescue the resistance. It’s just them and their efforts to fight back. The hand-to-hand combat scenes are light-saber free and gritty.
So far, there’s no sign of Jar Jar Binks, and fans everywhere are praying that it stays that way. Having a sophisticated prequel without any Gungan warriors could be something of a relief for the adults watching the film.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to come out on December 16, 2016, and there will no doubt be even more trailers to come.
[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]