The biggest Rogue One news of all has dropped, and Twitter is all a-frenzy: the new trailer for the movie is out, and it features none other than Darth Vader!
According to Fox News, this exciting bit of Rogue One news dropped during the Olympics last night (of course it did!), and it confirmed many of the rumors that had been floating around in the blog-osphere since news of Rogue One first started making rounds: our favorite Dark Lord of the Sith is taking center stage in this story that’s set in between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. Fans of the franchise long suspected that this would happen — after all, the central theme of the first Star Wars movie was that Princess Leia had gotten her hands on the Death Star plans — but none of the trailers, or the publicity stills from the film, showed any signs of the man once known as Anakin Skywalker. That, however, has all changed now!
As of this writing, the trailer has almost three million views, and is a current worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
Forbes has done an extensive, and rather terrific, write-up on this latest bit of Rogue One news. Longtime contributor Scott Mendelson, who has exclusively covered the film industry for the financial publication, correctly points out that many fans — and critics — believed that this late edition of Darth Vader into the film was part of the extensive re-shoots that this so-called “stand-alone Star Wars story” had to undergo in order to rank higher in test viewings.
Apparently, the initial cut of the film was shown to test audiences, sans Vader, and didn’t do too well. This prompted director Gareth Edwards to re-shoot the film. Forbes also points out that the “tenor” of Rogue One is very similar to the tenor of The Force Awakens — that is to say, it’s dark and somber, as opposed to the “lightness” of the original Star Wars and even some of the prequels.
And even though much ado will, of course, be made about Vader’s return to the big screen, we can’t leave out what looks to be amazing performances from Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, and Forest Whitaker.
So what makes this bit of Rogue One news more exciting than all the rest? According to WIRED, it’s because we’re actually getting more of the backstory — and more characters we can relate to — than we got in previous installments of the movie. For example, we know that Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo are the “heroes” of the story, but they’re super-hero archetypes — and, of course, on the other end of the spectrum, Darth Vader is a super-villain archetype.
But these characters in Rogue One are just “ordinary” people — galactic history doesn’t make much of Jyn Ergo (Felicity Jones) or Director Orson Krenic (Ben Mendelsohn). And we know what happens when the Rebels ultimately get their hands on the Death Star plans — but what we, as fans, never know about the soldiers who fought in one of the most important battles of the Star Wars universe’s history.
Just as much of world history doesn’t record the names of all the soldiers who fought in various wars — rather, they focus on the archetypal heroes and villains, like Winston Churchill and General Patton — we don’t know who, in the Star Wars universe, put their life on the line to make this happen, not out of need for glory or fame, but because it was simply the right thing to do.
In this regard, then, Rogue One isn’t just a Star Wars story, but a soldier’s story.
Rogue One will be in theaters on December 16th. We will keep you apprised of all Rogue One news as it comes up!
[Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]