If the first sets of reviews are to be believed, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story promises to be an emotional roller coaster, but for those who aren’t sure what’s going on, here’s what you need to know before seeing the latest Star Wars movie. Caution: This might have some Rogue One spoilers.
The basic plot takes place over a short span of time just before the original Star Wars movie, when the Rebellion is in its early stages. It is 19 years after the end of Episode III, where Anakin Skywalker was first turned into Darth Vader.
The entire movie is like an intergalactic classic heist movie. Mon Mothma, the Rebellion’s ersatz leader, recruits a motley band of heroes to steal the plans to a new superweapon, the Death Star.
Of course, we know going in that the theft is successful. The pursuit and destruction of the Tantive IV in the opening scene of Star Wars IV: A New Hope tells us that. So it’s not so much a “will they succeed,” but a “how do they succeed” story.
The leader of the heist crew is Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) who leads a group of five other Rebels in their quest. Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is a Rebel Intelligence officer who acts as her foil. There are the two warriors, the blind Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen). Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) is a connection to both Jyn’s past and the past material in the Star Wars universe (Saw previously appeared in the animated series The Clone Wars). Rounding out the crew are Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), the driver/pilot, and K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk), a former Imperial assassination droid whose memory was wiped by Cassian.
From the teasers, clips, and previews, as well as the interviews that the cast and director have given, we can surmise some of the plot already.
For instance, although much was made about the appearance of iconic Star Wars bad guy Darth Vader and his role in the movie, there’s another special cameo that the director Gareth Edwards hinted at.
During an interview with the French Cinema channel, TMC, he revealed that Luke Skywalker most definitely does not appear in Rogue One. When asked the same question about Princess Leia, Edwards deftly dodged the question, answering, “I don’t want to ruin it for people.”
Whether Leia will appear in a full-fledged scene or merely be present at the end scene aboard the Tantive IV remains to be seen. But it seems likely that at least two Skywalkers will be in Rogue One.
Speaking of Darth Vader, from tweets shot out after the premiere, it sounds like the dark Jedi isn’t going to just be breathing ominously in the background.
Last thought (for now): Vader gets a moment of pure horror. Maybe more than one, arguably. #RogueOne— Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) December 11, 2016
It fits in with his character that he would be actively pursuing the thieves and might actually be the one who kills one or more of our intrepid band of thieves. After all, Disney has already confirmed that no matter how well Rogue One does, there will never be a sequel. That means there was no onus on the writer or director to ensure that all of the characters would survive by the end of the film. Given the descriptions of the film as being more “real” and “grey,” it seems likely that at least one of our heroes will die.
Don’t despair, however. You won’t have to wait long for your next Star Wars movie. After Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: Episode VIII will be released on December 15, 2017. A few months later, the untitled Han Solo film releases on May 25, 2018, and then the third trilogy finishes with Star Wars: Episode IX releasing on May 24, 2019.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]