The trailer for “Star Wars: Rogue One” has just dropped right on our dumb faces. Here it is!
That’s how you do a trailer. A hint of the story, a soupçon of tone, and a teeny but tantalizing peek at the characters.
What We Saw
Starting with a minimalist piano version of an iconic theme song . . . it’s been done. Jurassic World and the new Ghostbusters trailer pulled a similar trick. Now, while I’m sure you’ll hear people complaining about it, I honestly don’t mind. The minimalist theme song is like putting out brie for your guests. Is it i terribly original? No. Is it still considerate? Yes. Does it taste delicious? Fuck-to-the-yes.
They set the tone damn quick – this ain’t your evil Sith daddy’s Star Wars movie. Hearing the phrase “aggravated assault” while you can see a parked X-Wing in the background hits your tummy weird, making it clear that this isn’t going to be the straight space opera we know so well. And that’s for the best – let the Saga films keep their tone, and these little side vignettes can show us different facets of that galaxy far, far away.
From there, we are informed that this new protagonist (Jyn Erso) is more Wolverine than Luke, an angry badass you point at your enemies and then hope for the best. The new Mon Mothma looks and sounds pretty damn similar to the old one, which was a nice bit of continuity. Plus the idea that angelic-toned Mon Mothma is not above hiring thugs and assassins to do the dirty work is a concept that has wheels.
From there we get flashes of the new and the old, crammed together in a delicious sammich. The Death Star, Imperial-Class Star Destroyers, Ghost Dog, AT-ATs, a non-Jedi Jedi-looking dude with spinning staff action, some kind of Imperial Grand Admiral in a sweet cape, a mysterious cloaked figure flanked by the Emperor’s Crimson Guard, all with that haunting air-raid siren played over the footage.
It paints a desperate picture, which is apropos for a movie about the ragtag Rebel Alliance. The trailer ends with the (possibly misleading) implication that our hero, Jyn Erso, may not be headed toward the path of light.
What We Didn’t See
I have no doubt that everyone’s favorite Dark Lord of the Sith will appear – hell, it’s probably half the reason they chose to set one of these standalones during the Good Old Bad Old Days. Disney bought Vader along with everything else, and letting him go to pot in a storage bin just ain’t gonna work. Expect him to show up and butcher the team while the last plucky survivor tries to smuggle the Death Star plans onto a Corellian Corvette.
We also didn’t see Alan Tudyk, which is always a bummer, or perpetual bad-guy Mads Mikkelsen. At least, I think we didn’t. There’s a few aliens and people in helmets, so it’s hard to be sure.
It also seems like they’re sticking with their “not Rogue Squadron” play, which is fine. I mean, if you’re gonna call a movie Rogue One, maybe have it be about Rogue Squadron. And if you’re not gonna make a Rogue Squadron movie, maybe don’t tease people into thinking that’s what it is. But, it ain’t a big deal, and it certainly doesn’t affect my opinion of the movie delivered.