12 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT…

ROGUE ONE

Empire (UK) - - PREVIEW - WORDS IAN FREER ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY FROM 16 DE­CEM­BER IS IN CIN­E­MAS

New trailer: new in­for­ma­tion, new the­o­ries, new ques­tions

1 The lat­est trailer gives us a longer look at Jedha. We now know it is “a moon frosted by a per­ma­nent winter” (star­wars.com) and, as one of the first places to em­brace the Force, it’s a place of pil­grim­age for those seek­ing spir­i­tual sus­te­nance. Think Thai­land in the ’90s. 2 Jedha is also oc­cu­pied by the Empire as kick­ass Im­pe­rial tanks crawl the streets and rebel in­sur­gents score vic­to­ries when they can. Direc­tor Gareth Ed­wards has hinted it

plays host to some­thing “very im­por­tant” that serves both the Jedi and the Empire. This could be a ref­er­ence to Ky­ber crys­tals, the gem stones that power both Jedi swords and the Death Star.

3 The new trailer sug­gests the weapons test men­tioned by Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’reilly, who played the char­ac­ter in deleted scenes from Re­venge Of The Sith) tar­gets Jedha. To wit a) Jiang Wen’s Baze Mal­bus says, “They de­stroyed our home! I fight the Empire now”; b) the shot of Cas­sian An­dor (Diego Luna) mak­ing the jump to light speed from in­side a planet’s at­mos­phere — a first for the se­ries — sug­gests a col­laps­ing planet; and c) the Death Star is clearly hov­er­ing over a desert planet, as watched by Direc­tor Kren­nic (Ben Men­del­sohn). 4 This idea gains trac­tion when you con­sider the stun­ning shot of the Death Star mov­ing in front of the sun. There are ac­tion scenes

— Baze Mal­bus tak­ing aim, X-wings in dark­ened skies — that seem to be tak­ing place at night. Is this in fact the gloom of a Death Star eclipse? 5 The in­ter­na­tional trailer re­veals the mes­sage in­volv­ing the weapons test was sent by Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), a sci­en­tist who is the fa­ther of Jyn Erso (Fe­lic­ity Jones). Galen re­mains a murky char­ac­ter.

6 New to the uni­verse is the lat­est Rebel space­craft, the U-wing, a troop trans­port/ gun­ship. Or, to give it its for­mal name, the In­com UT 60D. In the trailer it seems to take off from the secret base on Yavin IV from A New Hope — note the giant tem­ple ru­ins in the back­ground. 7 A be­hind-the-scenes im­age of a death trooper hold­ing a ragged toy stormtrooper is also the sub­ject of much spec­u­la­tion. Is it a toy left over from death

troop­ers ran­sack­ing Jyn’s childhood home? Is it a vis­ual rhyme with the toy rebel pi­lot made by Rey in The Force Awak­ens? Has a new Dis­ney Store opened in the Outer Rim?

8 Saw Ger­rera (For­est Whi­taker) has a con­vo­luted his­tory. He was dreamed up by George Lu­cas for the never-made Star

Wars: Un­der­world TV se­ries, then popped up in the Clone Wars TV an­i­mated se­ries when the story called for a leader of the On­deron rebels, be­fore end­ing up in Rogue One. A ref­er­ence in Clau­dia Gray’s Blood­line novel in­forms us Ger­rera fought the Empire by lead­ing a group called the Par­ti­sans, em­ploy­ing the tac­tics of ter­ror­ism. This is per­haps why, in the trailer, we see Ger­rera clad in life­sup­port­ing ar­mour sim­i­lar to that of Darth Vader. A fun thing: com­pare the length of Whi­taker’s hair across the two trailers. Does the teaser trailer show ‘prin­ci­pal pho­tog­ra­phy hair’ and the of­fi­cial trailer re­veal ‘ad­di­tional shoot­ing hair’? 9 Alan Tudyk’s K-2S0 is an­other in a long line of mardy droids in the Star Wars uni­verse — see also PROXY from The

Force Un­leashed and HK-47 from Knights Of The Old Repub­lic. Here, his anti-so­cial be­hav­iour is down to the fact that he is an ex-im­pe­rial droid re­pro­grammed by Cas­sian An­dor to help the Rebel cause. Like C-3P0, he has a plummy voice and likes to shout un­help­ful bet­ting stats (“There is a 97.6 per cent chance of failure”); un­like C-3P0, he’s seven feet tall, im­pos­ing and primed for ac­tion. 10 The Death Star or­bits the planet of Scarif just as the sec­ond Death Star is bound to En­dor. The trailer gives us more flavour of the trop­i­cal planet that is home to an Im­pe­rial mil­i­tary in­stal­la­tion and the ground bat­tle that takes place there. At one point on Scarif, Jyn is seen run­ning with what look likes a lunch box: the smart money is on this con­tain­ing the all-im­por­tant Death Star plans.

11 The money shot of the trailer is Jyn walk­ing along a gantry, only to be con­fronted by a TIE fighter ris­ing to block her path (like that bit in Aliens). Fan spec­u­la­tion sug­gests Jyn is try­ing to trans­mit the plans to the Tan­tive IV, the block­ade run­ner at the start of A New Hope.

12 We are still pretty much in the dark about Ben Men­del­sohn’s Or­son Kren­nic and, de­spite a last shot tease, the ex­tent of Vader’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the ac­tion. Geek guess­work on­line pre­dicts he will kill Kren­nic (giv­ing his form with killing Im­pe­rial of­fi­cers) or that, given how slow and crotch­ety his lightsaber bat­tle with Obi-wan in A New Hope is, Rogue One must see the dark lord in­jured in ac­tion. Don’t hold your (wheez­ing) breath.

Clock­wise from left: Our hero, Jyn Erso (Fe­lic­ity Jones); Saw Ger­rera (For­est Whi­taker) with his breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus; An AT-ACT on Scarif; Jyn plus ‘lunch box’ with Cas­sian An­dor (Diego Luna); Vader, again voiced by James Earl Jones; The Death Star — above Jedha?; The enig­matic Kren­nic (Ben Men­del­sohn).

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