12 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT…
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).