Finally after so many days and months of being in the dark while others got their glimpses at Comic-Con and other exclusive selected showings, the official Rogue One Teaser Trailer has finally been made available to the rest of us mortals. Here are some of my impressions and thoughts on what I’ve seen in it and how it looks in the eyes of a fan that’s been with this universe ever since the originals. Rogue One reporting in!
At the start it goes two ways. On the one hand it’s pretty generic character intro, but on the other hand I was relieved to see it because it let us know immediately that we’re getting some glimpse of the story right of the bat. As opposed to The Force Awakens teaser, this one is more like a trailer and the fact that it is only titled as a Teaser means we’ll be getting even much more in the future. Sure, there is a danger of telling us too much in the long run but their marketing have been flawless for far so I trust them to do this well.
Actress Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso does not convince me entirely but that may be due to the dialogue lines that I think are far weakest than all in the trailer. The acting itself seems pretty decent, her action scenes are kickass and her determination to the role clearly shows. The droid following her later on is played by funny Alan Tudyk known for his role in Firefly and I bet we will get one Firefly reference in there somewhere.
The rebel base at Yavin IV is done great, and the fact that looks the same but slightly less equipped in contrast to the one in A New Hope does great service to credibility and continuity of the universe. Speaking of continuity, the same actress that played Mon Mothma in Revenge of the Sith is here returning for the role and she even looks very much like older version of a character in Return of the Jedi – it’s awesome!
The shot of her being dirty and driving in some unstable scrappy transport followed by strong tunes reminds very much of last year’s movie hit Mad Max: Fury Road, but it may have been completely unintentional. Another, more awesome shot is the good old Star Destroyer accompanied by his friends flying by a giant metal surface that fills the screen – you know it’s a Death Star! The last piece seems to fall in the place and sends the chills because of the meaning and the aesthetics of the scene – the tone is completely same as from A New Hope!
It’s siren rise the tension and the pacing of the scenes follows it shot by shot, one better than the other. Rebel charge is formidable, but the shot of the human Fleet Admiral (not the Great Admiral mind you) looking ready for war with the planet holo behind him is simply more impressive. I guess even more impressive would be if he had a blue skin and red eyes, then the community would go completely wild but still, I guess this one will do. However the possibilities are still here, and Thrawn could still be introduced into the canon but we’ll see.
Stormtroopers going through city with battle rifles and a tank just screams “occupation and order by any means necessary” and is a right picture for the Galactic Empire as we know it. Forest Whitaker in the armor looks badass but also looks like he’s wearing some version of improvised Mandalorian armor. I could be wrong, but if he’s a bounty hunter it’s a strong possibility. I the other shot and the last lines he looks like he’s wounded though… Another shot with captured and beaten rebel prisoners just confirm the Empire’s might from the similar scene before. Also note how Forest’s character say “What will you do WHEN they catch you.”. The Empire is strong and it’s everywhere, so dominating than the capture simply seems inevitable. Even the simplest stations look like cities, landscapes of technology.
The scene of Donnie Yen’s character surrounded by Stormtroopers with a crashed black X-Wing in the background is great and his fighting skills are great, but somehow felt to me out of place in here. Sure, I know very well how Asian culture influenced Star Wars from the beginning, especially in terms of fighting yet still somehow it seems off especially if we take into consideration that Stormtrooper armors now cannot even handle the staff hit, let alone laser shots etc. Just doesn’t sit right.
The firing of Imperial special forces, the destruction of a ship that kinda resembles Kylo Ren’s shuttle (possible ship evolution right here), the rebels in cover – it says “War” more than any other Star Wars movie. We knew it would be serious and gritty and those scenes show it. The scene of Fleet Admiral walking near fallen soldiers over the water at the place of destruction is sinister as it gets. Gave me the chills, just like the next one in the imperial chamber where cloaked black figure approaches something or someone between the Royal Guards. Everything says there has to be the Emperor, but we don’t see him. The black figure is not in the shape of Darth Vader and is too tall and strong to be the Emperor himself. My bet is on some sort of special agent or even the last inquisitor. We’ll see.
Dirty battle continues as AT-AT’s are storming the ground and gunning down the running Rebels one by one. Another great demonstration of the Empire’s strength as they’re literally stomping the grounds on which Rebels stand. This time, there are no T-47 Airspeeders nor Jedi to take them down. It will be tough for the Rebels, it will be hell and it should be, but whatever happens, A New Hope proves it was not for nothing.
The last shot in the trailer with Jyn in the Tie pilot suit simply looks beautiful and is perfect for the end of the trailer. There is a trail of an echo that resembles the last part of Vader’s breathing but it’s so vague that is barely noticeable. The sounds that come with the logo combining the Force theme on piano and Imperial march stomping like over it is chilling. The right tone for the right story. Can’t wait!
That being said, I’d love to see some twists since the plot presented in trailer is pretty straightforward. Either meaning that the timeline of the events in the movie is different or that some of them might seem misleading. Something like when the people thought for the Force Awakens that the Finn will be the main hero protagonist and that Phasma will have more to do in the film (ok, not that one necessarily). Just say, what if the last sequence of Jyn is one of her first one from the movie, or better yet, what if in the end she ends up switching the sides (which is especially convincing with those lines “What will you become?”), betraying Rebels yet still they somehow manage to complete the mission and claw those plans out of the Empire’s grasp. Better yet, what if she was undercover imperial agent all the time, infiltrating into the Rebel ranks, taking the crucial intelligence, almost ends up being their doom but ultimately somehow regrets it which is leading us to Alliance’s possession of Death Star plans… There is much possibility and the potential for a good story is huge. This will be crucial for the future of Star Wars standalone movies and it’s the right time for the fans to show their support.