Rogue One Trailer: 9 Things to Know and Ask About Next Star Wars Movie

Felicity Jones in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Felicity Jones in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One Trailer: What We Learned and What We Wondered

The galaxy is getting very crowded.

Just when we transitioned to a new set of “Star Wars” characters in “The Force Awakens,” here comes another gang of rebels and villains and ominous-looking figures in capes going at each other with fists and blasters (but, curiously, not light sabers) in the franchise spinoff, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

Opening Dec. 16, “Rogue One” takes place in the narrative timeline just before the original 1977 “Star Wars” with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, when the Death Star was still under construction, and introduces us to what may be one of the most popular and exciting “Star Wars” characters in a long time.

Here’s what we learned from the “Rogue One” trailer that dropped Thursday:

1. Jyn Erso Is a Rocking Rebel!

There’s a new action star in the “Star Wars” universe and it’s Jyn Erso. She’s played by Felicity Jones, who picked up an Oscar nomination for “The Theory of Everything,” but this isn’t any art house role. An outlaw first shown to us in handcuffs, Jyn boasts a nasty rap sheet: forgery of documents, possession of stolen property, aggravated assault and resisting arrest. We see her in the “Rogue One” trailer singlehandedly smack a bunch Stormtroopers into submission and wield a mean blaster.

2. A Hard Luck Life

All those rough edges and rage seem to come from Jyn’s tough childhood. We find out she’s been on her own since the age of 15 and is described as “reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined.” To which she casually responds, “This is a rebellion, isn’t it? … I rebel.”

The Death Star Is Being Built in Rogue One Trailer

3. Plot to Stop the Death Star

Mon Mothma, a rebel leader seen in “Revenge of the Sith” and Return of the Jedi,” gives Jyn her orders: “We have a mission for you. A major weapons test is imminent. We need to know what it is and how to destroy it.” But we already know: that’s the Death Star being built in the background. We also know the mission fails, since it had to blown up in “Episode IV.”

4. Donnie Yen Doesn’t Need a Stinkin’ Light Saber

Martial arts star Yen, last seen kicking the stuffing out of Mike Tyson in “Ip Man 3,” makes his “Star Wars” franchise debut by whacking a stormtrooper with what looks like a big stick and nothing more. Curiously, this appears to be the first “Star Wars” trailer in which nobody uses a light saber.

5. Imperial Walkers

Oh, yeah, they’re back.

Is that Darth Vader in the Rogue One Trailer?

6. Possible Darth Vader Sighting

An ominous looking figure in a black cape appears. Is this Darth Vader?

7.  The Rebel May Rebel Against the Rebellion

Jyn’s apparently only working for the rebellion as part of a deal to make up for past transgressions. When asked if her orders are clear, she responds in a voice dripping with defiance,”Yes, sir.” Later in the trailer, we wonder about her loyalties when she’s asked: “What will you do if they catch you? What will you do if they break you? If you continue to fight, what will you become?” And then we see Jyn sporting a sleek Imperial uniform. Did she turn on the rebels? Is it because of her the Death Star destruction plan fizzled? Or is she a double-agent?

8. Jyn Could (Maybe, We Think, Possibly) Be the Mother of Rey (Or Not)

We’re not just asking because Jones and Daisy Ridley are both British (though, there’s that). Jyn shows more than a few of the butt-kicking characteristics and survivalist tendencies of the central figure in the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Other theories run that Skywalker is Rey’s father. Or … maybe … not, that’s too complicated.

9. Forest Whitaker

He appears to be a guru of sorts to Jyn: It’s Whitaker who asks Jyn what she’ll become if she keeps fighting. But he’s no Obi-Wan. The Force isn’t mentioned at all in the “Rogue One” trailer, and Whitaker’s warnings seem to come from a less spiritual place. Just whose side he’s on isn’t clear, but this clearly isn’t his first battle. Whitaker looks battle weary.

Watch the full trailer below: