The new Star Wars trailer, the first of the standalone movies, was released. Or rather the teaser-trailer. The teaser for the trailer for the movie that is coming out in like 8 months. And you know what? I’m giddy.
Rogue One is the first movie of the seven that doesn’t revolve around the Skywalker family, about a young rebel girl tasked with stealing the plans for the Death Star while it is being built. It’s this information, remember, that allows Luke to blow it up in A New Hope. There’s an annoying klaxon that takes up seemingly 30 seconds of the spot, but other than that, it looks really tight. The young hero, played by Felicity Jones, seems suitably badass, and slightly broken (like all heroes should be). There are scenes of rebels being cut down by AT-AT walkers, the woman who plays Mon Mothma looks exactly the same as she did in Jedi (it can’t be the same woman- but it can’t be a different one, can it?). Forrest Whittaker is doing Forrest Whittaker things, but like, in space. They aren’t in the trailer, but Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk are apparently both in the movie. I’m down.
I’m excited about the plot, yeah, but what is most exciting is a better look at the galaxy, a glimpse into the lived reality of the Rebellion, and people living under the nascent and terrifying Empire. There are people who complain that everything in the other movies revolves around the Skywalkers, sometimes through impossible coincidences, but that never bothered me. I like seeing huge stories told through a narrow scope, if it is done well, and I think the movies (4-7) do it well.
But getting into what it is like to have freedom crushed and drained, and to see the people who want to get it back, makes the galaxy more real. It is a place not of magical family ties, but somewhere where people live and die, and a few decide to do so on their own terms. I think the movies always hinted around this, and if done right, Rogue One can bring that fully to the screen.
And man, it just looks great. I love seeing the Death Star come together and the massive Star Destroyers look tiny as they float by it. I love that. I hope the movie has a scene showing the first person proposing the idea. “Well, I don’t think the people will approve of us spending so much building something so massive. Oh, shit- wait! We’re an Empire now. Let’s do it!”