A whole new world will be unveiled this month, as director Gareth Edwards brings us the first part of the Star Wars Anthology series, Rogue One. Starring the likes of Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen and Forest Whitaker, this film is going to launch a whole new chapter for the Star Wars universe.
For the first time we will see what happened between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, while the galaxy was ruled over the Tyranny of the Empire, and terrorised by Darth Vader.
Before the release of episode seven, The Force Awakens, it had been ten years since we had had a new Star Wars film, and 32 years since we had a new Star Wars film that was actually good.
The announcement of episodes seven, eight, nine and three Anthology movies reawakened and excited fans. With J.J. Abrams directing The Force Awakens, everything was looking good, and fans were, for the most part, not disappointed.
Standing at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes (RT), The Force Awakens is undeniably a great movie. Filled with interesting new characters, and the brilliant original characters, there were few complaints.
However, some fans criticised its use of slap-stick humour and how closely it actually mirrors A New Hope. Next up in the Anthology series is an untitled standalone movie about legendary smuggler and captain Han Solo, starring Alden Ehrereich as the main man himself. Not much is known about this movie yet, but it’ll be coming to screens in 2018.
But now we look to Rogue One, a completely new story. Telling the tale of the young rebel Jyn Erso (Jones) who has been recruited by the Rebel Alliance in the wake of the formation of the Galactic Empire. The Alliance’s goal is to steal the plans and schematics of the Empires’ new super weapon, the Death Star.
This premise is actually very bleak, considering we know that the Death Star does go onto be built anyway. We can therefore assume that Rogue One may not have a happy ending. Conflict is promised between good and evil, and in Jyn, as she learns that her father, Galen Erso (Mikkelsen) is crucial to the Empire in building the Death Star.
Coming from director Gareth Edwards, we can expect good things. He debuted as a movie director when Monsters came into our lives in 2010, which was received well by critics and currently stands at 72% on RT. His next movie, Godzilla was a 2014 remake of the 1998 classic of the same name. Edwards’ Godzilla also starred Breaking Bad’s amazing Bryan Cranston, which is always a credit to any movie.
Before 2010, Edwards had a few television directing gigs, in Perfect Disaster and Heroes and Villains. Before all of that, he directed docu-drama End Days for the BBC in 2005. With a pretty good track record in directing, and some amazing trailers, we can expect not to be let down by Rogue One this month.
Speaking of trailers, what do we actually see? Well, in the first Rogue One trailer, released by the Star Wars YouTube channel back in August, we heard a haunting piano cover of the Imperial March and we are told that “Imperial flags reign across the Galaxy.” Jyn meets and teams up with Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as she is presented with a mission: finding out how to destroy the Death Star.
In the trailers we see so many new characters (including bad ass Baze Malbus, portrayed by Jiang Wen), Stormtroopers showing the people of the Galaxy what’s up, K-2SO the sassy robot, and members of the Empire brooding and scheming. At the very end of the trailer, we get a shot of Darth Vader from behind, and hear his signature heavy “Darth Breathing.” How could you not get chills?
The second trailer, released on the 13th of October, shows Galen Erso’s devotion to his daughter – “Jyn, whatever I do, I do it to protect you.” We see Jyn rescued from a prison cell, which had been patrolled by Stormtroopers.
She finds out about her father’s role in the building of the Empire’s super weapon, as members of the Rebel Alliance despairin knowing how much power the Empire actually has. Jyn reminds us all that, “Rebellions are built on hope,” and they have that. We even get another glance at old Vader in this trailer.
Visually, Rogue One will not let down. From the trailers, the movie looks absolutely stunning. Shots of forests and cities on different planets, and shots of space are all awe-inspiring.
Of course, music will not let us down either. Composer Michael Giacchino was responsible for the music in Rogue One, and has worked on several other great movies such as Zootopia, Doctor Stranger, Jurassic World and Star Trek.
At this point in time, producers must know what we want when it comes to Star Wars. We had three great original movies then three not so great prequels that fans are still bitching about to this day.
Things so far are looking great, and with The Force Awakens making over two billion dollars in the box office, a brand new Star Wars tale will likely rake in a similar number.
Catch Rogue One in cinemas from the 15th of December.