In December, ‘Star Wars’ mania erupted in an unprecedented frenzy as not only did fans get the first new flick in the series in ten years, they got the first GREAT one in over thirty! Devotees flocked to the movie repeatedly and snapped up merchandising at amazing speeds. For adults who grew up with the films, this was the dream of a lifetime, while kids attached themselves to their ‘Star Wars’.
Now with ‘The Force Awakens’ coasting onto DVD and Blu-Ray, fans are chilled out and relaxing in the afterglow. But don’t get too comfy just yet! To coincide with the home video release of ‘The Force Awakens’ Disney/LucasFilm LTD have released the first glimpse of the next ‘Star Wars’ epic, ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’! The film is due in December and is the first anthology film in the brand’s history– a tale that touches on the existing ‘Star Wars’ universe, but that isn’t a direct part of the three trilogies.
Now that the teaser is available to watch (over and over again), what did we learn from this clip?
This story takes place prior to ‘A New Hope’ with the first Death Star under construction. We are introduced to the film’s lead, Jyn Erso played by Felicity Jones, who quickly establishes that she is not one to follow directions. “This is a rebellion,” she declares defiantly, “I rebel.”
It appears that her comment is directed at Mon Mothma, the Rebel leader seen coordinating the attack on the Death Star in ‘A New Hope’. Mon Mothma’s appearance should thrill old-school fans as she was something of an enigma in that film. Not much is ever revealed about her (although I’m sure her Wiki entry is pages and pages long, filled with backstory, as is the norm for obscure ‘Star Wars’ characters) so it should be a treat to get a little more insight into her and any other original trilogy characters that may pop up.
We also get a glimpse of an Asian samurai played by Donnie Yen because even in a galaxy far, far away, stereotypes persist. Less prominent is Diego Luna as another Rebel character.
We are also introduced to a new Imperial leader played by Ben Mendelsohn, although we don’t know who he is yet. He is dramatically draped in all white complete with a long cloak that puts Vader’s to shame.
Toward the end of the clip, we get the coolest shot of an AT-AT in action ever. While clearly the vehicles are designed based on some kind of animal, in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ they are just stiff and lumbering. This one actually looks like its alive, like some kind of robotic dinosaur.
All in all, this should be a fun excursion. Since it doesn’t tie into the main storyline, don’t expect the looming, dramatic story arcs. This actually looks to be more of a stand-alone action/heist flick. (Although if it does well enough, Disney will certainly provide sequels.)
As for my own reactions, overall, it was certainly cool. There’s still a magical, surreal feeling of seeing new ‘Star Wars’ movies and this one, even though it’s more of a spinoff, is still firmly grounded in that reality.
I thought the samurai bit was not only stereotypical but jarring as samurai are from Earth. Of course, there could be other warrior-types in ‘Star Wars’ but Yen’s appearance is too much like an Earth samurai in appearance and fighting style. It took me out of the fantasy for a second.
I hate to be negative, but Jones’ Jyn Erso worries me. I’m just concerned that following Rey, another young tough, outsider female lead may feel unoriginal. Jyn seems more rebellious and assertive, but I do see some similarities and to be honest, I also see some similarities to Katniss Everdeen. ‘Star Wars’ is too major a force to have to crib from other sources… especially itself.
But one thing I do want to point out is that clearly Rey is “the new Luke Skywalker.” With her outlaw ways, does that make Jyn “the new Han Solo?” Think about it!
What do you think? How would you rate the new ‘Rogue One’ teaser? Does it make you more or less excited about this anthology film?
Directed by Gareth Edwards, ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ stars Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, and Jiang Wen and will fly into theaters on December 16th, 2016.
Source: USA Today
Jason wonders if any movie will bring in a young Willrow Hood. Follow him on Twitter.