“This is a rebellion isn’t it? … I rebel.” – Jyn Erso
The Rogue One trailer has dropped and it’s absolutely astounding. The action. The danger. The second female protagonist! It’s a pitch perfect recreation of the original trilogy’s style that brings you right back to the depth of universe that made those first films stand out, yet presenting it in a wholly new, fresh perspective that can make it accessible to modern audiences.
What really hits me with this is how amazing it is to see Star Wars as a living franchise. Not only furthering the story with new main series movies, but actually going back into the dirt of it. There’s so much imagery from the original in this trailer, and yet none of it feels referential or derivative. That AT-AT shot, for instance, actually shows their size as terrifying for the first time. You genuinely feel the pressure of living under the Empire’s thumb in this reveal, and the horror of the Death Star as a weapon has never been more omnipresent.
The material feels like an expanded universe story, but brought to life full scale. It’s an innovative and somewhat risky approach for Disney to take with their resurrection of a beloved franchise that looks like it’s about to pay off. Gareth Edwards had already proven his action movie making abilities in Godzilla and from the look of this trailer he’s about to deliver again.
And although trailer music isn’t always indicative of the final product, the score to this teaser gives me rapt anticipation for a Star Wars movie that isn’t about to sound like John Williams for the eighth time.
Ben Mendelsohn looks intimidating as hell in his Imperial suit. Forest Whitaker is grizzled, angry, and desperate. I’m excited as hell to see Felicity Jones follow Daisy Ridley as the second of the franchise’s truly leading ladies. Just give me a quick CGI shot of Peter Cushing as Admiral Tarkin and my ticket is all but sold.