(I know that Rogue One isn’t scheduled to be released until December, but I couldn’t hold my thoughts in any longer!)
When Disney announced their plans to release a new Star Wars film every single year, I was understandably skeptical. The release of a Star Wars film was meant to be a special event, and if a new film came out every year there would be a huge risk of over-exposing the product and subsequently ruining it. As a result, when the first images for Rogue One were announced, I initially didn’t pay any attention.
Then the first teaser trailer for Rogue One was released. And that changed EVERYTHING for me.
I’d decided to watch the teaser out of curiosity and before I knew it, there I was, back on the edge of my seat, just like with The Force Awakens. In case you don’t know, here is the gist of Rogue One: The story follows Jyn Erso, a woman recently recruited into the Rebel Alliance, who is tasked with leading a team that will steal the plans for the soon-to-be-completed Death Star. These are the same Rebel spies alluded to in the opening crawl of Episode IV, placing the events of Rogue One just before the start of A New Hope.
When the full trailer finally released during the recent Olympic Games in Rio, excitement for the film exploded all over again, and it will be interesting to see how Disney continues to build the excitement in the final months leading up to the premiere.
So far, the visuals for this film look absolutely STUNNING. I love the look of Scarif (the tropical planet with the AT-ATs seen in the previews). The film (judging from the previews) has the look and feel of the original trilogy. And that’s a good thing: the over CGI-d look of the prequel trilogy is part of the reason it was so badly received. One of my favorite shots so far is the brief image of the Death Star orbiting over a large planet (I believe it’s been identified as Jedha). The following shot of the Death Star blocking out the sun gave me goosebumps (and probably doesn’t bode well for the planet if I had to take a wild guess).
The casting looks phenomenal as well: according to imdb.com, Rogue One includes a number of actors who have already appeared in Star Wars. Jimmy Smits is reprising his role of Bail Organa (Leia’s adoptive father); Genevieve O’Reilly reprises her role as a younger Mon Mothma (a role that would’ve appeared in Episode III except those scenes were cut); Warwick Davis (the Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi) is returning in another role and in the biggest news of all, James Earl Jones is returning to voice Darth Vader. That’s right, the Dark Lord of the Sith is going to be making an appearance. What exactly this will look like has been the topic of endless speculation, but we have been assured that Vader will show up at a “critical moment.”
Now musically, Rogue One will be very different, because this is the first Star Wars film to be scored by anyone other than John Williams. I’m not terribly worried because Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel; Argo; The Imitation Game) is a wonderful composer, but it will still be odd to have a score created by someone other than Williams. I have no doubt that Desplat’s score will be heavily influenced by the themes already created for the Star Wars universe (as it would be utter madness to not musically link Rogue One to the other films).
One detail that concerns me is that the film will (allegedly) have no opening crawl. I feel like that’s wrong, as it would set Rogue One apart from the other seven Star Wars films. I understand that the anthology films are considered stand-alones, but I think they should still have an opening crawl, to maintain a sense of visual continuity (these films do all take place in the same universe after all). But this is really a small concern in the big scheme of things: I have a feeling that Rogue One is going to impress just as much as The Force Awakens did last year, if not more.
Are you also excited about the upcoming release of Rogue One? Do you think it might do even better than The Force Awakens? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think 🙂