We at it again! This December, the first standalone Star Wars movie will be released: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The first trailer dropped, and wow was it nice.
A little background on what’s going on. Since Disney knows they can make so much money off the Star Wars name, they’ve decided to release a new series of movies that will be known as the “Anthology” films – standalone movies that explore other characters and time periods than what we’re seeing in the Episodes.
The general idea is pretty concerning. Star Wars movies go from being special events to becoming annualized flicks that can be milked until the end of time. The next Anthology film will tell the tale of young Han Solo, and following that is one on Boba Fett. Those have a serious risk of being shit. When you have a new actor playing one of the most iconic characters of all time in Han Solo, things can get mighty corny and crappy. The Boba Fett movie could be fine since he did largely nothing in his movie appearances, but the cash grab is real and scary.
But before those, we have Rogue One – the story of how the Rebels acquired the plans to the first Death Star. Rather than a shitty prequel filled with boring intergalactic politics like Episodes I-III, we are getting a cool, action-packed prequel that leads right into A New Hope. How do we know it will be cool and action-packed? Well, we really don’t. But the trailer makes it seem that way.
Since we live in the age where less than two minutes of footage matters so much, Disney gave us enough of a taste to throw the hype into overdrive. We are introduced to Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. She is some kind of intergalactic ass kicker and a rebel soldier. We see her whoop some butt and talk tough and it is all nifty.
And who do we see talking to Jyn? None other than Mon Mothma – the first of what will likely be a million original trilogy characters we see in this. Of course, it was in planning to destroy the second Death Star when Mon Mothma finally showed up and delivered her one memorable line. But this shows us that she was a big wig in the Rebel Alliance long before many Bothans had to die.
We also see the rest of Jyn’s team, including IP MAN putting the hurt on some stormtroopers. And we see that the Rebels are, like the Big Lebowski, racially pretty cool. This trailer reminded me of the racist backlash over the first Force Awakens trailer, where we saw there are black stormtroopers. I am sure people are mad about this like, “How dare Disney make another Star Wars movie with a woman protagonist? How dare they make a movie about a team of Rebels that isn’t led by a white man?” People are lame.
But you know what isn’t lame? Ben Mendelsohn is in this movie. Look at this fucking guy’s cape:
I’m not sure what his deal is, but it is clear he is leading some kind of evil Imperial force. Look at that fucking cape, though. White outfits and capes are sick, so I am glad they put this all together with the guy who got his head crushed by Bane.
And what of Darth Vader? There are rumors he will appear in this movie, which could be extremely bad or kind of neat. Again, when you start throwing in these established, iconic characters (and in this case the most famous character in the franchise) things have serious potential to come across as corny and a desperate excuse to make new merchandise with him on it.
It doesn’t look like we get to see him here. We see a cloaked figure kneeling near the Imperial Guard, but Vader wouldn’t have a cloak pulled up over his head probably.
People say they hear Vader breathing underneath the final words of the trailer, but I honestly don’t hear it. Maybe it is just my computer speakers. It definitely sounds like an echo or something, but I don’t hear Vader at all.
But what we do see and hear is that piece of garbage Forest Whitaker. I fucking hate Forest Whitaker and his stupid eye. One of my great joys in life was watching Vic Mackey proverbially piss all over him on The Shield. Whitaker’s “This guy” rant is one of the great TV moments, but not because he’s such a good actor. It is great to see Vic totally dominate him because Forest Whitaker is annoying as shit.
One thing we didn’t see in this trailer – understably since it is a teaser – is the rumored digital re-creation of Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin. Could just be a wild rumor, but if we live in a world with Michael Jackson and Tupac holograms then there has to be a way to bring the man back.
But all in all this trailer was sweet. We don’t know much other than there are some Rebels going after the plans for the Death Star, and it didn’t look crappy. Of course, that doesn’t mean anything since this movie could still totally suck ass, but for the moment things are looking up.
And things are looking perilous for wallets come September. Back in February it was announced that Rogue One would be getting a Force Friday celebration like we had last year. For the uninitiated, Force Friday is when retailers open at midnight to unleash the new toys on the world. Last year it served as my reminder that life is nothing but agony.
Following the release of the trailer, they sought to get nerds even more excited by revealing the package design for the Rogue One toys. I’m not sure why I’m supposed to be pumped about this but here is what it looks like:
Ok then. All that matters to me is that Ip Man and Ben Mendelsohn are going to have their own Star Wars figures. I wasn’t sold on Force Friday for this flick before, but seeing Ip Man whoop some ass and Mendelsohn’s cape has me ready. I am there at midnight again. I’m not going to approach this with the same sense of self-loathing exhibited in last year’s Force Friday report. I’ll be there, my crew will be first in line again and it is going to rule.
Will the movie rule? Time will tell. But right now, it is looking like it could be a solid entry into the Star Wars canon.