The second official trailer for the upcoming film Rogue One has been released today – here are my thoughts.
Rogue One looks to be set somewhere before or during A New Hope. From the beginning of the trailer, the tone is set for perhaps a grittier film than Star Wars fans are used to, and it seems to be running with the idea that the main character may simply be a cog in the machine, that is, of the rebellion against the Empire. Sadly, I don’t think that this is the direction that the film will go in; instead, I predict that the storyline will be more like a ‘zero to hero’ scenario, much like the rest of the franchise: Tried, true, and safe.
There are various cameos of recognisable characters and locations, which smacks of a fan service attitude. It’s almost certain there will be small references and tidbits to make the fans squeal. However, if it were to do this, a balance must be struck between nostalgia and bringing fresh ideas and storytelling to the table. There is also the issue of the many planned sequels and prequels: Will the film only exist to set up more films in the franchise, like a lot of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or will it be a satisfying standalone film?
Cynicism aside, Rogue One is visually the best Star Wars film to date, with impressive blends of practical effects and CGI. I hope that emphasis is put on the practical side as it was in The Force Awakens, because it makes for a much more believable and engaging world. The scrips is in capable hands, featuring strong acting talent in the form of Mads Mikkelsen as Galen and Felicity Jones as Jyn. Based on the trailer, I’m optimistic about this film.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in cinemas on December 16.