I don’t know about you, but I had genuinely forgotten that this movie was even coming out. In part, this is probably down to the fact that blockbusters are a bit comic book heavy at the minute – but also because The Force Awakens is out on DVD soon. Perhaps as a conscious effort to distinguish itself from that movie, Rogue One looks like it’s going in a very different direction to Episode 7.
The trailer wastes no time in introducing us to the main character, Jyn Erso – played by The Theory of Everything‘s Felicity Jones – and establishes the fact that Rogue One is a prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy, specifically A New Hope. Erso is your typical orphaned rebel without a cause who we see here being inducted into the Rebellion and tasked with stealing the plans for the Death Star from the Empire. That’s pretty much all we get. There are some clips of Storm Troopers and AT-ATs, and a very brief glimpse of Donnie Yen doing what he does best (seriously – how bad are Storm Troopers at shooting? Donnie beats one up with a stick) but that’s it. Other than that – and Forest Whitaker rambling on about something or other – that’s all we see.
Erso is reminiscent of the main character from Star Wars Rebels (which is surprisingly good, by the way) – and she also somehow reminds me of every character that Jamie Bell has ever played. This former similarity is probably intentional, but if you remind people of Jamie Bell, you’re probably doing something wrong. Again though, only a few seconds of footage here so I guess I shouldn’t be so quick to judge.
The Force Awakens is going to be a tough act to follow, and if anything I applaud this movie for trying to be its own thing. This is the first time that we’re going to see a film outside of the episodic sagas and I am intrigued by that. Despite the fact that I can almost guarantee that Darth Vader will show up at some point, I’m actually looking forward to a Star Wars film that doesn’t focus on the Jedi – there’s not a lightsaber in sight! Having said this, I’m a bit concerned about the tone that the movie seems to be going for. It’s all a bit gritty and monochromatic, quite a stark contrast to the colour and energy of the other films – and that worries me. The Force Awakens was the perfect balance of fun and seriousness, and was thoroughly entertaining as a result – but this just feels too glum and dour. The trailer didn’t make me want to see the movie, basically.
Still, it’s early days yet. Rogue One is out in December so there’s plenty of time for further trailers to get me interested in the film, but as teasers go – this one left me cold. This story has a lot of potential… I just hope that they tell it right.