One of the most remarkable aspects of last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens was how well Disney was able to keep us all in the dark about it before its release. The corporation kept a totalitarian grip on information about the space opera, doling out tidbits at their own preferred pace and suffering very few leaked spoilers. Not so with the upcoming prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Like a plucky rebel stealing the plans to the Death Star, a German Star Wars fan site was apparently able to get its hands on advance preview pages for a companion book tied to the movie, and it has a ton of previously unknown information about the flick’s characters and technology. Unless, of course, this all turns out to be an extremely elaborate bit of Disney-directed disinformation. Spoilers ahead, but you already knew that.
Most of the info has to do with the core cast. Let’s run down the highlights, actor by actor:
- Felicity Jones: as we already knew, she’s playing a character named Jyn Erso, but here we learn that she’s “a highly skilled soldier,” which is the first hint we’ve gotten about her pre-Rebellion profession (though that could just mean she becomes a soldier over the course of the movie).
- Diego Luna: we saw him silently smolder in the first Rogue One trailer, and now we know he’s playing Captain Cassian Andor, “a Rebel Alliance officer.”
- Jiang Wen: he’s playing Baze, a “freelance assassin” who joins up with the band of Rebels.
- Alan Tudyk: according to the site, he’s playing a droid named K-250, but I can’t find evidence of that casting in the page images they provided, so take it with a grain of salt. We do learn that K-250 is an “enforcer droid” (also called a “security droid” in one of the images) built by the Empire who, through means not specified, ends up working alongside the Rebels.
- Riz Ahmed: he’s playing Bodhi, a “Rebel soldier.”
- Donnie Yen: his character is named Chirrut, described simply as a “spiritual warrior.”
- Ben Mendelsohn: he’ll be playing Director Krennic, the “Director of the Imperial Military.” As far as I can tell, that’s the first time that title has popped up in the Star Wars universe, so I don’t really know where that ranks him vis-a-vis Darth Vader. But whatever he does, we can rest assured that he’ll look fabulous while doing it.
- Actor TBD: someone’s playing a large-mouthed CGI creature named Pao, described only as “a fierce warrior.”
- Actor TBD: someone’s playing another non-human, this one a stubby and hairy fellow named Bistan. Like Pao, Bistan is just described as a “fierce warrior.”
Now, on to the other little items spoiled in these pages:
- Those black-clad troopers we saw in the trailer are apparently called “Death Troopers.” Spooky!
- We’ll get introduced to a previously unseen Rebel ship: the “Rebel Starfighter.” These little skiffs are “versatile Rebel Alliance crafts that balance speed with the firepower of proton torpedo launchers.” They look like the bottom part of a forklift with some engines attached.
- We’ll be seeing a new kind of Imperial spacecraft called a “TIE Striker,” which looks like a TIE Fighter with its wings cut in half and shifted around. Its “advanced high-speed wings give a max speed of 1,500 km/h,” which is perhaps the most important spoiler of all.