What We Learned From the New Star Wars: Rogue One Trailer

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After hours that felt like weeks, NBC unveiled the latest trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story smack dab in the middle of some quite good Olympic swimming coverage. Many attentive geeks figured it would be the trailer shown to attendees of Star Wars Celebration Europe a few weeks back, which was comprised largely of footage we’d already seen — but that appears not to have been the case. Instead, Star Wars obsessives (and unsuspecting Olympics fans) were rewarded with a decently thrilling tease of what appears to be director Gareth Edwards’s promised war-movie take on the Star Wars galaxy, complete with a ton of new stuff. Let’s, er, dive in.

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As the Imperial March plays, we open on what appears to be the arid planet of Jedha, a site of great importance for the Jedi (who are all but extinct at the time of Rogue One, given that it takes place after the Jedi-cide of Revenge of the Sith) and for the Empire. The working theory in geekdom is that Jedha is where one harvests kyber crystals, which are used to make lightsabers and to make the megalaser for the under-construction Death Star. The four-winged vessels are Imperial transports that are new in this film; the little suckers are good ol’ TIE Fighters.

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Our protagonist, the slightly reformed ne’er-do-well Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. The Rebels imprison her for some reason, but they let her out for some other reason, then they let her go on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star for yet another undisclosed reason.

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This is Saw Gerrera, a grizzled veteran of the prequel-era Clone Wars played by Forest Whitaker. Interestingly, this movie won’t be the character’s first appearance — a much-younger version of him showed up in animated form on the kid-oriented Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series. He’ll be helping the Rebellion out in its quest to get the plans for the Death Star, though one must assume he’ll have a whole “I’m telling you, I’m retired!” rigamarole first.

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A Star Destroyer hovers over Jedha — specifically, what appears to be the walled city we saw in the first shot. I do love the new Star Wars trope of having spaceships fly around in planetary atmospheres.

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English actor Alistair Petrie doesn’t have a character name yet, but he’s a high-ranking Rebellion official of some sort.

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Rebellion leader Mon Mothma, played here by Genevieve O'Reilly, one of the few actors to reprise a role from the prequels (although her scene was cut from the theatrical version of Revenge of the Sith).

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Did it just get hotter in the Galaxy, or is that just me? This here is Diego Luna, playing Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor. He’s tasked with working alongside Erso and will likely end up being her love interest. That bit where they both look at each other and say, “Good”? C’mon.

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This is a new Rebel ship called a U-Wing, not to be confused with NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing.

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Captured Rebels, presumably on Jedha.

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This fearsome gent is Baze Malbus, a mercenary played by Jiang Wen. Not sure what rainswept spot he’s in, but this shot confirms Jiang’s report that Malbus "has a gun, he has a huge gun, he has a weapon, the weapon’s very huge." He’s best buds with …

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… Chirrut Imwe, played by Donnie Yen. Imwe is a “spiritual warrior” who isn’t a Jedi but believes in the Jedi interpretation of the universe as being bound together by the Force. He’s blind, but still effs up a large group of Stormtroopers pretty well here, further proving that Stormtroopers are literally the worst at their jobs.

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We finally get to hear Alan Tudyk as the droid K-2SO. As you’ll notice, he has an Imperial insignia on his shoulder, and he did indeed belong to the Empire before he was taken by the Rebels and reprogrammed. Still into joking (?) about murdering folks, though.

Ben Mendelsohn coming through with that A+ glower and bow-down white cape as Imperial Military Director Orson Krennic. He’s in charge of making sure the Death Star (which we saw earlier in the trailer, but I figure that if you’re reading this post, you know the Death Star) gets completed on time.

Rebels running through the waters of another planet we’re being introduced to in Rogue One, a tropical paradise called Scarif, where they run into not Michael Phelps but ...

… these bad boys: special-ops Stormtroopers known as (dun-dun-dunnn) Death Troopers.

Adorable Riz Ahmed pops up in his role as Bodhi Rook, a former Imperial pilot (perhaps that’s the reason he has an Imperial logo on his shoulder?) who now works for the Rebellion and has a lot of anxiety issues. Same, Bodhi; same.

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Although this metal behemoth looks a lot like one of those AT-ATs from The Empire Strikes Back, it’s actually a cousin to them: It’s an AT-ACT, short for “All Terrain Armored Cargo Transport.” Malbus attacks it with a bazooka, and I swear, if that’s all it takes to bring down one of those things, why the hell did Luke have to go to the trouble of tangling up an AT-AT with a cable from his Snowspeeder in the Battle of Hoth? Yet another case of Hollywood ruining my childhood.

Erso stares down a TIE. No new information here, just thought this shot was pretty rad.

Some indiscernible character who appears to viewing screenshots from a Nintendo Virtual Boy. Get excited.