Let’s Break Down the New Rogue One Trailer

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We know, we know — this is getting a little ridiculous. How many Star Wars trailer analyses can the internet take before it bends and breaks under the weight of geek-hegemony hype? But bear with us, as the new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer appeared earlier today and has a surprising amount of new imagery. Fire up your U-wing and cruise along with us as we take a gander at some of the relevant screenshots.

As Pynchon said, “A screaming comes across the sky.” That there is an Imperial shuttle, jetting its little self above a shoreline. One might be inclined to think we’re looking at the tropical planet of Scarif, but the next shot undermines such a conclusion. A cheesy version of John Williams's “Force Theme” plays. Above the shuttle are, of course, chemtrails. Don’t believe what the mainstream media tells you, folks.

The shuttle lands a somewhat inexplicable distance away from its riders’ destination. Mads Mikkelsen’s character, unkempt scientist Galen Erso, stands in the foreground. The folks trotting toward him are Imperial dudes led by Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). Galen and Orson used to be friends, but don’t appear to be on the best of terms by this point. Whatever the Ersos’ planet of residence is, it ain’t tropical.

Orson’s entourage consists of elite Stormtroopers known as Death Troopers. A little on-the-nose, no?

Galen comforts his wee daughter, Jyn. She’ll grow up to be the movie’s protagonist. For her sake, I hope she didn’t inherit her pop's overactive sweat glands.

Orson and Galen have a little tête-à-tête. Given that the latter has gone missing by the time the main events of the film take place, this might be the prelude to some kind of arrest or kidnapping. Gotta love the director’s jaunty little Imperial cap.

*record scratch* *freeze frame* Yep, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation. Felicity Jones plays an adult Jyn who’s found herself in an Imperial prison. She shares a cell with what I can only presume is a Cthulhu. We don’t get a great look at the prison, but I wonder whether it’s the same one that was introduced in the recent Star Wars comic story line “Rebel Jail.” I could absolutely be wrong.

Here’s an Imperial Star Destroyer looming, Trump-like, above the surface of Jedha. It’s a planet that’ll play a key role in the movie, one that’s unusually strong in the Force and where the Jedi used to have an important headquarters. This shot is a continuation of the post-Disney Star Wars motif of images of spaceships within a planet’s atmosphere.

Diego Luna’s character, Rebellion intelligence agent Cassian Andor, busts Jyn out in a little Come with me if you want to live moment. He’s giving Orson a run for his money in the hat department. The shot's nearly identical in composition to the one of Galen talking to Jyn, for whatever that's worth.

Okay, this is pretty rad. That appears to be an Argonath-esque statue of a Jedi on Jedha (perhaps the alliteration is a bit much there, Lucasfilm). It’s been toppled and half-buried, possibly as part of an Imperial campaign to go full Taliban on Light Side monuments.

Galen’s back. Orson needs the man’s smarts for the construction of the Death Star and Galen’s mandarin-collared jacket suggests he may or may not have turned to the side of the Empire. All that really matters is that it’s a water-slicked Mads Mikkelsen. How do you say “Ay, papi” in Danish?

That’s no moon.

Riz Ahmed’s nervous Rebel Bodhi Rook announces that the words rogue and one are involved in the plot of the movie, undermining the speculation that director Gareth Edwards didn’t really have any idea why his movie is called that.

This is probably a shot of Darth Vader being reflected on a spotless Death Star floor, but I prefer to believe he’s just cribbing his workout routine from Agent Dale Cooper.

What good is a Star Wars movie if it doesn’t have a bad guy overenunciating the word power?

A motley crew of Rebels debate strategy.

An AT-ST (All-Terrain Scout Transport) blasts its way through a Jedha street. Street traffic will be a nightmare for the rest of the day.

Here come the erstwhile feet of the weary Clone War veteran Saw Gerrera, played by Forest Whitaker. The character first appeared in the cartoon Star Wars: The Clone Wars, so let’s hear it for brand synergy!

A ragtag group of Rebels and Rebel affiliates get a pep talk in a troop transport or drop ship of some kind. Donnie Yen’s character, blind warrior monk Chirrut Îmwe, is feeling it, dude.

Okay, now we’re on Scarif. The Empire seems to be taking cues from the architecture of the Ryugyong Hotel with that base.

Isn’t this adorable? Cassian, Jyn, and droid K-2SO (voiced by the eternally charming Alan Tudyk) play Imperial dress-up for some kind of infiltration. We saw Jyn in a helmetless version of her getup in the first trailer.

Not sure what nonhuman race this dude is from, but he doesn’t look Imperial. Mayhap he leads a band of Jedha highwaymen? Perhaps he’s first cousin to an Ood?

See what I mean about putting spaceships close to the ground? Some Rebel X-wings and Imperial TIE fighters shoot it out above a rainy spot, presumably the one we saw Galen in a while back.

Chirrut is a five-time champion in the Galactic Olympics’ Blind Crossbow category.

X-wings shoot up some kind of circular orbital space station. Cue up “The Blue Danube.”

Me when Seamless gets my order wrong.

What in the world is going on here? Did someone pop in footage from Mad Max: Fury Road?

You already know what’s going on here, so I’ll leave you with a fun fact: Darth Vader’s helmet was partially based on the Teutonic helmets in Sergei Eisenstein’s Soviet classic Alexander Nevsky! Pop culture is a rich tapestry, folks.