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Rogue One (2016) Teaser Trailer Reaction & Review

The teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped this morning, and I certainly am not alone in saying that it looks like the depiction of the universe that fans wanted to see back in 1999.

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The Force Awakens was an event in 2015, one that will be in the hearts and minds of Star Wars fans for a long time (at least, until Episode VIII comes out). But TFA took the Star Wars universe and expanded it linearly. Rogue One is planning to expand horizontally—which is to say, within the already established timeline of the original trilogy—and that, in my opinion, is a more risky feat to try and achieve.

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This trailer eased my worries about this film. We get an establishment of Felicity Jones’ chracter, Jyn Erso, who we see and hear about committing crimes against the Empire. Beyond this, we don’t get a lot of character introductions beyond a Forest Whitaker voiceover (sounds like he’s filling the obligatory enlightened guru role) and a lot of images of actors giving the camera looks. Still, seeing an evil Ben Mendelsohn decked out in chic Empire white is enough to get me excited. Mendelsohn plays a mean villain.

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And then there’s Mon Mothma (Mon Mothma! Come on, that’s pretty cool.) Fun little easter egg: the actress portraying Mon Mothma here is the same one who portrayed Mon Mothma in Episode III in a scene eventually cut out of the finished film.

No, it isn’t character that is most fascinating in this trailer for Rogue One. It is spectacle. I mean, seeing AT-AT behemoths trudging through exotic landscapes again is purely exhilarating. Rebel soldiers running from Stormtroopers, being captured by them, clearly on the defensive as Erso exacts a plan to get the Death Star plans that were so pivotal to the start of the original trilogy. It’s an exciting premise that is now backed up by exciting footage. Here’s hoping that the full film is equally exciting.

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This film really feels like it’s putting the “Wars” in Star Wars. This is not a Jedi space opera. This is a full-fledged skirmish between Rebels and Empire, Battlefront style. That sounds like a good movie to me.

The one thing glaringly missing from the trailer is Darth Vader (unless he is the black cloaked figure in that chamber with the Imperial Guards). I think this is a good choice. When we get a second trailer, I have a strong feeling we will see him, but I feel his role in this film is going to be limited enough that he should be saved for the film itself.

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What did you think of the Rogue One trailer? Are you more excited for the film now, or did it leave you disappointed? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thanks for reading!

—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

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