Darth Vader returns in final trailer for Star Wars spin-off, ‘Rogue One’

Disney released the final trailer and poster for first their Star Wars spin-off, ‘Rogue One,’ early Thursday.

‘Godzilla’ director, Gareth Edwards’ latest film, ‘Rogue One’ pits a group of rebel bandits against the galactic Empire in order to steal the plans for the Death Star.  The film acts as a prequel to the original trilogy: ‘A New Hope’, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, and ‘Return of the Jedi’.

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The trailer places the spotlight on franchise newcomers, Felicity Jones and Diego Luna, as original characters, Jyn Erso and Captain Cassian Andor, though also tickles the fancy of longtime fans with an appearance from the galaxy’s most formidable foe — Darth Vader, who will once again be voiced by James Earl Jones.

Confirmation of Erso’s parentage being that of a character named “Galen,” played by Mads Mikkelsen of ‘Hannibal’-fame, was also displayed in the trailer.  Mikkelsen’s character is the scientist behind the creation of the Death Star, and is said to be inspired by J. Robert Oppenheimer, who created the atomic bomb.

The theatrical poster was released alongside the trailer, featuring a style very similar to that of famed poster artist, Drew Struzan, the man behind the iconic one-sheets of Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and of course, Star Wars.

On top of this, eight character posters were released via the official Star Wars Twitter account, featuring the seven primary rebels, and the villainous Director Krennic.

“It feels different,” says Star Wars fanboy, Kyle McGuire, “this isn’t just another Star Wars movie, this is something new and fresh.”

CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, made clear that the studio does not expect the spin-off be as financially successful as box-office behemoth, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ which is currently the highest grossing domestic film of all-time.

The studio describes the December release as a war film akin to the ‘Dirty Dozen,’ separating itself from the main franchise which, apart from having the word “Wars” in the title, mainly has roots in the sci-fi/adventure genre.

Rumblings of the film feeling too distant from the other installments in the franchise surfaced when writer for The Hollywood Reporter, Borys Kit, revealed in May that ‘Rogue One’ would be undergoing reshoots to make it feel more organic and “fun.”

Reshoots are typical for the modern blockbuster, but Jason Ward of MakingStarWars.net provides that roughly 40 per cent of the film was to be reshaped under writer of the Bourne movies, Tony Gilroy, to the liking of the studio.

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Director Gareth Edwards, who made a name for himself with the indie flick, ‘Monsters’ in 2010, which made almost eight and a half times its budget, went on to direct the 2014-reboot of ‘Godzilla’ for Legendary Pictures.  Just six days after the movie’s May release, Edwards landed the Star Wars gig from Lucasfilm parent company, Disney Pictures.

Disney plans to release a Star Wars film every year, alternating between episodic and spin-off stories.  Succeeding ‘Rogue One’ is ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII,’ which is set to premier in December of 2017 under the helm of ‘Looper’ director, Rian Johnson.

‘Rogue One’ also stars Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, and Alan Tudyk.  

The Star Wars story hits theaters December 16th, 2016.

Story by Joe Steiner, @Interestein

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