The new Star Wars movie trailer debuted last week but we’ve been so busy we only just got time to do a breakdown on it. While it is the first theatrically released Star Wars movie that isn’t part of the main saga, it’s not like Star Wars hasn’t done standalone stories before. Tons of books and comics have explored what life is like for the non-Jedi, non-Skywalker folks living in this galaxy. And there’ve been those Ewok TV movies. Still, this is the first big-budget theatrically released Star Wars movie to focus on something different. Vincent and Chris break it down and figure out who is playing who.
Chris: So. Felicity Jones is playing someone named Jyn Erso. Only a real Star Wars nerd like me would find this confusing, but it sounds a lot like Jan Ors, the pilot/sidekick to Kyle Katarn in the old Dark Forces and Jedi Knight video games. Anyway, not the same character or related in any way. This movie takes place right before Star Wars, aka Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. Which we can tell by the Rebel uniforms and this shot of Jyn as a prisoner in what appears to be their base on Yavin that we saw back in that first Star Wars movie.
Vincent: Now, I’m not having a problem with any of this, but I’ve seen people who don’t know Star Wars at all a bit confused by when this movie happens. While I think it’s very cool that they are going to do side stories like they do for comics and games, it’s a bit different when it comes to a live action, big budget movie.
Vincent: You know what’s funny? I don’t even like the design of the Rebel troopers from A New Hope, but I got super excited when I saw that guy. And it looks like Yavin base. While they could pull a switcharoo and it be a base that’s similar, in A New Hope there’s one rebel base they refer to and it’s on Yavin… though I guess it could be on Dantooine.
Chris: Yeah, it’s definitely their Yavin base. Look at that old stone temple structure. Love seeing the Gonk droid, too.
Vincent: I too love the Gonk. Ladies love the Gonk. Everybody loves the Gonk. Man, that sounds like a song.
Chris: You know, translucent grids look cool but they’ve always struck me as hard to focus on. You see people moving around behind your battle plans. What a hassle.
Vincent: I squinted for a minute and I thought this was JLaw.
Vincent: Hot damn, she’s so close to Mon Mothma that I thought they were using some CGI trick.
Chris: It’s very cool to see Rebel leader Mon Mothma, but I also question how smart it is to bring a renegade this close to your leader. Like, why not have her in a prison cell with Mon Mothma on the other side, or use a video monitor or something?
Vincent: We learn that Mon Mothma has the force in this movie and she sensed her feelings.
Chris: This is Diego Luna. I don’t know what his character’s name is, though he seems to ostensibly be the Rebel leader for Jyn’s covert mission. I think his Star Wars name should still be Diego Luna. It sounds plenty Star Warsy.
Vincent: Hell yeah, it’s a great Star Wars name. I’d forgive them if they named the character the same as the actor on this one.
Chris: The most interesting thing to me is that droid in the background. I’m convinced that’s the motion-capture character that Alan Tudyk is playing. I bet he’s funny. I wonder what kind of personality he’ll have? Supposedly he’s a reprogrammed Imperial droid of some sort.
Vincent: I imagine he’s the source of tons of hilarious physical comedy, but in reality he’s probably an HK-47 type (the assassin droid from Old Republic).
Chris: Fists on helmets looks painful. But look at Jyn take out, like, five Stormtroopers. Who needs the Force?
Vincent: Maybe she knows that martial arts form from that terrible Star Wars fighting game?
Chris: Teräs Käsi.
Vincent: Let me just say here that it’s super awesome to see original Stormtroopers on screen getting their asses kicked.
Chris: “It’s a trap!” No idea who is in the foreground but I’m guessing it’s a Rebel since the Stormtroopers are the ones getting boomed. The planet sure looks desert-y. I guess it’s a mandatory requirement of any Star Wars film.
Chris: I’m pretty sure that’s Felicity Jones and Diego Luna diving for cover. I hope they add a bunch of digital Stormtroopers into the sky for the Special Edition some day. It’s just not busy enough yet.
Vincent: Criticize Stormtrooper armor all you want, but it’s certainly great at keeping your limbs attached during an explosion. Seriously, those guys should just be arms and legs up in the air there.
Chris: Genevieve O’Reilly played a young Mon Mothma in Star Wars III. She really looks perfect here. Although I would suggest Mon Mothma consider changing her clothes once in a while. Does she wear that muumuu for the next 7 years?
Vincent: I’d argue that it’s not exactly a muumu, since it doesn’t have bright colors which is part of the definition of one, but I’m too lazy to ask my girlfriend who is a professional costume designer and is in the next room exactly what kind of dress that is.
Chris: Since Jyn doesn’t seem to be handcuffed here, I guess she’s probably being transported to her mission.
Vincent: Could be a flashback, before she learned to rebel.
Chris: So it seems that Jyn and the team she’s on is being tasked with getting the plans for the initial Death Star. That’s a good premise. Without them, Luke’s fantastic torpedo shot wouldn’t have done much since he’d just be guessing where to shoot. But we don’t know which Rebels live or die on this mission even if it’s successful. Pretty cool.
Vincent: That’s exactly my thoughts, Chris. Some people have said, “Ugh we already know how it ends.” Yeah, you know how WWII ends so why set a movie during that war or any conflict where you know the end of the war. There are a million stories in each war, especially in Star Wars that consists of an entire galaxy.
Also, Mother fucking Star Destroyers!
Chris: If you need to quickly lay down some exposition at the beginning of a movie, use a British thespian to lend weight. Alistair Petrie as a Rebel general? Check.
Vincent: I thought only bad guys were British.
Chris: Looks like this is the initial version of the Rogue One team. Felicity Jones and Diego Luna and a bunch of no-names. No aliens in this team? How speciest.
Vincent: Chris, they don’t have enough money in the budget for that. It’s a small budget Star Wars movie, after all, not Guardians of the Galaxy.
Chris: Right. One of those modest $150 million affairs. Though I will say that director Gareth Edwards made Monsters look incredible and that was a legit low-budget movie. So this should probably look incredible.
Chris: Holy crap, I love the look of Ben Mendelsohn as an Imperial Admiral. I mean, this is what Admiral Thrawn dressed like, but I figured that was gone once the new movies essentially wrote over all those Expanded Universe books and games. But they kept this look. What do you think he’s doing here? Posing for a portrait?
Vincent: This is the type of guy that got promoted within the Empire because he looked super cool. Yes, he’s posing for effect. It’s what he does and he’s good at his job, damn it!
Chris: Classic Stormtroopers. Love it. New vehicle. Hasbro and Lego love it.
Vincent: Looks like another driver type to pack in with the vehicle toy. Love how this confirms on screen that the Empire had small tanks. The EU has had to make them up for decades.
Chris: Here’s Forest Whitaker. He appears to be playing some sort of bounty hunter. He’s got a limp. And he monologues the rest of the trailer.
Vincent: Love Forest Whitaker. So glad to see him in this.
Vincent: This is a new Stormtrooper. Again, more toy fodder. Who do you think this is?
Chris: I bet that’s Captain Phasma’s dad. Which means his armor came from, I don’t know, Anakin’s first pod racer melted down.
Vincent: Makes sense to me!
Chris: Looks like the Rebel team gets captured. I bet it’s early on and they form a new team of bounty hunters and misfits. I’m not basing that on much other than the folks we see in the next several shots. And it’d be cool.
Vincent: I’d say 90% of these guys are seriously boned.
Vincent: That shoulder holster and vest is giving me a case of the nostalgias.
Chris: I wonder if this is an Imperial base on a new planet or if they’re literally on the Death Star?
Chris: Lots of Stormtroopers. Including some that look darker. I can’t tell what their specialty is but they may be carrying heavier weapons.
Vincent: They kind of look like Scouts maybe. They’re probably the heavy weapons guys that we never saw for some reason in the originals.
Vincent: They don’t want to have lightsabers in the movie, so they use the next best thing, sticks.
Chris: While Obi-Wan Kenobi was essentially a space samurai, it looks like that’s what Donnie Yen is, minus the Force. Still, he handily beats up some Stormtroopers with a stick and that’s plenty cool to me. He starts out surrounded, so I bet he’s a wanted outcast.
Chris: New Star Wars movie = new planet. While the focus is on the blowing up base or transport ship, I like how it looks like Hawaii. Space Hawaii!
Vincent: That shuttle looks a lot like Kylo Ren’s ship. I bet they’re made by the same maker of evil space ships.
Chris: It’s easy to look cool walking around a battleground in a cape. Not as cool? The briny stains on that cape about 20 minutes later.
Vincent: You kidding? That 20 minutes later is when he dramatically throws off the cape. Or he wraps it around one of his dying soldiers in the movie moment meant to show you he has feelings too. It’s all part of the plan.
Chris: Okay, so the Imperial Guards imply this is a transmission from the Emperor. But who’s the guy in the foreground? He has a hood. Darth Vader with a slightly different look? That’d be cool. Snoke from Force Awakens? Someone new?
Vincent: I’m leaning toward another assassin…. maybe go into Snoke… but more likely: A) New evil guy that gets killed off. B) Darth Vader somehow.
Vincent: Man, he’s bulky. I hope that armor is at least slightly better than Stormtrooper armor.
Chris: I really like Forest Whitaker’s look. They could have wrapped him up like Dengar or put makeup all over him. Instead, he’s just a guy that looks like he’s been in a lot of battles.
Chris: Chinese actor/director Wen Jiang. Could be a bounty hunter of some sort.
Vincent: He looks like a man who has seen some shit.
Vincent: This is pretty much the type of thing I’d pretend while playing Star Wars outside when I was a kid.
Chris: I love the chaos and the scale of this. Just running around while Imperial Walkers shoot at you? That seems a bit intimidating.
Chris: Money shot of Jyn Erso looking like a badass in an Imperial uniform. I’m assuming it’s a disguise. So maybe tonally this movie is a bit of a heist? That’d be unique and fun.
Vincent: You know, I wonder if they’ll even have to go to the Death Star to get the plans. They could be housed at some secondary facility. But who knows. If they go to the Death Star I can only imagine that they get away and then are chased after they leave. Hard to believe that two different sets of Rebels would be “knocking about” inside the Death Star shooting the place up at different times.
Chris: It comes out in December. I think I’ll see it. Will youuuu?
Vincent: Are you asking me or the person reading this? Because you know I’m going to see it. Oh wait, Chris’s finger is pointed at you, the reader.