We’re a bit late on this break down but we can still have fun. The second Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer came out and we can finally get a bit of an idea for the overall plot, figure out where some reshoots took place and see some new vehicles. Let’s break it down!
We open on this dense city. There’s several things we can learn here. First, there is a big temple seen to the far left. This is a type of holy mecca for those who respect the Force. It’s called Jeddah, like Jedi. We also see some four-winged transport ships, TIE Fighters and possibly TIE Strikers. It’s under Imperial control and it’s mountainous but also desert-like, like Tattoine and Jakku.
Here’s Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, who previously was a character on the Clone Wars show. He’s a type of rebel, though not officially with the Rebellion. You can tell this is from the recent reshoots because in the first trailer he had his hair shaved close and now it’s more wild. He wears some sort of mechanical suit. It could be armor but it could also be something like Darth Vader’s suit – something to keep him alive.
He says: “The world is coming undone. Imperial flags reign across the galaxy.”
There’s an Imperial Star Destroyer inside the atmosphere. Never seen that before. Can it just hover like that? So why would the Imperials want to control this holy area? Well, I have a theory. The Jedi lightsabers are focused through a special crystal. Maybe the Imperials are using those same crystals to focus or power the Death Star laser?
Here’s Felicity Jones in front of Mon Mothma, a Rebel general and Diego Luna’s character, Cassian Andor. She’s playing Jyn Erso, who apparently isn’t on the side of the Rebellion but is an outlaw. Not sure what her skill set is that makes her valuable to the Rebellion but they have a specific mission for her.
The general says: “Can you be trusted without your shackles?”
And Jyn replies with a curt: “Let’s just get this over with, shall we?” Not one for much small talk.
We saw this scene in the first trailer, too. The laser dish being attached to the Death Star. The repetition is what makes me think the initial mission has something to do with how that’s powered.
Mon Mothma says to Jyn: “We’ve a mission for you. A major weapons test is imminent. We need to know how to destroy it.”
We then see Cassian talking to Jyn, saying: “If you’re really doing this I want to help.”
They then appear to depart in this spacecraft. It’s not an X-Wing. It’s a transport ship called a U-Wing. The pyramids and forest in the background make me think this is the Rebel base on Yavin IV that we see at the end of the first Star Wars movie.
Neither Cassian nor Jyn are much for long speeches. They nod to one another in the craft.
Over this footage, we hear Cassian explain: “I’ve been recruiting for the rebellion for a long time.”
There is a ship we see in the lower middle of this shot. I think it’s the Rebel Starfighter. It’s weaving between these cliffs seemingly at night or during a big storm. There’s rain and lightning. Not sure where this location is.
This is Chinese actor Jiang Wen, playing a freelance assassin named Baze Malbus. He seems to be an expert with various weapons. We see him shooting a sniper rifle at some Stormtroopers at a base at night. Maybe the same location from the previous screenshot. He says: “You destroyed our home! I defy the Empire now.”
This shot of Stormtroopers on a tank seems to take place on Jeddah. I think that might be where Jyn’s mission begins. The tank commander has a variation of the Stormtrooper gear but the other Stormtroopers look like those we saw in the original trilogy. I like the alien all the way on the left. He seems to have no head!
This is Donnie Yen in that same city. He plays Chirrut Imwe, a blind warrior. He believes in the Force but is not a Jedi. He’s just trained his body to be an amazing fighter. He’s basically the Star Wars version of Zatoichi, the blind samurai character from Japanese literature. He is a total badass, walking up to a pack of Stormtroopers saying: “I fear nothing. All is as the Force wills it.”
Jyn and Cassian appear to have been captured by Stormtroopers and may be saved by Chirrut and this droid, K-2SO, played by Alan Tudyk. He’s a reprogrammed Imperial enforcer droid (note the Imperial insignia on his arm. Sort of a Terminator, actually. He gets a pretty good line here: “The captain says you are a friend… I will not kill you.”
Jyn has a voiceover here saying: “There isn’t much time.”
Meanwhile, the completed Death Star moves over a desert planet. Presumably Jeddah.
The eclipse here is definitely over Jeddah so it’s probably the Death Star. Whatever they needed, they seem to have it. Looks like Jyn’s mission goes south right at the beginning.
We hear more of Jyn’s voiceover: “Every day they grow stronger.”
Meanwhile, we see actor Ben Mendelsohn as Imperial weapons designer guy Orson Krennic. He’s in charge of the Death Star and he looks really mad every time we see him. I guess he’s about to test the Death Star.
Here’s a shot of a bunch of Rebel soldiers and X-Wings in a battle on a tropical planet. There’s several locations in this movie and the order isn’t clear, but Jeddah is probably at the beginning.
Some Stormtroopers on Jeddah being ambushed. Presumably this is when Jyn and Cassian begin recruiting weirdos like Baze or Chirrut or Saw.
This shot is on a ship or in a base. K-2SO has the very C-3PO-esque line: “There is a 97.6% chance of failure.”
A quick shot of these Stormtrooper variants on the tropical planet. I think these are the Death Troopers. Maybe they can actually aim.
And then a reaction shot to K-2SO’s dire odds, followed by Cassian explaining: “He means well.”
This is actor Riz Ahmed (check him out in HBO’s The Night Of; he’s amazing) as former Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook. He appears to be the team’s tech guy.
Another shot of that stormy night area. It looks like a bunch of X-Wings blasting an Imperial facility.
Baze, on that tropical planet, aims a rocket launcher. That’s why I call him the weapons guy.
These look similar to AT-ATs but are apparently known as AT-ACTs because they carry heavy cargo. They’re probably meant to build and protect an area. Jyn has a voiceover: “This is our chance to make a real difference.”
If you look closely in all this rocky devastation, there’s a ship right in the middle. I think this is a planet being destroyed and Jyn and Cassian are escaping. Because it’s rocky, I suspect the Death Star shoots up Jeddah.
And then we see Cassian launch to hyperspace from within a planetary atmosphere!
This might be on that tropical planet if that’s ocean in the background. Jyn is walking along a walkway on a very tall tower. She might be limping or it could be super-windy. You hear her voiceover: “Are you with me?”
And as she moves to some controls, a TIE Fighter floats up. Uh oh.
The team stands up and Cassian answers Jyn: “All the way.” What a cool motley crew. I doubt they all make it out alive.
Finally, a quick shot of Darth Vader looking at Death Star plans as we hear his signature breathing.
I know there’s been some buzz about a bunch of reshoots as producers try to adjust the tone but the trailers for this movie have me pretty excited. I’m not sure if the mainstream audience understands when this movie takes place, though. Trailers these days could benefit from a narrator sometimes. Just hint at what’s happening and have a narrator explain: “Before Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion could attack the Death Star, someone had to get the plans. This is the story of that team.”