In Brief

Star Wars: Rogue One – Felicity Jones 'to return for sequel', Screen Rant says

Entertainment website reports the Rebellion is continuing - but fans should be a little sceptical

Rogue One: First teaser shows Jyn Erso taking on the Empire

07 April

The first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is finally here – and fans love it.

Set between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope, the spin-off will tell the tale of a band of rebel fighters holding out against the evil Empire in the dark days before Luke Skywalker ever stepped foot off Tatooine.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"93200","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

The trailer opens with Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones, facing a laundry list of charges, including forgery of Imperial documents, aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

Recruited by the rebels, she is tasked with the job of stealing the plans for the Death Star, a mission that will take her to heart of the Imperial stronghold, fending off Stormtroopers, Shadowtroopers, Red Guards and anything else the Empire can throw at her.

Like The Force Awakens' heroine, Rey, Jyn is apparently an orphan, "on [her] own from the age of 15". However, in keeping with the new Anthology's grittier tone, she seems far more hard-boiled than either Rey or Luke.

Initial response to the trailer has been overwhelmingly positive, with fans singling out scenes featuring Star Wars stalwarts such as AT-ATs, X-wings and what appears to be a young Mon Mothma. All will be revealed on 16 December, when the film hits screens.

Rogue One: Will Star Wars spin-off have an opening crawl?

23 March

'A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far way'… The words of the Star Wars "opening crawl' have been imprinted on the brain of any fan since they first introduced us to Luke, Leia, Han and Darth Vader back in 1977.

Given the iconic status of the film's opening, it's not surprising that fans are wondering whether Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be given the same treatment. After all, the opening crawl is much a part of the Star Wars universe as lightsabers and X-wings – can any Star Wars movie dare go without it?

However, the original "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far way" fairytale-style intro could be a reminder that the original trilogy was marketed as a children's movie. Rogue One has been described as a grittier affair.

Director Gareth Edwards has said that while the Star Wars films are "very black and white", the spin-offs will explore "the grey" areas and "the realities of war". Given the darker tone, there's a strong likelihood the traditional intro could go.

Also, with the team doing their best to emphasise that the Anthology spin-offs are a separate entity from the main series, using the Star Wars opening scroll could risk confusing the casual cinemagoer.

If Rogue One looks too similar to The Force Awakens, audience will be left wondering why it "doesn't even feature any of the same characters or even the same political factions", says the Hollywood Reporter.

The film-makers have already demonstrated their willingness to break with tradition by announcing Alexandre Desplat as the Rogue One composer, making it the first Star Wars-linked film not to be scored by John Williams.

Rogue One: Will Star Wars trailer be released with Captain America: Civil War?

22 March

Plot details for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story remain thin on the ground. The first in a planned series of films to be known as the Star Wars Anthology, it will be set before the original trilogy and will feature a band of Rebel fighters plotting to steal the plans for the Death Star. And that's largely all we know.

However, last week's announcement of a series of Rogue One tie-in comics coming from Marvel in October has got fans wondering when we're likely to see a trailer.

The most popular prediction appears to be 6 May, when Captain America: Civil War will be released – and the reason why comes down to business.

CinemaBlend points out that both Lucasfilm and Captain America studio Marvel are owned by Disney and the pair have already experimented with cross-promotion. Using Marvel's biggest film of the year to give Rogue One a boost would seem to make perfect business sense for Disney.

However, State of the Empire fan podcast, which first reported on the Captain America rumours back in January, predicts the trailer will actually leak online two days earlier, to coincide with a special day for Star Wars junkies everywhere: "Easy guess says fans will see it online two days prior for May the Fourth".

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released on 16 December 2016.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Who are the Shadow Troopers?

18 March

Disney's first ever Star Wars spin-off film is now only nine months away, but still precious little is known about the sci-fi movie.

One thing that is known is that it is likely to feature a whole load of Stormtroopers.  

The film is set during the build-up to the events of 1977's A New Hope and will delve into the period when "Stormtroopers (and the Empire as a whole) were in their pomp across the galaxy", science fiction fan site Outer Places says.  

It follows the band of Rebels charged with the task of stealing the plans to the Death Star, paving the way for Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia to join forces in Episode IV and save the galaxy from Darth Vader and his followers.

So if Rogue One is full of Stormtroopers, what will they be like?

Throughout Star Wars's history, one of the defining qualities of the imperial soldiers is their gleaming white armour, although it has changed form subtly over the years. In Rogue One, however, that tradition looks set to change with the introduction of Shadow Troopers. 

According to TMZ, LucasFilm has just registered a trademark for the term, making way for a whole new class of villain in the spin-off film. 

In Star Wars's expanded universe, the terms "Shadow Troopers" and "Shadow Stormtroopers" have been used for all kinds of soldiers, "from Dark Jedi-hybrids wielding wannabe lightsabers, to simple, average-joe Stormtroopers with different colored armour", Outer Places says.

Rogue One director Gareth Edwards, however, is most likely to be planning "an elite shock trooper with the ability to activate a cloaking device for stealth missions".

All will be revealed when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits cinemas on 16 December 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Darth Vader to return

16 March

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will not reach cinemas for another nine months and so far, Disney has managed to keep a pretty firm lid on the production's secrets.

But hints and rumours continue to appear online as fans scrutinise every possible morsel of information in the hope of peeking behind the curtain of the company's first ever Star Wars spin-off.

The latest report doing the rounds suggests there will be a larger-than-expected part for saga villain Darth Vader.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story takes place in the years preceding the first film in the series, 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, and follows the adventures of the team of Rebel troops who stole the plans for the Death Star.

It had been thought the spin-off would feature Darth Vader in a very fleeting role, with him only ever appearing in hologram form giving orders to the other antagonists in the same way Supreme Leader Snoke made his presence felt in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

But according to Inquisitr, "fans will apparently get a chance to see the Sith Lord like never before, wreaking havoc on the battlefield with the Force".

Vader is not going to be the only familiar face to appear in the spin-off. LucasFilm is also reportedly working on a digital recreation of Peter Cushing in the character of Grand Moff Tarkin, Den of Geek says. 

During a recent Star Wars Lego conference, Boba Fett’s ship, Slave One, was also used to promote Rogue One, "suggesting to fans that the Mandalorian-clad bounty hunter may be making a return to the screen, as well."

So who will take on the galaxy's most dangerous heavy breather?

If reports are to be believed, Rogue One may see the introduction of a new Jedi. 

Earlier this week, Star Wars enthusiasts spotted a listing on IMDb for singer and songwriter Emeson Nwolie, who is credited as playing "Religious Warrior". 

"Does that sound like code for Jedi to you?" asks Melty. "It does to us! Jedi is a religion after all, and the vague wording could be to hide their appearance in the film."

Alternatively, the film may see the emergence of a new class of theological soldiers, the site suggests. "Jedi can't be the only warrior religion after all, and it would be interesting to see whether any secret religions spring up that have been inspired by the Jedi, much in the same way that the Knights of Ren took inspiration from the Sith."

It is possible that Nwolie may only have a very minor role, says Inquisitr, but this seems unlikely. 

And while he could be part of a new religious order, it is most likely he will turn out to be a Jedi, it adds: "When it comes to the world of Star Wars, there is only one group of Religious Warriors that consistently matters in the storyline, and that is, quite simply, the Jedi Order."

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released on 14 December.

 

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