Disney and Lucasfilm are looking beyond the Skywalker family saga for the new era of Star Wars on film. In between the traditional numbered episodes, they will release a standalone anthology film that details a new story from the galaxy far, far away. The primary appeal of these projects is that they can blend multiple genres and offer a different spin on the franchise, which has primarily leaned on space opera/adventure tropes for the previous films.
The first spinoff movie is this December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which details the Rebel Alliance’s deadly mission to steal the original Death Star plans. From the beginning, director Gareth Edwards has repeatedly stated his intention to make Rogue One a full-blown war drama, and the footage showcased in the trailers has certainly led credence to that claim. Many fans are excited by the new tone and feel, and the marketing campaign continues to highlight it. A new poster has some eye-catching imagery that underscores the severe stakes of the narrative.
Debuting at Comic-Con Russia, the one-sheet features a lone Rebellion helmet laying in the water as stormtroopers and Imperial walkers approach from ahead. Lucasfilm has confirmed (via io9) that this is a real poster. You can check it out below:
Dating back to the original movie in 1977, Star Wars has drawn heavily from World War II imagery for inspiration. The parallels between the Empire and the Nazis are obvious, and action sequences like the Death Star trench run were modeled after old videos of aerial dogfights. Rogue One definitely looks like it will uphold those traditions, as it’s very easy to see similarities between D-Day and some of the battles Edwards has staged. The presence of the new shoretroopers hints that beachfront conflict will be front and center in Rogue One, which is something that hasn’t been seen before. With a new Star Wars installment coming each year for the foreseeable future, it’ll be important for the various movies to offer new locales and stand out.
Many of the Rogue One promotional items have also placed a spotlight on the disparity between the Rebellion and Imperial forces, and this poster is another instance of that. The threat of a squad of stormtroopers and a trio of walkers probably only scratches the surface of what the Alliance is going up against. One of the calling cards of the Star Wars franchise is the protagonists being plucky underdogs looking to overcome insurmountable odds, and it’s clear this will be the case in Rogue One. The Rebels, of course, fight until the end, and some will have to pay the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good of the galaxy.
One interesting tidbit on the poster is the “12+” rating that’s in the bottom lefthand corner. With just over two months to go until Rogue One‘s release, it seems a bit early for there to be an official rating in place from any classification board. However, this does not mean people in Russia have seen the movie. According to Twitter user Bogert, it is simply the “distributor’s desired rating” and not official. There’s a chance it could change once December rolls around, since the American PG-13 (the presumed rating in the States) is 16+ in Russia. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.