For almost forty years, George Lucas' science fiction-fantasy epic Star Wars has followed the Skywalker family and their ongoing struggles with the dark (Sith) and light (Jedi) side of the Force. Underneath all the Skywalker family drama, Star Wars is ultimately about a galaxy ruled by two opposing political factions, the Empire and the Republic.
When we first meet our original heroes in 1977's A New Hope, the Galactic Empire controlled by the Sith is in power, but they are soon overthrown thanks to some spies for the Rebel Alliance who have stolen plans to the Empire's new weapon the Death Star. The plans allow Luke and his friends to destroy the Death Star and defeat Sith Lord Darth Vader, and these very important rebels are the focus of Star Wars' first spinoff film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Taking place shortly before the events of the original Star Wars trilogy, this year's Rogue One is led by Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso who, alongside Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) and a handful of others, is sent on a dangerous mission on behalf of the Rebel Alliance. Along the way, they'll come across obstacles like the Empire's Stormtroopers, which are depicted below in a newly released banner of them fighting against the Rebels on the beaches of Scarif, with the Death Star looming in the background.
A lot of noise has been made about how Rogue One will be Star Wars' first true war movie, and this new banner continues that trend. Most of the film's posters so far have shown this same battle on Scarif, where its not only possible but highly likely that some of our heroes will die for the greater good. Forest Whitaker, Donnie Yen and Ben Mendelsohn also star in the movie as Saw Gerrera, Chirrut Îmwe and Orson Krennic, respectively, and they'll also have important parts to play in retrieving the plans for the Death Star, whether for good or bad.
While we already know that Rogue One ends with the Death Star plans making it out to the Rebel Alliance, the story of how they get there has never been told. It's a very important part of Star Wars lore, as it influences everything that happens afterward, but we can also assume it came with great cost. The animated series Star Wars Rebels has already shown us there's much to be learned about that time after the Empire took over, just as there's more to learn about how loyalties were tested and people sacrificed their lives to create the New Republic in The Force Awakens.
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018