Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is now officially one week away from its theatrical release (as of this writing), and excitement for the spinoff has reached a fever pitch. Tickets are now available for sale and selling in huge numbers, while people continue to rave about the 28 minutes of Rogue One footage Lucasfilm screened during last week's press junket. After a long and tumultuous road to the big screen, it looks like the galaxy far, far away will deliver another worthwhile adventure for viewers to embark on.
As is the case with most tentpoles these days, Rogue One is going to play in IMAX theaters around the world. Studio blockbusters are tailor-made for the premium format, and in case any holdouts needed convincing, a new TV spot should do the trick. Rogue One's action and sense of scale are the main subjects of the latest IMAX promo, which you can watch above.
The ad begins with the Death Star's strike on the spiritual moon Jedha, with Director Orson Krennic proclaiming the aftermath as "beautiful." On the surface, the world's inhabitants watch in panic as their home is laid to waste by the Empire, meaning that this should be one of the most horrifying and unnerving set pieces in the entire Star Wars franchise. Obviously, Death Stars have fired turbo lasers on-screen before, but audiences have never seen the victims reacting to the attack. It's unknown if Jedha will be completely destroyed, but odds are its fate is better than Alderaan's. Princess Leia's home planet disappeared instantly as it was hit; Jedha seems to "only" have extensive damage. Perhaps the Death Star is not yet fully operational in Rogue One.
Many of the marketing materials so far have focused primarily on Jyn Erso and her band of Rebels, but this spot gives Krennic some time to shine. Admittedly, some of his delivery comes off a bit on the goofy side (see: "The power that we are dealing with is... awesome."), but it's still nice to see more of Ben Mendelsohn in the role. Fans have an opportunity to hear what could be Krennic's main theme - a rather ominous-sounding musical score that's fitting for a villain. Since this promo is specifically geared for IMAX, it unsurprisingly ends with a montage of action beats, including the space dogfight and ground battle on Scarif. The now familiar shots of Darth Vader are also recycled, highlighting the Sith Lord's inclusion in the film to sell casual audiences on a Star Wars movie set outside the traditional Skywalker saga.
As indicated above, Rogue One seems to have overcome its production woes to end the year on a high note. Moviegoers should be able to get a better idea of how the final product plays out in the very near future. The Rogue One premiere will take place on Saturday, December 10, and following the screening there will probably be many reactions on social media - before the full review embargo lifts a few days later. There's never been a more exciting time to be a Star Wars fan, and for now all that hype appears to be justified.
- 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
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018