With the arrival of the full-length trailer for this December's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm is right in the middle of the next wave of marketing for the spinoff. There are just under four months to go until the film reaches U.S. theaters (as of this writing), which means soon viewers will be treated to an influx of TV spots and other promotional materials as the studio works on raising awareness (not that that was ever an issue).
These days, blockbusters rely on the international box office more than ever to turn substantial profits, so it's of paramount importance that they are heavily advertised in foreign countries. Lucasfilm got the ball rolling on that aspect of their campaign today with the arrival of a new overseas preview (watch it above), which includes some fresh information about the movie.
A majority of the trailer is largely an amalgamation of the various bits of footage that have already been released (the first teaser, the behind-the-scenes sizzle reel from Star Wars Celebration, and the most recent trailer), ending with the brief glimpse of Darth Vader's helmet. However, this is still worth checking out for fans, since an additional detail pertaining to the plot is revealed. The Rebels learn of the impending Imperial weapons test by intercepting a coded transmission sent by Jyn Erso's father, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen).
Galen is a character who has popped up frequently in the Rogue One rumor mill. Speculation suggests that he is a scientist who helped the Empire finalize the Death Star and later felt guilt over what he had done. During the film's panel at Celebration, Mikkelsen stated that Galen was a "person of interest" in the Galactic Civil War, so it's plausible he possesses some valuable information. It will be fascinating to see how he fits into the main narrative, particularly when it comes to his dynamic with Jyn. The new protagonist has been living on her own since she was a teenager, hinting at a troubled history with her family. Star Wars is a series known for the relationships between parents and their children, so Galen and Jyn should provide Rogue One with a strong emotional center.
In addition to the Erso family tease, the international trailer is another strong illustration of director Gareth Edwards' sense of scale, as the battle sequences on display appear to be some of the most epic in the entire series (no small feat). The severe stakes are highlighted, making Rogue One another classic underdog story with the ragtag Rebels standing up to the oppressive Empire. Hope is going to be a prevalent theme, and the heroes are going to rely on each other and the will of the Force to achieve their victory - evidenced by Jyn's "May the Force be with us" line. There are no Jedi in Rogue One, but the Force can still be a powerful ally.
The hullabaloo surrounding Rogue One's highly-publicized reshoots has died down in the days since the U.S. trailer was unveiled, and now many viewers are excited to make yet another return journey to the galaxy far, far away. Time will tell if the movie can be a memorable entry into the beloved franchise, but things are definitely looking up now. Of course, great trailers do not necessarily mean a great final product, but if The Force Awakens is anything to go by, Rogue One will be a treat to watch.
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.