Lucasfilm is beginning to open the floodgates on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story marketing. Earlier this month, the studio unveiled the full length trailer, giving fans a greater look at the war drama director Gareth Edwards has made. The arrival of the preview marked the start of the latest wave of advertising, and over the next four months, moviegoers can expect to see the galaxy far, far away making plenty of headlines as the wait for the film gets shorter and shorter.
Empire magazine teased their exclusive coverage of Rogue One last week by revealing two covers. One highlighted Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her team of Rebel fighters tasked with stealing the Death Star plans. The other showcased new villain Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), an Imperial officer overseeing the deadly weapon. Now, the outlet is starting to share some details they discovered, in addition to releasing a third variant cover with new droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk).
First up is a new image with Jyn, K-2SO, and Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) gathered together. It looks like it is taken from the scene in the trailer where Kaytoo first meets Jyn, politely telling his new friend that he will not kill her. Check it out below:
Empire interviewed Jones, where the actress discussed the tone and aesthetic Rogue One is striving for. As has been said before, the primary appeal of the anthology films is that they can deviate from the classic space opera feel of the numerical episodes and give viewers something different from the franchise. According to Jones, that's very much the case with Rogue One:
“It’s very much a boots-on-the-ground perspective of the Star Wars universe. The idea is that it feels as though you’re actually there. You’re in amongst it."
Riz Ahmed, who plays Rogue One's Bodhi Rook, went on to say, "It is murky, it is grimy, you're in the trenches," and mentioned that Rogue One sports a "documentary realism" that's a change-of-pace from before. The footage shown so far certainly encapsulates that, while also remaining true to Star Wars. This spinoff looks like it will be Saving Private Ryan in space, but there's no doubt it's part of the same franchise as last year's The Force Awakens. It's a tricky balancing act to pull off, but Edwards seems to have accomplished his objectives and successfully blended the old with the new.
One of the fresh elements in Rogue One is K-2SO, an Imperial droid who was reprogrammed by Cassian to aid the Rebellion. While he shares some traits with C-3PO (see: his line about the heroes' chances of failure), personality wise, Kaytoo is a far departure from the famous protocol droid. After BB-8 stole the show in Episode VII, many are excited to see what K-2SO can bring to the table (especially with the fan-favorite Tudyk in the role). As fans wait to see more of him, they can get a new look of the droid on the latest Empire cover, which Tudyk shared on his Twitter:
— alan tudyk (@AlanTudyk) August 22, 2016
There's a lot of pressure riding on Rogue One, especially after The Force Awakens was a massive commercial and critical hit. The Star Wars Story line of films is arguably more important than the Skywalker saga moving forward, and if Lucasfilm is to continuously make a new movie each year, audiences need to respond positively to the anthologies. Fortunately, it looks like they have another winner in Rogue One, and it should be another memorable December for fans.
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.