Lucasfilm is starting to double down on the marketing efforts for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which hits theaters this December. Earlier this month, the full-length trailer was released to an enthusiastic response, and in the weeks since, more news about the film has come out. Director Gareth Edwards has explained the multiple meanings of the title, members of the cast have reaffirmed the grimy, war drama tone the movie is going for, and some first looks at a handful of tie-in toys were revealed. Awareness was never an issue for Rogue One, but the studio is making sure everyone knows Star Wars is coming back soon.
Empire Magazine has been the source of several of these most recent developments, since their latest issue includes Rogue One exclusives the outlet picked up. As part of their information rollout, the publication has now unveiled a series of fresh still images highlighting the plethora of new characters that will play a part in the film.
The pictures come to us via Making Star Wars and spotlight the heroes and villains of the story. You can check them out below:
Most of these appear to be from scenes set on the planet Jedha, which is said to be the mecca of the galaxy. It's been reported that the Empire has great interest in that world, as they are supposedly after special resources used to make lightsabers that are located on the surface. Based on the footage that has been shown thus far, it would appear that a great deal of the movie takes place on Jedha, giving audiences a taste of how Imperial occupation has damaged a planet's wellbeing.
Of this batch of photos, the shot of Krennic flanked by Deathtroopers might be the one that generates the most discussion (it looks like something pulled from the classic trilogy). The officer's role in the film has been downplayed in marketing; Mendelsohn has appeared briefly in trailers looking menacing. Given his status as a fan-favorite character actor, there are many excited to see what he can bring to the Star Wars universe. This franchise is well-known for delivering some of cinema's most iconic villains, so Krennic has a high standard to live up to. His interactions with Darth Vader should be considerably tantalizing, since Krennic is eager to get into the Emperor's good graces.
Speaking of the Dark Lord of the Sith, some may be disappointed that he is not featured in any of these images. However, it's arguably for the best that this is the case. There's no need to force Vader in advertising now, especially since moviegoers have been reacting positively to all the new elements and characters of Rogue One. Holding Vader back is a smart decision, since he has a small, but impactful, part in the final product. Rogue One isn't about him, so the studio shouldn't make him the focus just because he's recognizable. Familiarizing viewers with the new (like they did with The Force Awakens) is the priority, and they're doing a great job so far.
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.
Source: Empire (via Making Star Wars)