Many fans were disappointed when Star Wars Celebration 2016 came and went with the public unveiling of a new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer, but they'll get a fresh look at the film very soon. It was recently confirmed that a preview would premiere this Thursday, August 11, 2016, during NBC's primetime coverage of the summer Olympic games. In a way, Lucasfilm was smart to hold off until now, as they no longer have the San Diego Comic-Con craze or Suicide Squad hype to deal with. All eyes will be on them.
News of the trailer's impending arrival came via TV spot, and now that 30-second commercial has been officially released for all to see (watch it above). As per usual with movie/sports ads, the spot equates the Rebel Alliance's daring mission with the inspiring feats of Olympic athletes competing for gold, blending clips of various events with images from Rogue One.
Though the video is brief, it does include some new footage for viewers to check out. Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso says to someone off camera, "This is our chance to make a real difference," making an obvious reference to their objective of stealing the Death Star plans. She also asks one of her new friends, "Are you with me?" which perhaps comes at a critical moment when all hope is seemingly lost. A title card then promises a new trailer on Thursday, which will most likely be made available online shortly after it plays on TV.
There is a considerable amount of pressure on the second Rogue One trailer to stand out and get viewers excited about the spinoff. Rumors about the widely-publicized reshoots (most recently, Tony Gilroy's involvement) have caused some to feel uneasy about the project's potential quality, and there are casual moviegoers out there who are still unsure of where the film is set within the Star Wars timeline. Nobody is doubting Disney's ability to sell one of their big tentpoles and rev up anticipation, but right now there's a cloud of uncertainty hanging over Rogue One. A well-cut trailer would go a long way in bringing back the good vibes.
The studio knows that they have an ace in the hole in Darth Vader, who will appear in Rogue One. Right now, the Dark Lord of the Sith hasn't been seen or used in any promotional materials, but it is highly expected the next trailer will include at the very least a glimpse of him. With just over four months to go until Rogue One's premiere, the time to start ramping up awareness is now, and Vader is one of the most recognizable and marketable characters in the history of pop culture. While the main focus will be on the new faces like Jyn and Director Krennic, Vader should still have a sizable presence moving forward. He's too important in the grand scheme of things to keep under lock and key.
Director Gareth Edwards has said time and time again his intention was to make a war drama in the galaxy far, far away. The Rogue One teaser from the spring hinted at a darker tone, and the behind-the-scenes sizzle reel shown at Celebration served to reaffirm those claims. The appeal of the anthology films is that they can blend multiple genres and stray away from the space opera feel of the numbered episodes. Hopefully the new Rogue One trailer is hard-hitting and generates much enthusiasm.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens 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.