Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, now the third most successful film at the box office worldwide, was a major tour de force for the franchise. Since then, Lucasfilm and Disney have done their best to keep audiences engaged. Star Wars: Rebels has delved into some engaging stories and complex issues regarding the Force, while dozens of supplemental materials should keep fans happy between major installments. While devotees read about the Leia Organa, Han Solo, and the Erso family, the next event, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is getting ready to take audiences on a slightly different kind of adventure.
Director Gareth Edwards has insisted that the first Star Wars Anthology is the “rogue one” in the universe, for several different reasons. He also says the upcoming movie will be much grittier than standard franchise fare – something actor Riz Ahmed (The Night Of) confirms.
Speaking with The Wrap about his upcoming film City of Tiny Lights, Ahmed confirmed the director’s description of Rogue One. During the interview, the actor, who plays cargo pilot Bodhi Rook (who presumably flies one of the brand new U-Wing fighters/transports), explained how the forthcoming film will head to a darker place. Much of the charm of the latest installment apparently comes from intrigue and interplay between the rough around-the-edges Rebels. Ahmed stated:
“The film is about complex characters and loyalties and murky pasts. The film is a little edgier, with people making these huge compromises. History isn’t always clear.”
It sounds as though, unlike previous installments which dealt primarily with balancing the light and dark side of the Force, Rogue One will offer a morally gray band and deal with the down and dirty aspects of fighting a guerrilla war. Ahmed does give the grittier Star Wars adventure, which acts as a precursor to A New Hope, his seal of approval, saying: “I don’t think it will disappoint.”
During the interview, Ahmed also explored more of his character. In the past, Ahmed has called his Rebel cargo pilot an “intense” and “volatile” character. Since then, the actor has revised his description slightly, adding that because of his previous attachment with Imperial forces (which he literally wears on his sleeve as a reminder), Rook “has to question his loyalties as the story progresses.”
As more details surface about the plot and characters, Rogue One continues to tantalize audiences and long-time fanatics. The next Star Wars adventure, which combines an excellent cast with a new spin on the archetypal story, seems likely to stand apart from its cinematic brethren and stand on its own as well, launching the Anthology one-offs. Bringing back stalwart Rebel faves like Mon Mothma and Bail Organa ought to season this intergalactic stew with the right amount of franchise flavor, but the addition of conflicted characters like Bodhi Rook and Jyn Erso should create an internal conflict between generations, classes, and ideas – as well as an element of risk.
Despite the well-known outcome of the mission, the actual survival rate of the crack strike team is unknown at best. Mon Mothma's phrase from Return of the Jedi, “many Bothans died to bring us this information,” should echo in the ears of fans. It's a reminder that, as far as dangerous missions to steal top secret plans go, all bets are off. No real canon exists from this period in Star Wars history, and as a result, audiences won't know which, if any of our newly introduced characters, survives to witness Rebel victory at the Battle of Yavin.
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: The Wrap