With Doctor Strange currently playing in theaters and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them a week away, all eyes will soon turn to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, arguably the biggest release left on the 2016 calendar. The spinoff's premiere date is a little under a month away (as of this writing), which means it's time for Lucasfilm to crank up their marketing efforts to 11 in the final push to raise anticipation. Just yesterday, a new international trailer debuted, revealing new details about heroine Jyn Erso.
A key part of any advertising campaign for a major tentpole is TV spots, and it would appear commercials for Rogue One are about to hit the airwaves en masse. On the heels of the first U.S. promo debuting, the studio has now unveiled an international spot for the film. You can watch it above.
For the most part, the 30-second ad reiterates what is already known about the movie's plot. The Rebel Alliance embarks on a dangerous mission to steal the original Death Star plans in an effort to even the odds during the Galactic Civil War. We do see a fresh look at the rebellion briefing sequence, where it's Jyn who tells the leaders what the weapon is capable of. Footage from the aforementioned foreign trailer indicated that the Empire attacks Jedha while Jyn and her team are on the planet, so perhaps the idea to steal the plans comes after that assault once the Rebels know what they're up against. While not confirmed, this would give fans some semblance of a narrative structure; Jyn is initially recruited for a scouting mission before it evolves into something much more.
Rogue One's main themes are also highlighted again, using once more Jyn's emotional "Rebellions are built on hope" line. A principal aspect of the original trilogy was depicting the large gap between the well-resourced Empire and scrappy Alliance, so it makes sense that this anthology movie would heavily lean on that dynamic. Where Rogue One is in the franchise timeline, the Imperials should be in their prime and basically invulnerable. As the A New Hope opening crawl indicated, the success of Jyn and her friends was the first real victory for the Rebels in the conflict, so chances are they will be in dire straits when the new film starts.
Since Rogue One is a prequel, there isn't as much secrecy surrounding it as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it's still nice to see Lucasfilm hold back on sharing anything that could fall into the realm of spoilers. They're saving the juicy details (like Darth Vader's ultimate role) for the actual film, using the trailers and other materials to tease fans with hints at the characters and set pieces. That's a strategy that worked very well before, so the studio is smart to try it again. After all, Star Wars is a brand that can sell just with its name, so there's no reason to go overboard with what's shown.
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018