Now that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has just opened in theaters around the world, the biggest studio tentpole remaining on the 2016 release calendar is undoubtedly Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first standalone spinoff film in the Star Wars franchise. Unsurprisingly, Lucasfilm has pieced together a stellar marketing campaign to increase the already high levels of anticipation, ramping up their efforts in recent weeks. In addition to new international trailers, the recently-published novel Catalyst served as a great primer for the movie.
With just under a month to go until Rogue One's premiere (as of this writing), Disney is now coming down the homestretch in terms of promotion. At this point in the pre-release phase, TV spots become a crucial part of advertising. Lucasfilm has already unveiled a number of commercials for Rogue One, but there's always room for one more. You can watch the latest spot, subtitled "Greatest Weapon" above.
The footage shown is quite similar to the earlier trailers and spots, once again outlining the basic conflict in the film. Viewers get a sense of Gareth Edwards' vision for a war drama with clips from battles on Jedha and Scarif. Also reiterated is the primary theme of finding hope in difficult times, which has been a defining trait of Rogue One from the beginning. Fans should also get a kick out of seeing the main ensemble "suit up" after Jyn Erso asks if they're ready for the fight. The core group has received a lion's share of the spotlight and has already endeared themselves to viewers. A key element of any Star Wars movie is the friendships formed between the characters, and Rogue One should deliver in that department.
One new bit of information that is included in the spot is an official MPAA rating. In what should come as no surprise to anyone, Rogue One will be rated PG-13 in the United States. This makes it the third installment in the series to receive that classification, following Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens. It was always expected Rogue One would be PG-13, considering that Edwards was striving for a darker tone and aesthetic when compared to the numbered episodes. The reason given is simply "extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action," which is very similar to Episode VII. Things may have been watered down somewhat in reshoots, but Rogue One should still be one of the hardest-hitting trips to the galaxy far, far away.
By now, the only thing left for fans to discover is whether or not Rogue One is a quality movie. Currently, it's shaping up to be another worthwhile journey to the beloved universe, delivering more of the jaw-dropping set pieces and emotional character moments audiences have come to expect. Lucasfilm has a lot riding on Rogue One's success, so this isn't a project that they took lightly. It may not be a part of the main storyline, but it's still a vital part of franchise canon and has to prove Star Wars can thrive without the Skywalker saga.
- 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