Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is still a little over a week away from hitting theaters, but director Gareth Edwards has already been able to breathe a sigh of relief. This past weekend, Lucasfilm held the press junket for the highly-anticipated spinoff and screened 28 minutes of footage during the event. The reaction to what was shown was very positive, with many people praising the depiction of a gritty war drama in space and the emotional weight each scene had. Edwards claims that the best is yet to come, so while there's still a bit to wait before the full reviews start coming in, this was an encouraging precursor.
Another reason why fans are optimistic about Rogue One's potential quality is the marketing campaign, which in typical Lucasfilm fashion has been strong. Over the course of the year, the studio has unveiled a series of well-received trailers and TV spots, teasing epic set pieces and resonate character moments. By now, there isn't a whole lot left for them to do in terms of promotion, since people have already purchased a large number of tickets. However, Lucasfilm isn't done advertising yet. You can watch the latest television commercial - "Worth It" - above.
Accompanied by a stirring musical score, the spot offers another riff on the hope theme that's been prevalent throughout marketing. This one focuses almost entirely on the Rebels, highlighting their resiliency as they look to overcome insurmountable odds and secure their first victory against the Galactic Empire. There isn't much in terms of new footage, though there are some more looks at X-wings in action and the Battle of Scariff - which is presumably the grand finale of the film.
By all accounts, Rogue One is going to really earn its PG-13 rating, with action sequences that are more intense than anything seen in the franchise before. However, it's nice to see that Lucasfilm isn't just going to double down on those elements; many of the promotional materials, including some recently released clips, have shined a spotlight on the movie's sense of humor and heart. Star Wars has always been an entertaining blend of tones, and Rogue One looks to continue that tradition. Jyn Erso seems to be the one with most of the heartfelt dialogue, which makes sense given her family's connection to the Death Star. It's a personal mission to Jyn for several reasons, and it should be exciting to watch it all unfold.
Rogue One is also poised to be one of the most hard-hitting Star Wars projects to date, as Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has stated that it's doubtful audiences see any of these characters again. It's already been confirmed that the first anthology will not have a sequel, and given the nature of the Alliance's task, there's a distinct possibility that most of the heroes will perish by the end. The recent marketing certainly has a "last stand" vibe to it, and the protagonists know what they're getting themselves into. If the TV spots can get some to tear up, the final product could be a stomach punch for viewers.
- 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