As someone who has loved Star Wars since his formative years, I could not be more excited for Rogue One. Based on the two trailers we’ve seen so far, it looks like everything any Star Wars fan could want in a spin-off film. Rogue One doesn’t feel like the adventures we’re used to seeing in the Episodes. Rogue One feels like a war film set within the Star Wars universe, and that’s what we fans need after The Force Awakens, a movie that feels different, especially after so many complained about how derivative The Force Awakens felt. Though one should acknowledge the fact that if The Force Awakens not been so successful at the box office, Rogue One never would have been made. In fact, one could argue Disney had to play it safe in order to rekindle people’s love for Star Wars after the prequels. Now we’re getting to see the risks and the expansion of the universe we wanted all along with new planets and new characters, and many fans couldn’t be happier.

Rogue One is going to be a lot darker in tone than anything we’ve previously seen on the big screen Star Wars universe. We’re truly going to get to see the Empire at the height of its power for the first time, and the power of the Empire is intimidatingly visible in the trailers. One should remember, Star Wars: A New Hope is set as the Rebels are achieving their first real victory. Leia has escaped the star destroyer with the plans to the Death Star, a victory which was made possible by the events of Rogue One. But this film is set before that victory, so the rebels we see look downtrodden and hopeless as evidenced by their uniforms and lines such as “if the Empire has this kind of power, what chance do we have.” The good guys look seriously outgunned with scenes such as the AT-ST attacking the rebel troops and the waves of Stormtroopers and Deathtroopers.

In another change from the Star Wars we’re used to seeing, it doesn’t look like the Jedi are going to play a part in the events of this film. We have yet to see a Jedi, or even a lightsaber, appear in the trailers. There’s even a shot that appears to be the Jedi mecca of Jedha being occupied by the Empire because we see a toppled Jedi statue.

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Rogue One is also going to be introducing all new characters, and we can assume none of them survive considering their lack of appearances in the original trilogy, though there are many possible outcomes. Jyn Erso played by Felicity Jones is going to be the film’s focus, but there’s a diverse cast portrayed by actors Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Diego Luna, and Forest Whitaker to name a few. I’m particularly excited to see Donnie Yen in a Star Wars film since I’ve always loved his martial arts films.

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The latest and final trailer seems to reveal the emotional core of the film and more about the mission. It appears Jyn’s father Galen, portrayed by Mads Mikkelson, is going to be an integral part of the mission since he is the architect of the original Death Star. It also appears he and the primary antagonist, Director Krennic, have history based on a couple shots in the trailer. Though I do wish the trailers wouldn’t have revealed those details. I would have much preferred those elements to be a surprise to moviegoers.

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I simply cannot wait for December 16th though. It is unquestionably my most anticipated film of the year, and I only hope it lives up to my and the studio’s expectations. I want to see the film be an overwhelming success where Disney will continue to take risks with the universe and not play it safe. I also never want to leave the Star Wars universe again. I love the idea of Disney continuing the universe for many years to come.

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