Spoilers! Some plot points are discussed so if you want to go into Rogue One as fresh as possible, read no further.
There’s no signature opening crawl. But from the very start, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story makes a strong statement about embracing its place in the sci-fi universe while also pushing the status quo of the massively popular franchise.
Journalists got a sneak peek this week at 28 minutes from the first standalone Star Wars movie (in theaters Dec. 16), which introduces the backstory of new heroine Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a key member of the Rebel Alliance group tasked to steal the plans for the Empire’s Death Star (famously blown up in 1977’s Star Wars). From the looks of things, the new film is taking audiences to new worlds, putting them in the trenches of war with the good guys and adding some spy-game spin rather than sticking to George Lucas’ old formula.
Here’s what we know after getting a look at a few scenes and a sizzle reel:
Drama’s going down in the galaxy. In director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One — set just before the original movie — the audience meets Jyn as a young child when she’s given a necklace with a Kyber crystal (the Force-attuned material used to power a lightsaber) by her mother Lyra (Valene Kane). At the same time, a shuttle carrying Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and his Imperial Death Trooper squad arrives at the Erso homestead to find Jyn’s dad, scientist-turned-farmer Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen)….