In some ways, the biggest test of the new Star Wars movie revival wasn’t going to be The Force Awakens. The hype was so intense and the expectations so high–because of pent-up demand, the involvement of J.J. Abrams, the return of beloved characters, the failure of the prequels–that it almost couldn’t help but be big success. (Although, to be clear, it was a great movie on its own.)
No, the big test will be in the next movie after that, which is the first one of the so-called Anthology movies, with stories set in the same Star Wars universe, but not featuring the ongoing saga of the Skywalker family. Rogue One, set to premiere in December, is that movie.
With the drop of this first trailer, it looks like the promise is there. It’s tough to tell anything from a first trailer, although it’s a much more revealing trailer than the first TFA trailer, but it looks very promising. We have the Yavin base, Mon Mothma, the Death Star, and all the familiar look and feel of A New Hope. I think nostalgia will be a very big element of this movie too.
I’m sure I will go into obsessive details as I watch and re-watch the trailer, but a couple of thoughts: First, I believe you can hear Darth Vader’s breathing at the end, which may mean our favorite villain will be back. Second, our protagonist’s appearance in Imperial armor at the end does not necessarily mean she’s going to go “rogue” in this movie; it could simply be she goes undercover.
It’s going to be a good December.