That might seem like a lot of Star Wars in a short space of time, but try telling that to the fans - or, indeed, to Disney. Since Mickey Mouse's studio bought the rights to Star Wars in 2012, they've been preparing to squeeze as much money out of the franchise as humanly possible. So while there's a 'proper' trilogy underway, following both new and old characters in an epic story, there are also going to be a scattering of spin-offs that follow other story paths and put secondary characters centre-stage.
Alongside a projected Han Solo film (with the diamond-cheekboned Alden Ehrenreich playing a young Harrison Ford), Rogue One is one of these spin-offs. Chronologically it's a prequel, with the action taking place just before the events of the original film - reportedly, the final scene of Rogue One will directly precede the opening scene of A New Hope. Clearly, Disney is keen not to waste any valuable seconds on a famous timeline.
Anyway, the longest trailer so far for Rogue One has just dropped, and the Internet is suddenly as ablaze as a [insert very specific Star Wars reference here, perhaps something about a spaceship on fire]. The two minutes of footage are probably teeming with hints, references, and secret almost-reveals that the dedicated can use to spoil the story for themselves, but for the rest of us (what's, like, the Star Wars equivalent of a Muggle?) there's some great ominous music, some dramatic looking special effects, and the screen-conquering presence of Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything).
Jones plays Jyn Erso, a tough intergalactic cookie leading a motley crew of Rebels in a mission to steal the blueprints for the evil Empire's nuclear-type-weapon, the Death Star. As everyone knows, the Death Star gets successfully destroyed at the end of A New Hope, so director Gareth Edwards will have to drum up plot-tension around the fates of the new characters (one of whom is played by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker). The only Star Wars player we recognise is Darth Vader, although it's not yet clear how large his role will be.
Predictably, there have been some comment-section complaints about a Star Wars female lead, just as there were for Daisy Ridley in The Force Awakens. We’re too busy admiring Jones’ confident swagger to care. She is going to own this movie, then become a Ghostbuster and join the cast of Ocean's Eight, probably. Hopefully.
Rogue One will be released this December. When you head to your local multiplex around then, try not to confuse all the Yodas with Christmas elves. They don't like that.
|What||Star Wars: Rogue One|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
16 Dec 16 – 16 Feb 17, 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here for more details|