Breaking down ever secret hidden in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

In case you missed it yesterday, Disney released a trailer for this small film called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It looks like a solid indie film, that the Internet momentarily lost its marbles over, as the idea of annual Star Wars movies is suddenly looking very, very promising indeed. Two minutes of lasers, Donnie Yen and Felicity Jones being a complete badass.

With a ton of smaller details hidden in the background. Also, credits to io9 for some of those fancy-ass GIFs and at least three secrets that I missed out on. Like Degeneration X once said, let’s BREAK IT DOWN!

Forget about getting the Spider-Man movies, because Flicity Jones looks right at home here as Jyn Erso. According to the trailer, she’s also one hell of a career criminal as her rap sheets reads out “forgery of Imperial documents, possession of stolen property, aggravated assault, resisting arrest.” Just the kind of person that the Rebel Alliance wants to (possibly forcibly) recruit into their ranks for a good ol’ suicide mission. “On your own from the age of 15, reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined,” reads Mon Mothma, giving Erso some badassery via convenient exposition.


Man, Gareth Edwards has nailed the look of the Yavin 4 base from Episode IV: A New Hope. Everything looks vintage, but new. There’s a good ol’ X-Wing standing by, astromech droids and even a lovable Gonk bot wandering around, chewing up the scenery. I love those little weird leggy robots.

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Mon Mothma! The Rebel Alliance leader from the very first Star Wars movie is back once again. She looks eerily dead-on to the original Mon Mothma, doesn;t she? Well she should. That’s Genevieve O’Reilly, who portrayed a younger Mon Mothma in in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith ten years ago. The aging of the character here is both perfect and natural then.

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Here’s Diego Luna as the unnamed Rebel who is looking on as Erso’s rap sheet is read out. He’s got the swagger of a Rebel officer who is looking for a few bad eggs to help him out on the kind of mission that leaves many Bothans dead, I’d bet.

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While Erso is stealing the attention of your eyes in this shot, pay attention to the droid behind her. We’d bet Imperial Credits that that is actually Alan Tudyk’s motion-captured performance that has been hinted at for a while now, as a repurposed Imperial droid who has sided with the Rebels.

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“This is a rebellion isn’t it? I rebel.” The Rebel Alliance is clearly getting too old for this crap from the younger generation.

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Looks like the same city from the earlier fight, but here’s something interesting: Check out those Stormtroopers riding on the fancy-ass attack tank. They’ve got a very different set of armour on. Possibly yet another division of specialised troopers in the Imperial army, something we’ll get to later.

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Sand, it’s everywhere! Especially in Star Wars! Erso is easily holding her own against a squad of Stormtroopers, but things seem to be going awry here as she grabs Diego out of harm’s way. Pay attention to his jacket as well. That’s the one that he was wearing in the very first still shown off for Rogue One last year at D23.

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Say what you like about the Empire, but they’re stylish as f***. This is Ben Mendelsohn as an unnamed character, who people think may be a younger Grand Moff Tarkin. Couple of problems with this: Unless he missed his beauty sleep, there’s no way that Tarkin would put on 20 years of age that quickly before Episode IV actually begins, as Rogue One details the plot to steal the Death Star files just before the very first Star Wars movie began.

Second, we’ve already seen Tarkin, at least in animated form, thanks to Star Wars Rebels where he sported his trademark look five years before Episode IV kicks off. So that rules that possibility out effectively. We also know that white uniforms are worn by Imperial Security Bureau and Grand Admirals in the new Star Wars Universe, so credits to donuts that Mendelsohn is head of the ISB that is tasked with preventing any Death Star leaks. Sort of like the Imperial Gestapo if you will.

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A few Rebel pilots, who have been captured, doing the walk of shame.

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Donnie Yen in a Star Wars movie. What a time to be alive. While it’s refreshing to see zero Jedi so far, it’s double-refreshing to see a space samurai who is clearly wanted by the Empire. And who is about to open up an entire can of cosmic Kung-Fu on the bucketheads surrounding him. I bet he even kicked that crashed X-Wing straight out of the sky.

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Looks like there will be some Force-related characters on the move here, if this shadowy figure is leading up to anything. It’s clearly not Emperor Palpatine, as he bows to no one, but those are his Royal Guards standing on duty before the healing Bacta tank. There have been rumours that Darth Vader may appear in the movie, so it wouldn’t be too long of a stretch to imagine that’s him, healing in the Bacta tank. But hoods usually indicate Force-wielders, so I’m keen to see this mystery play out.

“We have a mission for you. A major weapons test is imminent. And we need to know what it is and how to destroy it,” Mon Mothma says to Erso. Boy, I really hope the Rebels succeed in obtaining those plans for this rumoured weapon of mass destruction that can apparently destroy entire planets with a single blast. Sort of like a moon, but deadly. A Death Moon according to rumours from 1976.

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Forest Whitaker, who looks like he has clearly seen his fair share of action recently. Massive, but hobbled, he looks like a pensioner that could still turn you inside out with ease as he begins a monologue asking what you would do when the Empire comes for you. According to Making Star Wars, Whitaker’s codename is Eel Leader and that his role in Rogue One is that of a bounty hunter. Which sort of makes sense.

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Hey, another new Stormtrooper! Whether this is a Shadow-trooper or some other vague branch of the Imperial army connected to the ISB is unknown, but here’s the kicker: That’s a burning moisture evaporator behind the fella. The type that you usually find on moisture farms on Tattooine…

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Mendehlsohn here, surveying the damage after a battle that has claimed the lives of various Imperial and Rebel soldiers. And looking completely cool while he struts on down. Stylish!

“What will you do when they catch you?” Whitaker asks in his monologue as Erso and her crew are running for their lives. Someone has cocked up heavily, as every Stormtrooper around is busy hunting down these Rebels.

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Listen, you don’t bring a blaster to an AT-AT fight. The Empire is clearly not holding back here, as they’re throwing everything that they have at the Rebels in this fantastic money-shot. Notice how these AT-ATs are also moving with actual speed and purpose, and not like a camel with severe constipation.

The action just keeps pouring on, as the Rebels are definitely under an Imperial assault on some tropical planet. Which makes a nice change of pace from the sandy, lava and ice planets that we usually see in Star Wars. Plus, a brief glimpse of those black Stormtroopers in action!

And here’s the final shot of the film, as Erso is decked out in Imperial armour, which also has storage capacity for space Escrima sticks. Nifty! Has she joined the Imperial side? Ha, yeah right. This is a heist movie after all. Disguises are mandatory in this genre. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is out in December.



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