Spoilers ahead for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to be released on December 16 and will set the table for years of standalone Star Wars films under the franchise, one of which will be a Han Solo film. But with less than three months to go until the Rogue One premiere, we still don’t know all that much about the film — which is great unless you’re the type of person who loves to spoil yourself with insider information. So if you want to know all there is to know — spoilers be damned — here are three of the biggest reveals so far about the upcoming film.
Spoilers obviously incoming.
1. At least one character isn’t going to make it
We already knew the team introduced in Rogue One would be facing some major casualties. After all, with Darth Vader and the Empire’s top strike team in pursuit there’s probably a reason none of the characters appear to have roles in the original trilogy. Still, that didn’t mean a happy ending is impossible. Maybe the team is living out their lives in secret like Yoda or reside in another part of the galaxy. Apparently that’s not so for at least one member.
The Star Wars Celebration’s Rogue One panel in July had an awkward moment when actor Jiang Wen, who plays Baze Malbus, seemed to reveal that Donnie Yen’s character Chirrut Îmwe would be meeting his maker within the film.
“And when this guy dead I do something better,” he told the audience, referring to Chirrut Îmwe. While the slip could have been spun as a communication mishap, the responses by his fellow cast members more or less confirmed it was the real deal. Alan Tudyk, who was seated next to him, notably took a second to process the information before looking like a bomb had gone off, slumping in his seat. And Gwendoline Christie, who was leading the panel, quickly moved to stop the conversation before the situation escalated.
2. Jyn Erso’s family has ties to the Death Star
This isn’t technically a spoiler as this information is coming via the synopsis of the Star Wars novelization Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel, which tells the story of the events leading directly to Rogue One. The book will be released about a month before the film. Still, for those who want to go into Rogue One with no spoilers, this is certainly information that clears up some of the more mysterious elements of the film. It goes into who Jyn Erso is and why she’s important — not to mention information on her father, Galen Erso, who is played by Mads Mikkelsen. Here’s the key background revealed by the novel as reported by io9:
War is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a superweapon before their enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic’s, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.
Galen’s energy-focused research has captured the attention of both Krennic and his foes, making the scientist a crucial pawn in the galactic conflict. But after Krennic rescues Galen, his wife, Lyra, and their young daughter, Jyn, from Separatist kidnappers, the Erso family is deeply in Krennic’s debt. Krennic then offers Galen an extraordinary opportunity: to continue his scientific studies with every resource put utterly at his disposal. While Galen and Lyra believe that his energy research will be used purely in altruistic ways, Krennic has other plans that will finally make the Death Star a reality. Trapped in their benefactor’s tightening grasp, the Ersos must untangle Krennic’s web of deception to save themselves and the galaxy itself.
So besides knowing the concrete facts about the Erso family in Rogue One and why Jyn has some bones to pick with the Empire, we also find that family is front and center in the newest addition to the Star Wars series.
3. The film will primarily take place on a planet that serves as a Mecca of the Force
While the Force doesn’t figure to be a central aspect of Rogue One when it comes to Jedi versus Sith and lightsabers, that doesn’t mean the film isn’t going to have the Force at the heart of the film. According to director Gareth Edwards in an interview with Entertainment Weekly the film will both comment on the state of the Force in the period of the film while also using it as an essential part of the plot. “The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they’re losing their faith in the period that we start the movie,” he explained.
He adds that a large part of the film will deal with a place that physically embodies the war between good and evil — the loss of faith, and the Force. “It got embodied in this place we called Jedha,” he said before adding, “It’s a place where people who believe in the Force would go on a pilgrimage.”
But by far the most interesting thing revealed by the interview was how Jedha will be linked directly to the plot of the film. “[Jedha] was essentially taken over by the Empire. It’s an occupied territory … for reasons we probably can’t reveal.” When pressed, he explained, “There’s something very important in Jedha that serves both the Jedi and the Empire. It felt very much like something we could relate to in the real world.”
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