Things have been surprisingly quiet on the Rogue One front lately for Lucasfilm. Since the first trailer debuted in early April, we’ve heard little on the way of official word on the new characters, what’s to come in the story, or virtually anything else. [Update, 8/23/16: Added new trailer (see above).] Everything we have heard has run through the rumor-mill based on leaked information. Well, that trend of leaks continues now, marked by the appearance of photos from the Rogue One visual guide coming out in January 2017.
The guide gives us all sorts of details about our main characters, a new villain, and even hints at the appearance of a certain asthmatic Sith lord. The source of the leak seems to be the German site, Jedi Bibliothek, discovered by a reader over at Slash Film. It features ten separate pages from the “Official Visual Story Guide” for Rogue One, each of which provides a wealth of new information for us. And while there’s now way to confirm the authenticity of the leak, all the info seems to be right in line with what we already know about the film. That being so, here’s what we learned.
1. Character names and bios
We learned from the trailer that our main character will be Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a young woman recruited by the Rebellion to help steal the plans to the first Death Star. We know very little (if anything) about her supporting team though, having not even been afforded their individual names. The visual guide gives us all that and more, with bios to match names for every member of Jyn Erso’s team.
- Cassian Andor (Diego Luna): A Rebel Alliance Captain
- Baze (Jiang Wen): A freelance assassin
- K-25O (Alan Tudyk): An Imperial-class enforcer droid programmed to assist the Rebels [Update, 8/23/16: K-25O is now called K-2SO.]
- Bodhi (Riz Ahmed): A Rebel soldier
- Pao and Bistan (no confirmed actor info on either): Two diminutive aliens described as “fierce warriors”
- Chirrut (Donnie Yen): A spiritual warrior
2. The villains
Star Wars has rarely been without intriguing villains, and Rogue One will certainly be no exception. We saw Ben Mendelsohn as an imposing Imperial officer in the first trailer, and rumors flew that he’d be playing Admiral Thrawn, a fan-favorite character from the no-longer-canon Expanded Universe novels. As it turns out, it’ll be a brand new character to the Star Wars universe: Director Krennic. Krennic is “the Director of the Imperial Military,” putting him about as high up on the totem pole as you can get, short of Grand Moff Tarkin himself. We also get a look at the new Death Troopers, albeit with a stock description identical to that of the regular, white-clad Stormtrooper directly below. Not to be ignored too is the fearsome visage of Darth Vader, who has long been rumored to appear in the film.
3. Brand new starfighters
We haven’t seen much of a deviation from the starfighter designs of the original trilogy in awhile, with even The Force Awakens falling back on the classic X-Wings vs. TIE Fighter aesthetic. Rogue One will bring new ships into the mix though, including the TIE Striker for the Imperials (above), and the U-Wing for the Rebels (photo here). The new TIE appears to be built for speed more than anything, while the U-Wing combines power with maneuverability, outfitted with proton torpedoes for added firepower.
4. Inside the Death Star
Every Star Wars fan is at least generally familiar with the Death Star. The super-weapon was constructed over two decades by the Empire, utilizing plans Palpatine took from the Geonosians back in Episode II. Most of the construction was done in complete secret in the outer edges of the galaxy, overseen by Tarkin and other Imperial higher-ups. Above we see the inner-workings of the imposing space station, echoing the iconic line from Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi: “That’s no moon.” It’ll be the central conflict of Rogue One, setting the stage for its eventual destruction at the hands of Luke Skywalker in Episode IV.
5. The newest droid to join the Star Wars universe
It wouldn’t be a Star Wars movie if our lovable band of misfits didn’t have an affable droid in tow. K-250 will join our heroes for Rogue One, voiced by Alan Tudyk, and rumored by Jedi Bibliothek to appear almost entirely through CGI. [Update, 8/23/16: K-25O is now called K-2SO.]
K-250 is a repurposed Imperial Enforcer Droid, making him the first real fighting droid we’ve seen employed by our heroes in the Star Wars saga. Having an Imperial security droid has the added bonus of making infiltration a lot easier, making Alan Tudyk’s character an integral part of the story.
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