Over the past few years, most of us have stopped (at least once), looked up wistfully toward the sky and thought, “The world is coming undone.” Which is probably why the editors behind the brand-new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer kicked things off with a shot of Forest Whitaker articulating those same apocalyptic feelings in a wise British accent.
Accompanied by a mournful piano score, the greying Whitaker wears a melancholy grimace as he lays bare our feelings of global anxiety: “Imperial flags reign across the galaxy.” Right-wing extremism? Terrorism? Reality TV? The allegorical interpretations are limitless, but the movie’s producers clearly want to tell us that somehow, Rogue One is speaking to the here and now.
At least, in part. Even with Donald Trump’s chronic verbal flatulence whipping red-state Amurica into an irrational frenzy, nobody has had to step up and arm a guerrilla insurgency quite yet. But that’s exactly what we see in Rogue One’s two-minute, fifteen-second ode to anti-colonial rebellion. Featuring a rainbow coalition of acting talent, the trailer seduces us with deft montages of explosions, epic gun battles, and masterful displays of martial arts courtesy of “Ip Man,” Donnie Yen.
Then, of course, there’s Diego Luna, who this time around gets the chance to drop a few lines of dialogue in his role as Captain Cassian Andor. With the same brooding gaze we came to love in the film’s first teaser, Andor offers his assistance and expertise to Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso as she attempts to take out the dreaded Death Star. Plus, Luna also gets the chance to flash that famous boyish grin for good measure.
To top things off we get the brief, mysterious shot of Darth Vader that everyone’s been waiting for. In a one-second shot snuck in provocatively after the final title card, we see the mouth-breathing megalomaniac cast against a glowing geometric diagram that we can only assume are the plans for the Death Star. What, if any, role he will play in Cassian and Jyn’s quest for justice is still anyone’s guess.
With a nationwide release scheduled for December 16, 2016, the team behind Rogue One will still have plenty of time to ramp up the anticipation between now and the holidays.