Star Wars Goes Rogue

2When Disney ripped the Star Wars universe from the cold dead hands of George Lucas, many were afraid of the franchise’s future. Those people were wrong. There are plenty of times Disney has made epic and costly mistakes, but they typically come in the form of a John Carter or Lone Ranger. Typically, Disney‘s misfires are attempts at future gold-mines in properties no one has had any interest in for over a century. For the most part, Disney knows their shit, and will not risk fucking up an already-existing pot of gold. In this case, that pot of gold is Star Wars.

Let me start off by saying that if you hated The Force Awakens, fuck you. You’re not a Star Wars fan. If you picked it apart and measured its faults against its successes, congratulations, you’re an acceptable fan-boy. But there was no excuse for hating it. In this case, the majority is very right-on.

Scheduled for a December 16, 2016 release, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, has released its second and potentially final full-length trailer…and–for a Star Wars fan–it is everything.

For all intents and purposes, Rogue One is a prequel. It occurs prior to the original trilogy, but some time after the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. So–this will inevitably be the fan favorite of all “prequel” series…until the Han Solo film comes out in two years, or whatever.

The trailer begins with Mads Mikkelsen, Jyn Erso’s father–confronting Ben Mendelsohn, as Orson Krennic. Galen Erso is a traitor to the Empire, responsible for leaking information about the construction of the Death Star. Krennic is almost a surrogate for Grand Moff Tarkin–tasked with overseeing the Death Star’s construction and reporting to the Emperor. He is tasked with killing Erso…and thus we get this image of a Death Trooper holding a dolly.

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Super bad-ass.

For anyone who’s seen Rebels on Disney XD, the trailer brings to life much of the settings we’ve grown to know and love. This is the Star Wars equivalent to the rise of the Nazis. The Emperor is in charge and any loyalists to the former Republic who attempt to fight the new galactic order are being rounded up or worse. In the midst of the formation of the Rebel Alliance, Jyn Erso (played by the lovely Felicity Jones) is captured as an enemy of the Empire…and scooped up by Captain Andor (played by the lovely Diego Luna), and our adventure really begins.

This is such a continuation from the George Lucas prequels that we’ll get to see some familiar faces from that series in Genevieve O’Reilly and Jimmy Smits who reprise their roles as Mon Mothma and Bail Organa. And let’s not forget James Earl Jones coming back as Darth Vader! But still no word on if we’ll see Hayden Christensen make an appearance.

All of the uniforms, technology, style and joy of the original Lucas trilogy is present here, and it’s very exciting to see a capable writer/director play in that sandbox.

Don’t get it twisted, George Lucas as a visionary creative genius. But he can’t write…or direct.

We get to see some new faces as well. Forest Whitaker plays Saw Gerrera, a Veteran of the Clone Wars, and the first character to transition from the animated series to the live-action universe.

Not only that, but some new fun characters as well such as Alan Tudyk as K-2SO, a former imperial droid with no filter and a wiped memory…and this guy:

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…whose name is Bistan and is referred to as a “Space Monkey”…which, frankly, seems more flat-out racist than endearing.

Space Monkeys and Frost Bane characters aside, this looks to be one of the most diverse Disney casts…or even Star Wars casts of all time, so that should appease the Social Justice Warriors for the time being…until they figure out “Space Monkey” is a slur in a galaxy far far away.

Only time will tell if the Internet will continue to be faux-angry over the back-to-back female leads in their Star Wars films, but I doubt it. The phony rage is played out, and woke nerds have a more important lady to worry about.

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