Chris on Star Wars

A new chapter in the Star Wars Story: Rogue One

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Death Star Ph: Film Frame©Lucasfilm LFL

Waking up on Thursday morning I was greeted by my iPad with the news that there was (finally!) a teaser trailer for the next Star Wars film. Still slightly groggy and sleepy, I loaded up YouTube to find… no teaser. Well, it was a teaser. It was a teaser for a teaser. A couple of seconds to promote a proper teaser trailer that would be released later that day.

It is like they wanted me to have no chance of concentrating on anything for the entire morning.

Star Wars Rogue One - Death Star

Now, ever since Rogue One was announced I have been intrigued. To be honest, anything that promises to add to and enrich the Star Wars universe would probably intrigue me. But from the shaky videos showing the briefest of clips from Star Wars Celebration last year indicating the tone and scope of the movie and the small amounts of information describing it as a dark, gritty film that puts the “war” in Star Wars, I was instantly hooked.

Star Wars Rogue One Admiral

Since the release of the teaser, my head has been trying to make sense of it all. The teaser has done exactly what the name suggests, teased us about the tone of the film and the general premise. But as far as the story is concerned? No idea! Some rebels steal the Death Star plans. We know that, because Episode IV happens. But what happens along the way? Is it a team of Rebels? Or does Jyn Erso end up on a solo mission? Will she encounter Vader along the way? There are so many questions, and it is perhaps a testament to the quality of the trailer that it manages to raise so many queries when the outcome and end result is already known.

My biggest questions

Obviously I want to know exactly how everything pans out, how the rebels get hold of the plans, who makes it and who doesn’t, and whether or not the final scene will lead directly into the start of Episode IV. But from just the teaser itself, my main questions relate to the identity of two (seemingly) villainous characters.

Who is the main antagonist?

We get a good shot of some kind of Imperial Admiral (shown in the image above). We later see the same guy strolling through the aftermath of a battle. But who is he??? There were lots of rumours much earlier in the production of the film that there would be a CGI version of Tarkin overseeing things. I do NOT think that would be a good idea. I could see it working briefly in a hologram to show that he is around and involved. But this needs to be someone new, and I think from the look of it, it is. But who?

Could it be the fan favourite Grand Admiral Thrawn? Again, I think not. His visual appearance does not match up at all (Thrawn is meant to have blue skin and red eyes, a very distinctive look that would be awesome on screen). Changing this part of the Legends version of the EU wouldn’t seem to have any value, other than disappointing fans. If they wanted to use Thrawn, I think they would stick to his Legends look.

So if it isn’t Tarkin, and it isn’t Thrawn, then who could it be? Well there is a pretty big Empire out there at the time, so it is most likely someone completely new. Someone to fill the role of a villain for this film. He needs to ‘lose’ after all, and so maybe he doesn’t make it any further, explaining why he isn’t in the original trilogy. This would make most sense. The only other bit of speculation I have is whether this guy is somehow related to the mysterious fleet admiral mentioned at the very end of the novel Aftermath. I doubt this is the same person.

What are the Royal Guards there for?

We know that there are no Jedi in this film. But could there be a glimpse of the Sith in the trailer? We see a figure cloaked in black and wearing a hood approach some kind of cylindrical tank, and kneel before it. Flanking the tank are two figures dressed in the red uniform the Emperor’s Royal Guard.

The cylindrical tank looks like a Bacta tank, seen in Episode V as the vessel in which Luke’s wounds are healed. This would suggest that someone in there is recovering from some pretty serious injuries. Is it that person, or the mysterious hooded figure, who deserves the Royal Guards? The figure does not seem to be Vader – when have we ever seen Vader with a hood? It doesn’t seem to be the Emperor either, and who would he be kneeling to?! So is it one of them inside the tank? Is the tank even a Bacta tank at all? So many questions!

Months of speculation begins…

Between now and the release of the film, every possible identity of these two figures will be discussed and theorised upon. I’m sure that in the next trailer, these discussion will all be thrown on their head. We’ll just have to wait.

Painfully.

Slowly.

But in time, we will find out. Answers will arrive.

And along the way, something that I’m incredibly exited about, is a prequel novel which will hopefully raise a whole load of new questions that make waiting for the film even more unbearable!

 

So, what do you think? What are you must curious about with Rogue One? Do you think we’ll see Tarkin? Vader? Anyone else? Let me know!

Chris Phethean is a writer and blogger. He is working on a range of sci-fi, fantasy and adventure stories, and dreams of writing interactive narratives for video games. Find him on and Twitter.

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