Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will debut on December 18, but do casual fans of the franchise know what it’s all about? A new featurette from Lucasfilm gives the best explanation I’ve seen yet.
“These films, these characters, this story, I grew up with,” Diego Luna, who plays Captain Cassian Andor in the film, says. “It’s a whole world I’ve been thinking about for quite a long time.”
But just because you grew up with Star Wars doesn’t mean you know every facet of the universe. As someone who lives and breaths all things geek, it’s sometimes easy to forget not everyone is consuming media the same way I do. If you spend a lot of time online (or write about this kind of stuff for a living) it’s especially important to remember a lot of the people going to see Star Wars films in the theater don’t know a lot of background we take for granted. They aren’t going in with the same context.
For instance: I recently wrote about kyber crystals showing up in one of the Rogue One trailers. I considered the explanation of them to be a spoiler because they’ve never actually been explained, let along mentioned, in the film trilogies. Their possible revelation in Rogue One will be a huge deal. Darth Vader has made appearances in the trailers and we know the Death Star is playing a big part, but considering a lot of viewers thought Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Starkiller Base to be “another Death Star,” I can’t help but think more explanation is in order.
I’ve talked before about how the marketing for Rogue One has been leaving out some very simple, but important background information that could hurt the film from being received as well as it could (it could even extend to toy sales). Even the title itself is questionable, as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn’t quite roll off the tongue and most people are simply calling it Rogue One. But finally, this featurette puts everything into perfect perspective.
“Rogue One takes place very close to Episode IV,” says director Gareth Edwards. “The simplest way to explain it is that text you see at the beginning of A New Hope [“Rebel,” “spies,” “steal secret plans”], that is essentially our movie.” Boom! Now if they could just put that exact information in the TV spots we’d be golden. They also went one step further though, and provided a couple of side-by-side comparisons of actual shots from the two films.
So if you’ve got a friend or relative asking you where Rey and Finn are when they see Rogue One marketing, make sure to show them this.