On Friday night, Lucasfilm screened just under 30 minutes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for the media in attendance. (I was not in attendance for that event, but I saw the same footage earlier this week and I’m now allowed to write about it, so here we go.)
The footage consists of maybe the first 15 minutes of the film, followed by two additional sequences, then a sizzle reel, totaling about 28 minutes in all. If you’re worried about spoilers, the reason Lucasfilm only showed what they did is because they want to prevent spoilers from leaking. So in other words, even with what I saw, I don’t really know any spoilers. So, onward we go…
As you’ve probably heard by now, Rogue One does not sport the traditional Star Wars crawl, instead it starts with “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….,” then just starts. (Which, to be honest, is a little jarring because our brains have been conditioned to hear the theme music and see a crawl after we see that.) And the score – which isn’t John Williams this time; Michael Giacchino has the honors – presents something different, yet at times feels familiar.
When the film starts, we are taken to young Jyn Erso’s home world where Ben Mendelsohn’s Orson Krennic (along with some Death Troopers, which all make a weird sound when communicating) has come for Mads Mikkelsen’s Galen Erso. As it turns out, Galen Erso holds the key to making the Death Star operate through his knowledge of kyber crystals. After a scuffle, Galen is taken away while young Jyn escapes. Eventually, Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) rescues the young girl then says, “We have a long ride ahead of us.” After this, we see the Rogue One title card.