The buzz has officially died down on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams came and conquered the box office but now we’re turning our attentions to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first in a series of standalone anthology films set to be released in in years we don’t get a new ‘Episode.’
There’s still plenty we don’t know about Rogue One, but if the rumours and speculation are anything to go by, we should be very excited indeed. It’ll be tough to top the spectacle and excitement of The Force Awakens, but here’s 7 reasons why Rogue One might just pull it off.
1. Returning Old Faces
We don’t know the specifics, but the evil Empire will have a presence in Rogue One. The film takes part when the Empire is at the height of its powers, before the Rebellion destroys the Death Star, and there have been rumours centred on a returning appearance for General Moff Tarkin, who was originally portrayed by the deceased Peter Cushing. However, Lucasfilm has apparently spent a long time trying to digitally recreate the high-ranking Imperial. Seeing Tarkin, in some shape or form, on the big screen again would be simply brilliant.
2. The Mysterious Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen is a fantastically gifted actor (seriously, if you haven’t seen The Hunt, it’s on Netflix now) but we don’t know how exactly he will feature. Given his excellent villainous turns in Hannibal and Casino Royale, it would perhaps be safer to assume that he’ll have an allegiance to the Dark Side, perhaps as a Tarkin-esque character ordering staff around.
Some rumours suggest that he’s a scientist called Galen, who helped the Empire design the Death Star before changing sides after a crisis of conscience. This kind of arc could fit into Rogue One very nicely; after all, the Rebels may need an inside man to tell them where to locate the plans.
3. ‘Shadow Troopers’
Even just saying ‘Shadow Trooper’ to yourself fills the imagination with exciting narrative potential. Some leaked details online suggested a new Imperial foot soldier called Shadow Troopers, boasting black helmets and peculiar silver features. Shadow Troopers have also popped up on the recent EA game Star Wars: Battlefront.
In the 1990s comic book series Dark Empire II, it was revealed that some droids like these contained the minds of deceased Imperials and had been endowed with the Dark Side of the Force, allowing them to link mentally with Emperor Palpatine – which is really awesome. If the Shadow Troopers have similar backstories for Rogue One, they would be suitable deadly and dangerous.
4. Leia and Han?
If you thought The Force Awakens was the last time we’d see Han Solo and
Princess General Leia onscreen together, you might be wrong. Rogue One might feature the two popular original characters, even though they don’t cross paths. Lucasfilm are currently in the process of casting a young Han Solo and when they do, he may cameo in Rogue One. It also makes a lot of sense for Leia to feature considering that she’s in possession of the Death Star plans at the start of A New Hope.
5. It Might Tie-In With Star Wars: Rebels
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the animated TV series Star Wars: Rebels both take place in the intermitting period between Revenge Of The Sith and A New Hope. They’re also both heavily focused on the missions of the Rebel Alliance. Could the two stories intertwine at some stage, then? It seems like a distinct possibility.
“Absolutely, there’s been conversation about it,” Rebels producer Simon Kinberg said in April last year, before backtracking a little with a real world parallel. “We never meet the Chilean miners that are trapped in that mine,” he said as an example, but “we know about it and the world reacts to it.”
6. Boba Fett
This is easily one of the most exciting rumours. Fearless and downright badass bounty hunter Boba Fett – last seen plummeting into the maw of the fearsome Sarlaac in 1983’s Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – could be back for Rogue One. When Rogue One costumes and art were unveiled at the German Nuremberg ToyFair a few weeks back, the intriguing inclusion of Fett’s iconic Slave 1 ship sparked some wildfire speculation. Now, the inclusion of Slave 1 in a Lego set doesn’t necessarily mean anything for the film but, after all, he’s no good to us dead, so they have to bring him back, right?
7. The Darth Vader Dream Team
A few weeks ago, MakingStarWars – a generally reliable source – claimed to have received word that ‘The Darth Vader Dream Team’ was being assembled for Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One.
They said: “We have it on good authority that the Darth Vader costume as seen in Star Wars: A New Hope has been meticulously recreated to match A New Hope perfectly. By all accounts the costume is so close to the original everyone is very happy and very impressed with the work done by Brian Muir and his team.”
“The coolest part is we’ve learned that James Earl Jones, the voice, the heart and soul of Darth Vader will return to speak Darth Vader’s lines in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The Darth Vader we all know from the original Star Wars film is effectively back in look, voice, and spirit. There is still no word on if he has already recorded his lines or will in the post-production phase.”
‘The action sequences filmed are unknown, but there was work pitching the different ways Darth Vader could kill rebels on a battlefield with the Force and his lightsaber. The storyboard “pitches” showed decapitated rebels, people being dismembered by Vader throwing his sword, levitating bodies to make human shields, and so on. The art was more violent than what we’ve seen Darth Vader do on screen before.’
Try to claim you didn’t get excited by reading that and we’ll crush you like Rebel scum!
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