The first trailer for Rogue One, the first “Star Wars Story” spin-off of the rebooted universe, is here and it’s pretty f*cking metal. From the piano breakdown of the Star Wars’ theme to the shots of the Death Star, Stormtroopers, AT-ATs, and those familiar orange flight suits, there’s plenty of recognizable Star Wars stuff to push the nostalgia button everyone is so hooked on these days. And there’s Mon Mothma! There are so few women—or there had been, before now—in the Star Wars universe that you even get excited about the ones who spend most their time standing around tables.
But then came Rey, and now Jyn Erso, Felicity Jones’s new Rebellion heroine. She’s a rough and tumble scrapper in the Han Solo mold, who gets sucked into a Rebellion spy plot that seems to be about discovering the Death Star. Well, they had to find out about it somehow, and it looks like Rogue One is here to tell us that story. I am all f*cking in.
We get brief glimpses of Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, and Donnie Yen—a reader named Melanie once described this cast as “AGRESSIVELY diverse”—but if Mads Mikkelsen is in this trailer, he’s wearing a face-obstructing costume. It’s the Felicity Jones show, though, and Jyn Erso looks like a certified badass, throwing punches and firing blasters and generally f*cking sh*t up.
The look of the film is great, too. It’s dirty and grimy the way Star Wars should look—part of the original trilogy’s appeal was that it wasn’t a polished, shiny science fiction vision, it was scummy and kind of gross and kicked off an era of lived-in production design for these types of films. And the action looks terrific. Director Gareth Edwards has proven he knows scope and scale for action—he directed the under-appreciated 2014 Godzilla—and there’s everything from big pretty explosions to street brawls, and all of it looks beautiful. I am 100% into this movie, based on this trailer.
Everyone is speculating that Jyn Erso is Rey’s mother. I don’t really care. The mystery of Rey’s parentage isn’t nearly as compelling as what Rey will do next, and also, the universe does not need to be that small. Not everything has to be connected. But if she is Rey’s mom, great, if not, also great. It doesn’t really matter because Jyn Erso looks like a fantastic heroine to add to Star Wars’ growing collection of fantastic heroines.