The Rogue One trailer dropped last night. However, one would never know that there was a Star Wars flick on the horizon. Unlike what happened during the trickle of The Force Awakens teasers, the Internet isn’t losing its collective mind. There isn’t even a hashtag trending on Twitter.
Despite all of that, this trailer does everything it needed to do to prepare the world for a non-saga Star Wars film. People might not be talking about it as much, but as more and more see it it will clarify a lot of the confusion surrounding it. Most notably, the trailer actually has the time to set up the time frame and the main mission. The teaser throws audiences into the early Imperial era without much context. Of course, fans easily pick up on such things. The Force Awakens, however, brought in a new generation of viewers who have no idea what the Battle of Yavin is. The newer audience requires a pretty clear statement that this is not Episode VIII.
This trailer does that by establishing a clear tone. That tone clearly reaffirms statements by director Gareth Edwards that this would be a war film. The Rogue One trailer also is a direct rebuttal to the reshoot drama in how it maintains this tone while still having heart. While the characters are clearly in dire circumstances, there are still small moments sprinkled in to add character. Alan Tudyk’s K-2SO is the first that comes to mind (“he means well”). There is beautiful cinematography, with lots of shots focused on the Death Star and its sheer scale. The score accompanying the trailer is also great. It uses bits of the classic tracks while still capturing the weight of what is going on.
Of course, the trailer finally did what was always going to be the biggest selling point. It closes with a shot of Darth Vader. This is the money shot, but thankfully it comes after a really good trailer. One might point out that I may or may not be over-analyzing here. However, it is simply because Rogue One might be more important for the Star Wars franchise than The Force Awakens. If this film isn’t successful, all that tells Disney is that there can’t be a Star Wars film that doesn’t feature Skywalkers. That is a universe I don’t want to see.