Disney teases 28 minutes of Star Wars spin-off Rogue One

The secretive Star Wars spin-off movie Rogue One just got a little more tangible.

Disney and Lucasfilm unveiled 28 minutes of footage for reporters on Friday at Skywalker Ranch, teasing the origin story of the band of rebels who aim to steal the plans for the Death Star — the event that sets into motion the plot of the original 1977 Star Wars.

The footage skipped around in time and storyline, but essentially sets up a world on the brink of rebellion. The Empire’s agents are everywhere, with stormtroopers roaming the streets searching for dissidents.

We meet the protagonist, Jyn Erso, as a young child whose parents, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) and Lyra (Valene Kane), are of particular interest to the Empire, and specifically Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic.

Without revealing anything else, it’s the specific origin story that still eludes audiences when it comes to the most recent Star Wars heroine, Rey.

But twists and turns seem to await spectators in Rogue One, which finds a grown Jyn (Felicity Jones) in cahoots with the rebel alliance on a dangerous mission to try to stop the Empire from building their planet destroyer.

Director Gareth Edwards introduced the footage, joking that they thought about showing 30 minutes but decided they needed to save something.

The film was screened for the cast recently but few have seen the final product.

The highlight reel set the stage for many of the principal characters, like Diego Luna’s streetsmart Alliance Captain Cassian Andor, Forest Whitaker’s extremist Saw Gerrera and Donnie Yen’s mysterious, blind Chirrut Imwe.

It also established a world that will look quite familiar to anyone who’s seen the 1977 Star Wars. Costumes, characters and sets from that first film — and some of the prequels — populate this universe, including Alliance leader Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly), Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) and a few other cheeky surprises.

Rogue One also takes audiences to planets and environs that aren’t standard settings in Star Wars films, including a beach and a bustling marketplace.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of three planned spin-off films set inside the Star Wars universe, including a young Han Solo film set for 2018. The so-called anthology films are separate from the main trilogy, which kicked off last year with The Force Awakens, and will continue next year with Episode VIII.

“We’re on sacred ground here,” Gareth Edwards said, pointing to a seat the middle of the theatre where he said George Lucas would watch and edit his films.

He said he pitched his vision for the film to Lucasfilm development executive Kiri Hart on the Skywalker Ranch campus.

Now that the film is finally finished, Gareth said the experience “feels like the end of something”.

But, he added, “if you do ‘Star Wars’ right, it’s more like the beginning.”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is released in UK cinemas on December 14.

More in this Section

Barbra Streisand advises Ariana Grande to eat ‘chicken soup’ for illnessBarbra Streisand advises Ariana Grande to eat ‘chicken soup’ for illness

Kanye West ‘in service to God not fame and money’Kanye West ‘in service to God not fame and money’

Singer James Arthur quits Twitter over trollingSinger James Arthur quits Twitter over trolling

Black Eyed Peas star accuses Qantas attendant of racismBlack Eyed Peas star accuses Qantas attendant of racism


Lifestyle

‘Children of the Troubles’ recounts the largely untold story of the lost boys and girls of Northern Ireland, and those who died south of the border, in Britain and as far afield as West Germany, writes Dan Buckley.Loss of lives that had barely begun

With Christmas Day six weeks away tomorrow, preparations are under way in earnest, writes Gráinne McGuinness.Making Cents: Bargains available on Black Friday but buyer beware!

From farming practices in Europe to forest clearances in the Amazon, Liz Bonnin’s new show seeks solutions to some of the damage done by the world’s appetite for meat, writes Gemma Dunn.New show seeks solutions to some of the damage done by the world’s appetite for meat

Louis Mulcahy reads in Cork this weekend for the Winter Warmer fest, writes Colette Sheridan.Wheel turns from pottery to poetry

More From The Irish Examiner