ByMatt Timmy Creamer, writer at
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Matt Timmy Creamer

The anticipation and marketing for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story have grown exponentially. The final trailer has just been released and fans around the world can now view this absolutely incredible and visually stunning trailer.

There are a lot of amazing visuals in this trailer, which clearly shows director Gareth Edwards has delivered on his promise to create a war story told in the Star Wars universe. Every shot was handled with care when this trailer was in the works. Many of the shots give us a great deal about the characters and the storyline involved in the film. I chose to dissect ten different shots from the trailer and explain their significance and why they affected me so emotionally.

1. Jyn Erso And Her Father Galen

Why it’s significant:

Watching any parent say goodbye to their daughter or son is never something that anyone wants to have to go through. However, in this trailer, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) is seen being taken captive by Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and must leave his daughter behind. You can’t help by feel sorry for a young Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) after her father mentions that he’s doing everything he can to keep her safe. It’s gut-wrenching when we hear her respond with “I understand,” as this moment will play a significant role to her character growing up.

2. The Fallen Jedi

Why it’s significant:

Most of you may not have picked up on this right away, but that is no ordinary rock structure. That jumble of rocks appears to form a Jedi laying in the sand. It appears that this structure is on the planet Jedha, which was a place once inhabited by the Jedi and is now being overrun by the Empire.

The symbolism here cannot be overstated as the “fallen Jedi” rocks seem to represent all of the Jedi who have died years earlier during Order 66. It’s a great homage to the Jedi who were slaughtered when they were once around spreading peace throughout the galaxy.

3. Krennic And Galen Meet Again

Why it’s significant:

Thus far, we aren’t really sure what happened during their first encounter, but this shot appears to be one that shows that these two characters haven’t met in quite some time. Galen looks surprised to find Director Krennic front and center here, not knowing what his fate may soon become. We learn in the trailer that Galen is the one who helped create the Death Star but by what means is he forced to craft this battle station whose power, according to Krennic, is “immeasurable?”

4. The Death Star Looming Over The Horizon

Why it’s significant:

Every shot of the Death Star in all of these trailers has given me chills, but this one takes the cake. The Death Star is seen here looming over some clouds, eventually coming into contact with whatever it’s heading toward. How would you feel if you were standing outside and you saw this massive battle station hovering over the clouds becoming bigger and bigger until you realize what it actually is? I sure would be terrified, and that’s why this shot is subtle yet chilling at the same time.

5. Director Krennic Speaking To Vader

Why it’s significant:

What character from A New Hope does this shot remind you of? If you answered with Grand Moff Tarkin, then you would be right. We don’t know much about Krennic other than he and Jyn’s father have a history together. However, this shot makes it very clear that Vader doesn’t just listen to Tarkin and the Emperor, but Krennic as well.

We’ll know much more about Krennic’s backstory when James Luceno’s new book Star Wars Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel is released roughly one month before Rogue One debuts in theaters. This novel should give us more of a backstory to Krennic’s character and his significance to the Galactic Empire.

6. Imperials Gazing At An Unknown Planet

Why it’s significant:

I may be reading too much into this one shot, but I feel as though this is the one of the most impactful shots of the entire trailer and here’s why:

If you’ve ever read the Claudia Grey novel Lost Stars, you will know that this was a story involving those who worked for the Empire learning how evil the Empire truly was. The men and women in the novel grew up believing that it was the right thing to do to enlist in the Galactic Empire, but behind the curtain it was nothing but pure evil. Those who made it into the Galactic Empire were rewarded for their hard work and were informed that they were making the galaxy a better place.

I don’t know about you, but this shot makes me want to believe that these men shown here are actually questioning the validity of the Empire. If this battle station they are on is as powerful as people say it is, then they may be feeling a sign of regret. They may not fully understand the weapon they are currently working on, but they will soon find out when a certain planet is obliterated in A New Hope. The guilt of destroying an entire civilization cannot be easy to overcome.

7. An AT-ST Seen In Close Quarters

Why it’s significant:

The only action shot I chose from the trailer is this one and for good reason. Not only are we going to see AT-ATs once again in action, but we also get to see AT-STs in close combat as well. The AT-STs were primarily used in the Battle on Endor against the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. Now, we get to see at least one front and center once again in an unknown city that kind of resembles Mos Eisley.

The reason I chose this as one of the ten most powerful shots from this trailer is because it shows the strength and might of the Galactic Empire. They could have just simply sent in one of the tank-like vehicles that we saw in the behind the scenes featurette from Star Wars Celebration:

Or they could have just sent in a massive army of stormtroopers. But no, the Empire always goes out in full force and they've chosen to send in at least one AT-ST walker to wreck some sh*t. This goes to show that the Empire isn’t messing around and will do and utilize anything that will accomplish their mission, even if that means setting the place ablaze and killing innocent civilians along the way.

8. Saw Gerrera’s Battle Scars

Why it’s significant:

Though I don’t know much about Forest Whitaker’s character (unless you watch The Clone Wars), his appearance tells us a great deal. Clearly this man has been through a whole lot, which explains why he’s missing most of his body parts, including an arm and a leg, not to mention the breathing apparatus that you can see attached to his chest. This character has been through many battles and looks to have one last battle in him. That’s what makes this shot so important is that even though this man is nearly on his deathbed, he will still fight for what’s right even if that means giving his own life for the sake of others.

9. A Soldier In Battle

Why it’s significant:

Of all the shots from the trailer, this scene is the one that defines what the film Rogue One is sincerely about: War.

Actor Riz Ahmed plays one of many Rebel soldiers in Rogue One. We haven’t received a lot of dialogue or story elements about this character but we don’t have to. This one shot gives us what we need to know in a nutshell. This man is sacrificing everything he has to succeed in this mission, knowing he may not make it out alive. The shot gives us a great balance of emotion and the meaning of war. Though seen only for a split second, he is nearly shot in the back were it not for the boxes he’s hiding behind.

This shot also reminds me of many scenes where soldiers are feeling the effects of war, specifically those soldiers who fought in Saving Private Ryan (which this film appears to be modeled after). Tom Hank’s character experienced shell shock and was seen panting heavily throughout the entire film. War takes a huge toll on those involved, especially ones who are in the heat of battle. Riz Ahmed’s character is no different.

10. Vader Walking Towards Krennic

Why it’s significant:

Finally, we receive a full shot of Vader! What’s not to love here? But seriously, this shot though quick, gives us just enough Vader to let fans know that he will play a prominent role in Rogue One. His role will be brief, but will be extremely significant to the story. After all, this film will end roughly ten minutes before the events of A New Hope, and Vader is certainly not happy once he intercepts the Rebel ship, the Tantive IV.

This one shot shows Vader walking towards Krennic looking rather angry. Could this be Krennic’s demise after a failed mission? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

Final Thoughts On The Trailer

There is a lot riding on this film, especially coming off the huge box office success of The Force Awakens. Disney is aware that this film won’t make The Force Awakens numbers, but Rogue One should still be a very profitable movie. The cinematography, story, and the characters look incredible and appears to be yet another memorable Star Wars tale that’s sure to go down as one of the greats.

What shot did you feel was significant in the trailer? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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