Fans may still be going nuts over the massive success that is Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens, but it's not the only Star Wars movie to be thinking about right now.
The first plot details for the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars story have been posted by MakingStarWars, a site that focuses on BTS shots and rumors (and which has been right about several things in the run up to TFA). Obviously these are not yet confirmed by Disney/Lucasfilm, but they do make sense with the little we do know about the upcoming epic.
The Confirmed Details
All we know from Disney itself is that the film will take place in between Episode III and Episode IV, close to the events of A New Hope. Rogue One will follow a group of Rebels as they attempt to steal the plans to the Death Star.
Obviously, they succeed (or pave the way for someone else to succeed), as those same plans set the events of A New Hope in motion, but we don't know where this journey starts or where it will take them. A cast of all-new characters is also planned for the film, which means that we are bound to get some great new fan-favorites from the Rebel Alliance as well.
Director Gareth Edwards also told fans at Star Wars Celebration that the film will focus on the Rebel war, rather than Jedis and the Force.
It's the reality of war. Good guys are bad. Bad guys are good. It's complicated, layered; a very rich scenario in which to set a movie.
Rumor 1: An Oppenheimer-esque Character
The bigger of the two new plot rumors centers around Mads Mikkelsen's character, who is reported to be a scientist for the dark side who regrets his decision to create/help the Death Star.
Mads Mikkelsen (Galen appears to be his name in the film) is kind of the key to the film in a way. He is a scientist that took over the Geonosian Death Star project. He solved several of the flaws the Empire could not and is sort of a revered person in the Empire for his contributions. However, Mikkelsen’s character is a Robert Oppenheimer-type character. Oppenheimer helped design the atomic bomb only to say, “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” The guilt “Galen” feels for his contributions to the Empire become too much and he defects, attempting to make things right. In order to do this, he enlists the help of his only daughter….
This would be a fantastic addition to the film, balancing out the perspective of the Rebel Alliance with some scenes from the Empire's side. The proposed Oppenheimer-style character would also be a wonderfully complex addition, matching with Edward's comments about bad guys being good.
Rumor 2: Felicity Jones is NOT a Bounty Hunter
Fan rumors up until now had Felicity Jones' character pegged as a bounty-hunter type (very Han Solo) but these new rumors give her a much more personal connection to the mission.
Felicity Jones’ character has to undo the devastation her family has unleashed onto the galaxy. Early versions of this character had her as a bounty hunter type of mercenary. But with the familial connections it appears as if this idea might not interface with the final stuff for the character so I’m hesitant to say she’s a bounty hunter/mercenary type in the final iterations of the film. I believe she is probably a scientist-type herself in character of the mission to get the plans, aided by bounty hunters, in this final iteration.
This would definitely be a new angle on the character if it is the case. Giving her a revenge mission would give her some more depth, and struggling to love her father and reconcile herself with his choices would make for wonderful viewing. It would also make sense to have her begin as a bounty-hunter type, and be drawn into the struggle as she learns what her father has done.
Given the assumption that Jones will be playing the central character, it also makes sense to make the mission personal for her.
Wait and See
These are all just rumors at the moment, and Disney/Lucasfilm are being very tight-lipped about the project in general. Given the limited information we received about The Force Awakens before release, we may be left in the dark almost up until the release of Rogue One (although as it is a spin-off, the assumption is that there will be significantly more promo for this one).
With just under a year to go, there is still plenty of time to find out more about the upcoming film, and while it's easy for studios to over-share, we can always hope for just a few more details about this new crew.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story comes to theaters Dec 16th, 2016