So the official teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped today and needless to say, the internet went wild. The fan response to the trailer was enormously positive, with many declaring it to be exactly what the franchise needed. If you haven't yet seen the trailer, give it a quick look below. Don't worry, we'll wait.
Wasn't it glorious?
However, while many have been lauding it as an original, gritty war film, Rogue One is far from being the first to tell the story of how the rebels acquired the Death Star plans. No, that award goes to Dark Forces, a first person shooter from 1995. While the two stories claim to be different tellings of the same event (Dark Forces is sadly no longer canon), a bit of digging reveals that Rogue One could in fact be the movie adaptation of Dark Forces we've all been waiting for.
For those of you that don't know, Dark Forces followed the mission of Kyle Katarn, a mercenary who worked for the rebels in their mission to fight the Empire. In it, he teamed up with rebel agent, Jan Ors (I'm guessing that name sounds familiar) and, in later installments in the franchise, became a Jedi Master alongside Luke Skywalker.
The trailer has revealed tons of new facts about the latest Star Wars movie, and several point to Rogue One being the direct successor to Dark Forces.
Jan Ors/Jyn Erso
From the trailer it's clear that Felicity Jones' character, Jyn Erso, is no ordinary rebel. With a sharp tongue and a clear history with the Empire, it's obvious that Erso is an undercover agent of some kind that's not entirely avoided any Imperial entanglements.
In Dark Forces, a similarly named Jan Ors was a double agent working for the Rebel Alliance. Before being paired with Kyle Katarn, she was discovered and imprisoned by the Empire. The teaser trailer for Rogue One opens with a supposedly Imperial judge listing out Erso's crimes against the Empire, all of which sound like they were a result of having her cover blown.
Even if she's not a direct adaptation, Jyn Erso is clearly heavily inspired by Jan Ors. It's also a huge hint that points towards Rogue One being every Dark Forces fan's dream movie.
2. Kyle Katarn
Diego Luna's character is yet to be named, though no one can deny he bears a striking resemblance to Dark Forces' protagonist, Kyle Katarn. Questionable facial hair? Check. Refusal to wear rebel uniform? Check. A love for all shades of brown? Check.
Luna's character ticks all the boxes and, with the inclusion of totally-not-Jan-Ors, the chances of him playing a version of Kyle Katarn seem extremely high.
Although, in a slight difference to the source material, it's great to see a possible role reversal between Kyle and Jan, with Felicity Jones' character apparently taking charge. Otherwise, though, the story seems to have remained, which leads me on to...
3. The Story
Anyone that's played Dark Forces will find this whole setup very familiar. In both stories, a ragtag team of rebels must storm various Imperial bases in an attempt to steal the plans for the first Death Star. The premise is eerily similar and it's obvious that the team behind the movie were aware of Dark Forces when writing the script.
There are also hints towards the second story in Dark Forces, in which Kyle Katarn is sent by the Rebel Alliance to destroy the Dark Trooper program, which was capable of creating stronger, more efficient Stormtroopers designed to hunt down and destroy the rebellion. While no such plot is confirmed to exist in Rogue One, it does happily tie in with...
4. Dark Troopers
The first Dark Trooper was seen in the teaser for the trailer the previous day, because apparently we now live in a world where trailers need trailers. Before that, a photo of a Dark Trooper helmet was accidentally uploaded to Twitter by a Star Wars VIP, giving us a brief look at what to expect.
Dark Troopers were originally created for Dark Forces and were a staple of the franchise, becoming very popular within the Expanded Universe. Their inclusion in Rogue One isn't a so much a hint towards Dark Forces as it is a giant neon sign with the word "REFERENCE" burning itself into your retina.
However, every theory has its skeptics, and admittedly, all prior points could have been down to pure coincidence if it wasn't for one huge point...
5. The Director
The director of Rogue One, Gareth Edwards, is a self-confessed Star Wars nerd with a particular love for video games. While the words "This movie is based on Dark Forces" haven't explicitly come out of his mouth, his passion for the franchise and its games is enough evidence to suggest the connection.
And if even that wasn't enough for you, before dropping out due to his work on Fantastic Four, the previous director of the project, Josh Trank, openly admitted that he'd been working on a direct Dark Forces movie. There, that's officially more proof than you could possibly need.
Notice any other similarites between Rogue One and Dark Forces? Let me know in the comments!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, otherwise known as Dark Forces: The Movie hits theaters December 16, 2016.