Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is less than six months away and with that comes the anticipation of yet another Star Wars film. This film will be different than previous films simply by being the first solo Star Wars movie not part of an episodic trilogy.
Rogue One will tell the story of the Rebellion stealing plans for the Death Star from the Empire. It’s a crucial story and one mentioned at the beginning of A New Hope. Because of Rogue One's nearness in time to A New Hope, there's a very real possibility that audiences will view Episode IV differently when re-watching post-Rogue One. The most significant way this may manifest is in the introduction of new characters and moments that will add weight to the events we're already familiar with in A New Hope.
No matter how many times we watch A New Hope, watching Rogue One is bound to change our perspective. Especially since we've already been told Rogue One will end roughly ten minutes before the start of A New Hope. In that sense, these stories are very connected. Here are five ways Rogue One could change the way we view A New Hope.
1. Mon Mothma
The leader of the Rebellion, Mon Mothma, will have a role that is substantially larger in this film than in A New Hope, if the first teaser trailer is any indication. Actor Genevieve O’Reilly’s scenes in Revenge of the Sith were cut out by George Lucas who had initially cast her as the politician appearing on Coruscant. Revenge of the Sith's loss is our gain as this freed her up to play the same character in Rogue One, and with a much bigger presence.
The character of Mon Mothma may not actually be in A New Hope (she only appears first in Return of the Jedi), but her motivations and influence will certainly be felt in the movie. We will know and understand the sacrifices she made to lead the Rebels to retrieve the Death Star plans, thus learning the weapon's weakness. This information will come to feel even more significant once we see what the Rebels endure obtaining the important plans. Rogue One will certainly be a BIG step for the Rebellion as they go on to take down the Death Star in A New Hope.
We were introduced to the Stormtroopers in A New Hope, the Snowtroopers in The Empire Strikes Back, and the Scout Troopers in Return of the Jedi. Rogue One introduces even deadlier troopers known as the Death Troopers. A few weeks ago, director Gareth Edwards gave his reasoning behind the birth of the Death Troopers. In the interview, Edwards talked about how a lot of the Stormtrooper ideas came from original Ralph McQuarrie paintings:
“...And then at the very back of the room are all of these drawers that are full of the Joe Johnston and Ralph McQuarrie originals. The original actual paintings that they showed the studio to get 'Star Wars' made. And on some of those images, there were these Stormtroopers that were really tall and thin and they looked so cool and athletic. When you put armor on a Stormtrooper, they look like NFL players. They were sleek and S.A.S. looking Stormtroopers. So we thought let’s try to find some six, seven-foot tall people who are really thin and try to figure out a new Stormtrooper that can actually hit its target with guns. And they became, eventually, the Death Troopers.”
At six to seven feet tall and with deadly accuracy, these Death Troopers sound quite dangerous. Star Wars fans will tell you that most Stormtroopers have a lack of accuracy. Finally, we'll see a more threatening adversary than the usual nondescript trooper. Considering these troopers don't appear in A New Hope, it will be interesting to see what happens to them all in Rogue One.
The Death Star could have used these deadly troopers when Han, Luke, Chewie, and Obi-Wan all go there to save Princess Leia. It will be interesting to watch those scenes knowing this added element could have been a part of it — and also, hopefully, after seeing Rogue One, knowing why they aren't there.
3. Tantive IV
With Rogue One ending roughly ten minutes before the opening of A New Hope, there’s a good chance we’ll be getting to know the crew aboard the infamous Tantive IV in the movie. That being said, Captain Antilles and his crew may feel more significant once we eventually see them take off into the iconic ship. Especially considering we already know the sacrifice they made to get Princess Leia to safety. That said, one has to wonder if this means we may get a glimpse of the young Princess, perhaps right as she boards the ship that will lead her into the hands of the Empire.
Being more familiar with the crew of Tantive IV and their role in obtaining the Death Star plans is sure to give Episode IV more emotional weight. Knowing the fate of their captain especially. We’ll have to see how Rogue One plays out, but we have to believe we’ll be seeing Captain Antilles and his crew at some point in the film even if it’s at the very end.
4. Darth Vader
Speaking of the Tantive IV, this is the ship where we are introduced to one of cinema's greatest villains. Darth Vader’s screen time may be rather short in A New Hope, but his presence is felt throughout the entire film. If the film’s opening scene is any indication, Darth Vader means business. We've wondered what made Vader so angry at the start of A New Hope and Rogue One may attempt to answer that question. You can watch the entire opening scene of Episode IV below.
Vader is certainly not happy once aboard the Tantive IV. After the Stormtroopers kill most of Captain Antilles’s crew, Vader uses his brute strength to get as much information out of him as possible, killing him in the process. It’s confirmed that Vader will have a presence in Rogue One even if his role is rather small. Iconic voice actor James Earl Jones will continue to voice Darth Vader in Rogue One after voicing him in the Star Wars Rebels series. Vader’s presence will surely be felt in Rogue One, and we will get a taste of his wrath.
This may be what I consider the most significant element to come into play in Rogue One. The planet of Alderaan. With its beautiful landscape, lush vegetation, and famed citizens, it’s a shame we haven’t learned more about this infamous planet. Given Rogue One's timeframe, it seems likely we'll finally get our chance to visit.
The planet Alderaan is famous for being not only one of the most beautiful planets in the galaxy but also the original testing site for the Death Star's abilities. Grand Moff Tarkin orders the planet to be decimated in A New Hope, and Leia watches her home planet destroyed in seconds even after giving up the location of the rebel base (albeit an incorrect one). The entire planet, including her family, explode right in front of her eyes.
In A New Hope, Obi-Wan reacts when he senses that many lives were lost, saying:
“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.”
Given the opportunity to learn more about and meet more people from Alderaan, Episode IV will carry much more emotional weight in that scene. Here's hoping Rogue One will delve more deeply into the planet and its inhabitants.
Here are just five ways Rogue One may change our perception of A New Hope. Whatever other bits of universe-building we get from the film, it seems impossible it won't go on to affect future viewings of the Star Wars films we've already grown to love. For devotees, it's the sort of details we live for.
What other additions do you hope for from Rogue One? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comment section below and don’t forget to share!