Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer analysis: What secrets have been revealed?

If you’ve watched any of the original Star Wars movies, then you probably already know of the franchise’s love of giant superweapons that tend to be blown up by a plucky group of underdogs. As impressive as the Death Stars were, they all had a convenient weak spot that helped the Rebellion score major victories against the Empire. We all know of how the Rebel Alliance secured the plans for the second Death Star, and how it led to the deaths of many Bothans, but how about the first Death Star?

That’s where Rogue One: A Star Wars Story comes in. Taking place during the height of the Empire’s power, Rogue One will follow Jyn Erso and a band of Rebels as they try and steal the first Death Star’s plans. Now that a trailer has finally surfaced however, will Rogue One be the story that we expect?

The ultimate power in the galaxy

It is no secret that Rogue One will take place before A New Hope, when the Empire was seemingly invincible and the Rebellion was little more than a nuisance. We can see that in the trailer, with various shots of AT-ATs and what are assumed to be Shadow Troopers (in other words, a branch of the Stormtrooper Corps that is specially trained for special operations, hence their black armor) subjugating the inhabitants of a planet.

Traitors here, traitors there, traitors everywhere
Hopefully these guys will have more screen time than Captain Phasma
If you thought the Battle of Hoth was a massacre…

Needless to say, this might result in a Star Wars movie that is darker than what we are accustomed to. After all, the Empire was never known to be gentle to dissidents.

A New Hope?

No Star Wars movie is complete without a protagonist who starts off as a nobody, and Rogue One is no different. Given her list of crimes (forgery of Imperial documents, possession of stolen property, aggravated assault, and resisting arrest), Jyn Erso will possibly be the closest we can get to a young Han Solo; a scoundrel who is only looking out for themselves, at least until they find a higher cause in the Rebellion.

Jyn’s outfit even resembles Han’s, although to be fair, clothing options under the Empire is likely to be limited

Shrouded by the Dark Side

Normally, you can more or less tell who is a protagonist and who is the antagonist from Star Wars trailers. However, given Rogue One’s seemingly darker tone, things may not be as black and white as they may seem. The presence of the Emperor’s Royal Guard should be enough to indicate that perhaps some nefarious plot from good ol’ Darth Sidious himself is bound to be part of the story.

The Emperor would never bow to anyone, Darth Vader’s physique doesn’t match, and no normal Imperial officer would be wearing such attire, so who is this mysterious figure?
Clever disguise, or the gear of a double-double agent?

What may happen in Rogue One?

Given what we know, Rogue One may end up being one of two movies: another tale of unlikely heroes who ultimately win despite overwhelming odds, or the story of one of the newest members of the Empire’s special forces and how her actions would’ve led to the destruction of the Rebellion if it weren’t for the actions of a certain moisture farmer.

That being said, both paths are a bit too obvious, given the tone of the trailer. The former has been done to death already, and the latter seems unlikely given how prominently Jyn is displayed in Imperial armor. No reason to spoil a major plot twist like that in the trailer after all.

Instead, perhaps Rogue One will be more of a movie where Jyn starts off as an agent of the Empire. Given how elusive the Rebel Alliance is, she is tasked to infiltrate their organization so that she can help pinpoint the leaders of the Rebellion and crush it before it becomes a bigger problem. As the movie goes on, she starts to sympathize with their cause, ultimately helping them steal the plans to the Death Star as she decides that morality is more important than duty when Darth Vader (or whoever the cloaked figure is) massacres the rest of the Rebel team one by one. Jyn survives the events of Rogue One, but her actions lead to her being one of the Rebel Alliance’s best sources of information in the Empire, which leads to a potential sequel where we find out how the Bothans perished in obtaining the plans for the second Death Star.