Trailer offers peek into Rogue One

NEW YORK • "We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope." With one line in the new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which debuted on Thursday morning, Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones) practically sums up the entire Star Wars franchise.

That is fitting, since the new movie is a standalone story bridging the gap between the third and fourth chapters of the saga. Or, counting by production order, the sixth and the first.

Rogue One tells the story of a group of rebels who try to steal the plans for that sci-fi weapon of mass destruction, the Death Star. So it is obviously rooted in that larger space opera and the trailer establishes that in some superficial ways. The musical motifs of John Williams' score are instantly recognisable.

There is also a small spacecraft gliding across the sky and it takes less than 30 seconds before a stormtrooper shows up. The reminders go deeper than that too.

Early in the trailer, Jyn's father Galen, played by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, tells her: "Jyn, whatever I do, I do it to protect you." As it turns out, one of those things might be building the Death Star. And with that information, Rogue One is positioned as the story of a father and a child, much like the previous seven movies.

The formula here appears to be tweaked slightly - younger characters in past films have always been sons (Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren) or surrogate sons (Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi), not daughters.

Centring the film on Jyn would seem to put the movie in line with the last entry in the canon, The Force Awakens, which flipped the Star Wars script by putting a female character at its centre.

Beyond that, the trailer offers many hints at the movie's scale. As the action picks up and the music rises, the trailer makes everything about the film feel epic. But then again, which Star Wars movie does not feel that way?

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2016, with the headline 'Trailer offers peek into Rogue One'. Print Edition | Subscribe