Rogue One and Rebels

Star Wars Update

We have a mission for you.  A major weapons test is immanent.
We need to know what it is, and how to destroy it.
Mon Mothma

As December draws closer, we are getting to see a little more of the upcoming first Anthology film in the Star Wars saga.

A recent trailer, which you can view here, gave us some spectacular visuals, including: the Death Star orbiting a red planet, a Star Destroyer hovering in-atmosphere over what might be a base or a township on top of a levelled off mountain, beach combat for the first time in Star Wars film history, and my personal favourite – Jyn Erso going face to face with a TIE fighter… and she’s not in a starship.  She’s literally face to face with a TIE fighter.

Since the most recent trailer previewed, new publicity shots have also been released including these beautiful ones which have popped up over at /Film.  Check them out here.

As you can see, if you visited either of the above links, Rogue One looks like Star Wars but at the same time has a slightly different visual aesthetic.  The previews, and the stills, have a definite indy vibe to them – which is exciting, but also, if you can believe the reports, something that made Disney a little nervous and may have been the cause of the recent reshoots – though Disney does claim otherwise.

I personally love the look and I am really falling in love with this film – it’s visual style, the snippets of performance we’re seeing, and most certainly the incredible special effects.  I think it’s appropriate Rogue One have a different yet familiar feel to the Saga films.  We’re seeing side stories that play into the overall arc of the Skywalker family, adding more ‘meat’ to the events that caused Darth Vader to become one of the most feared beings in the known galaxy, and the events that catapulted his children, Luke and Leia, onto the Galactic stage.  They should feel different, and they should evoke something new while still being obviously Star Wars.

Star Wars: Rogue One premiers around the world in December of this year, and promises to be a hard-hitting, unique entry into the overall Star Wars story.

The film was directed by Gareth Edwards, and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker (in what will be the most diverse cast to ever appear in a Star Wars film).

The movie has been written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta.

Kathleen Kennedy’s guiding hand is, of course, present as one of the producers of the film.

Star Wars Rogue One Poster - Death Star Rising

What else is happening in that galaxy far, far away?

Some very interesting news for Star Wars: Rebels and fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe series, now known as the Star Wars Legacy series.

A popular character from the Expanded Universe is making their way onto Rebels – and the character they’ve picked to appear is a really wonderful choice.  He captured all of our imaginations years ago when Timothy Zahn released the first Star Wars novel to officially follow up on the adventures of Luke, Leia and Han post Return of the Jedi, and has stayed a fan favourite ever since.

Who is it?

Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Thrawn has never appeared in any Star Wars movie.  His first appearance was in the Timothy Zahn novel Heir to the Empire, way back in 1991.

Thrawn was one of the very few non-human officers to serve in Palpatine’s Imperial Navy, and though he was relegated to the backwaters of space, made a name for himself there – so much so, he ended up eventually leading the Empire after Palpatine’s death.

We don’t know how much of that original backstory will be in play come Season Three of Rebels, but hopefully we will see the same thoughtful and charismatic officer many of us got to know in the Expanded Universe novels.  It would be nice to see him as a strong leader who could, perhaps, go on to lead the Empire after the second Death Star gets destroyed… because that could mean he would appear in a future Saga film (maybe Episode IX) – or maybe even get his own Anthology movie.

One of the brilliant things about having Thrawn appear in Star Wars: Rebels is that he is now a canon character.  It’s an exciting development for those of us who are fans of the Expanded Universe, because there’s now the possibility that maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to see a few more characters from that series of novels in the future.

Thrawn will make his appearance in the third season of Rebels, due to air September 24.

For more information, check out the official Star Wars website here.

Holonet Graphic

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