The upcoming epic space opera film Rogue One has been named as one of the most anticipated films of 2016. It comes on the heels of a highly successful year for Walt Disney Pictures, with films such as Captain America: Civil War, Jungle Book, and Zootopia raking in record-breaking box office numbers. So it was only natural for the major production studio to close 2016 with a movie that is sure to cater to old and new Star Wars fans alike. After all, Rogue One happens to be the film franchise’s first-ever spinoff.
So to get you geared for its December release, here are five things you might have not known about Rogue One.
Rogue One: What You Need to Know About the Star Wars Spin-off
5. It is the most unique Star Wars film in history
Rogue One is the first anthology film that won’t center around the legendary Jedi. That said, don’t expect the John Williams iconic score, but don’t let that fact discourage you from watching the movie because it has been confirmed that some of his themes will be featured. The events will also tell the untold story of the rebels who fought the war before Luke Skywalker rose to prominence, so it is bound to tie some loose ends from the sequels.
4. The summary of Rogue One was foretold in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope
In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the first-ever Star Wars movie, the summary for Rogue One was actually stated in the iconic opening crawl of the film:
It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.
At the end, it states that Princess Leia gets to boards her starship with the stolen plans so she can “save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy.” Those who have seen the Star Wars films already know that this sets up the events for A New Hope.
3. Rogue One is an ensemble cast of new characters
When Disney released a teaser shot for Rogue One last year, there was not one familiar face in sight. Leading the ensemble cast is Felicity Jones who plays Jyn Erso, a female soldier and member of the Rebel Alliance. Other notable cast members include Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, K-2SO, a reprogrammed Imperial Security Droid (played by Alan Tudyk) and Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen). Audiences can also expect a new set of villains including Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) and Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), the masterminds behind the Death Star.
4. Will there be other Rogue One films?
Rogue One has been called an anthology film by the creators of Star Wars. Since George Lucas has no control over the project (but the screenplay reportedly has his stamp of approval), its plot is told away from the central saga, making it unlike the Star Wars films audiences have grown accustomed to. In line with that, there is no word for a possible sequel as future anthologies in the Star Wars universe include a Han Solo movie, as well as another untitled project kept under wraps.
5. Yes, Darth Vader will be in the film
Based on the trailers, it sure looks like the iconic villain is set to make his triumphant return. But don’t expect him to be the story’s main villain as both Galen Erso and Orson Krennic look like they’ll be in charge of messing up the rebels. However, fans of the original franchise will be thrilled to know that James Earl Jones will be voicing Vader, while Spencer Wilding will take his physical form.
If one were to trace the Star Wars narrative, Vader should be around to intercept Princess Leia Organa in her mission to Tatoine. While there hasn’t be any word on a Princess Leia cameo, her adoptive father, Sen. Bail Organa, has already appeared in the Rogue One trailers.