When Disney purchased Lucasfilm back in 2012, Star Wars fans were thrilled to learn that the adventures of the Skywalker Saga would continue with an all-new trilogy, though this acquisition also came with the reveal that standalone adventures would be developed for the franchise. Given that fans had already witnessed a prequel trilogy and the continuation of the Skywalker lore, some fans were even more excited for these planned spinoffs than they were for the sequel trilogy. In this regard, the spinoff films could be considered an even bigger gamble than the sequel trilogy, as Lucasfilm couldn't rely on the success of sci-fi's most iconic heroes.
From its very inception, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story aimed to take a new approach to the galaxy far, far away. Leaving behind the ways of the Jedi and the Sith, yet still immersing the audience in the objectives of the Rebellion, viewers hit the frontlines of one of the most important missions in the saga as Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, and other unlikely allies uncovered the plans to the Death Star, ultimately allowing Luke Skywalker to destroy it. Director Gareth Edwards had to find a way to capture the magic of the sci-fi series, yet deliver a much grittier and more grounded point of view, culminating in a tragic finale.
Luckily, the film's setting allowed Rogue One to embrace the familiar iconography of stormtroopers, the Death Star, and the Rebellion's headquarters, while also flipping this iconography on their heads to highlight iconic elements in unseen ways. The film also famously featured a number of striking shots that were seen in trailers, only for reshoots, largely helmed by Tony Gilroy, to see the narrative changed and these moments scrapped.
Between its distorted perceptions of familiar figures to the introduction of compelling new heroes, scroll down to see our picks for the 15 best shots from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story!