When you have a large Thanksgiving audience sitting down to watch a Wonderful World of Disney holiday special, you might as well put your last blockbuster of the year in front of them in a significant way. That's what Disney did Thursday night, revealing a new one-minute long TV spot/trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The one minute length seemed to work well for them, as the video kept the story tight while still focusing more on the relationships of the characters involved maybe moreso than any other trailer has at this point. There's humor, dire stakes, solid character introductions, action, and yes, Darth Vader. The trailer is the perfect "elevator pitch" for why Lucasfilm should be expanding into these standalone "Star Wars Story" films, and should do a lot toward educating the audience about what's coming.
It also featured by far the most K-2SO of any of the footage released so far, which may have simply been from practical limitations. The CGI character, who was played in performance capture and voice over by actor Alan Tudyk, may have just not been ready to show off in entirety yet. Still, he comes off in two scenes with more personality than we've glimpsed to this point, with a solidly comedic line followed by a moment of pure bad-assery.
There are even two decidedly "Star Wars-y" lines back to back at the end of the trailer that should evoke some nostalgia for fans, and remind them of the Original Trilogy era that this film directly proceeds. Tickets for Rogue One go on sale Monday at 12:01 a.m. EST, so get your F5 finger ready.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits US theaters December 16, 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue One tells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star. The story spins directly off the opening crawl from the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. In that crawl, it read: "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."