LOS ANGELES – It is unlikely to make as big a splash as The Force Awakens but the first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has at least caused a ripple in the Force.
The 100-second teaser released Thursday led to a frenzy of speculation over the similarity between female lead Felicity Jones, who plays the titular rogue, and “Awakens” heroine Rey, portrayed by Daisy Ridley.
People have been trying to work out Rey’s place in the Star Wars family tree since December â€” with fans speculating that she could be Luke Skywalker’s daughter or Obi-Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter â€” but many took to Twitter to claim Jones’ character Jyn Erso could be her mother.
“For dudes concerned abt keeping Rey & Jyn straight in your minds, use whatever flashcards/mnemonic devices that helped you figure Luke & Han,” LucasFilm creative Paul Hidalgo advised in a sardonic tweet.
Others debated whether or not a scene from the trailer showed a station on the London Underground’s Jubilee Line, while many welcomed the appearance of strong female leads in two consecutive Star Wars films.
Philadelphia-based film writer Scott Weinberg observed that “you could count the important women in the first six Star Wars movies on one hand â€” nice to see the pendulum swing the other way now.”
Rebecca Keegan, a film critic for the Los Angeles Times, pointed out that the trailer even passed the “Bechdel test” â€” which asks if two female characters in any given film have a conversation about something other than a man.
The first standalone Star Wars story, Rogue One is set just before A New Hope â€” the original film in the blockbuster series â€” and stars Jones alongside Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed, in a distinctly indie-flavoured cast.
The 32-year-old British actress, who starred opposite Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything,” plays rebel Jyn Erso, who has been on her own since the age of 15 and has notched up a string of convictions including forgery, assault and theft.
She is sent on a mission to help investigate “a major weapons test” â€” better known as the Death Star in development â€” and find out how to destroy it.
The trailer also features a fan favourite â€” the Empire’s AT-AT military vehicles â€” as well as a smattering of Stormtroopers and a retread of John Williams’ familiar Star Wars score.
The music includes a snippet of the infamous “Imperial March,” used to signify the approach of Darth Vader â€” perhaps a hint that cinema’s ultimate villain will make an appearance in Rogue One, due for release on December 16. â€” AFP