Rogue One trailer breakdown 27

Remember that shot of the Death Star seemingly getting into position over Jedha? And remember Baze being full of righteous fury because the Empire destroyed his home? Well, this shot of Jyn and Cassian barely escaping a massive explosion suggests a major plot point: what if the first Death Star was initially tested out on Jedha? It may not be powerful enough to destroy an entire planet, but it could certainly decimate an entire city, especially a city full of Rebels led by a dangerous foe like Saw Gerrera. Alderaan may be the first planet to be completely blown up by the Empire, but the citizens of Jedha could be the first victims of the Death Star.

Rogue One trailer breakdown 28

This entire shot seemingly finds Cassian entering hyperspace to escape that (Death Star-created?) explosion, but this frame is particularly stunning. We’ve seen this many times across six Star Wars movies, but it’s astonishing how unique and special even the most familiar imagery can look when a new filmmaker is putting his own spin on a universe he clearly loves.

Rogue One trailer breakdown 29

Remember those X-Wings flying through that dark and rainy canyon? This looks like their handiwork. This is another intimate shot that places you straight into the POV of the soldiers on the ground, which transforms a crashing TIE Fighter (and we’ve seen plenty of those) into an intense and unnerving moment. You know what they say: war, even a star war, is hell.

Rogue One trailer breakdown 30

Here’s your Jyn Erso hero shot! The blue sky and bluer ocean in the background suggest that she’s on top of some kind of structure on Scarif, because of course the theft of the Death Star plans would require scaling a large building.

Rogue One trailer breakdown 31

TIE Fighters may be paper mache in a space battle, but what happens when you plant one right in front of a single Rebel soldier? You shit your pants, if you’re you or me. If you’re Jyn Erso, you probably make an impossible escape. This is easily my favorite shot from the trailer.

Rogue One trailer breakdown 32

We can safely assume that the Rebel assault on Scarif is the climax of Rogue One and this looks like the transport full of the brave soldiers and volunteers willing to risk their lives to make off with those Death Star plans. Amidst the cannon fodder, you can see Chirrut, Baze, and K-2SO…and since this is a spin-off movie, there is no guarantee that they will make it out of this one alive.

Rogue One trailer breakdown 33

Oh, yeah. Darth Vader is back. No one saw that coming. Anyway, the Emperor’s chief enforcer appears to be examining the Death Star plans here and he (along with everyone else who worked on this project) doesn’t notice that troublesome little thermal exhaust port that’s just big enough for a torpedo.

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