Rogue One - Death Star

5 Things We Learned from the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer

The first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrived online this morning. Set before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, the film follows the rebel effort to steal the Death Star plans and the team that pulled off the daring heist. The trailer arguably raises more questions than it answers (as any good teaser trailer should), but we now know a lot more about the film than we did yesterday.

Here are five things we learned about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story from the first teaser trailer:

Who is Jyn Erso?

Rogue One - Jyn Erso

One question long on the mind’s of Star Wars fans – who exactly is Felicity Jones playing? – was finally answered by the Rogue One trailer. Jones is playing Jyn Erso, a young rebel tasked by Alliance leader Mon Mothma with finding out what the Empire’s new superweapon is and how to destroy.

It’s clear Jyn has a bit of a checkered past – and a lot of experience “rebelling” – but based on the final shot of the trailer, which shows Jyn garbed in some sort of Imperial armor, she may have worked for the Empire at some point. That, or she’s just going undercover as part of the mission. There are also many theories circulating that she is the mother of Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Given that this film is set before Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, the timeline would make sense, but we likely won’t know anything until December 16th!

Putting the “Wars” back in Star Wars

Rogue One trailer

As any fan of The Empire Strikes Back will tell you, there’s no sight more thrilling than the sight of Imperial Walkers – or AT-ATs – on the horizon. Rogue One looks to have no shortage of Walkers on display, which is great news for Star Wars fans but not so good news for the rebel soldiers charging at them on foot. Between the beachhead location and the low, shaky camera, we’re getting serious Saving Private Ryan vibes from this scene, which based on the little amount of footage we’ve seen looks to be one of the film’s central action set pieces. It’s clear that Rogue One will be a pretty dark affair. This is war and people will die. Even though we know they get the Death Star plans, we don’t expect a happy ending.

Grand Admiral Ben Mendelsohn?

Rogue One trailer

We still don’t have a name for Ben Mendelsohn’s Rogue One character, but it’s clear from his uniform that he is a high ranking Imperial officer, likely a Grand Admiral. According to Expanded Universe continuity, Grand Admiral is one of the highest ranks in the Galactic Empire, meaning Mendelsohn’s character likely wields a great deal of power and has huge numbers of ships and personnel at his command. Whoever Mendelsohn is playing, it’s pretty clear he’s being set up as the big bad of Rogue One.

He’s no Jedi

Rogue One trailer

Who ever said Jedi Knights had a monopoly on martial arts in a galaxy far, far away? That’s none other than Hong Kong action icon Donnie Yen taking on a group of Stormtroopers with what looks like nothing but a staff (notice the crashed X-Wing in the background). Stories have reported that Yen’s character, who also appears to be blind, is not playing a Jedi, but that wording doesn’t totally rule out the character being a former Jedi. What else but The Force could explain his ability to fight so well and be visually impaired? He’s not Daredevil! Star Wars movies are nothing without Jedi characters, so we’re extremely hopeful that Yen turns out to be one!

The Emperor has been expecting you

Rogue One - Emperor

See those crimson coloured Imperial Guards? They only show up when the most evil man in the galaxy, Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious) is around. Their presence in the Rogue One trailer tells us that it’s very likely ol’ Palpy will play some role in the film – and we’re not just talking about showing up as a hologram a la Supreme Leader Snoke. No, the Imperial Guard are elite warriors who act as personal bodyguards to the Emperor; If they’re in the room, there’s a good chance that Palpatine is too! The only question is will actor Ian McDiarmid, who played Palpatine in both the original trilogy and the prequels, reprise his role? And does the Emperor’s presence in the film mean that Darth Vader (who is still alive at this point in the continuity) could show up too? Rumours abound that James Earl Jones is involved in the movie somehow, so cross your fingers!

Many questions still remain – such as where is Mads Mikkelsen’s character and what’s the deal with the rebels’ droid friend spotted in the background of several shots (voiced by Alan Tudyk perhaps?) – but the trailer definitely makes us eager to find out more about this new chapter of the Star Wars saga.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theatres December 16, 2016.