We imagine you are all pretty overwhelmed right now, huh? Talk about saving the best for last…

The final trailer for Gareth Edwards’ unfathomably anticipated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrived earlier today  and to say it’s brilliant is an understatement. Hair-raisingly wonderful. If you are yet to see it, watch it right here:

Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker, Rogue One surges into UK cinemas on 15th December (A DAY EARLIER THAN EXPECTED!), but whilst we continue to patiently wait, let’s detail the finest moments and details of this theatrical trailer, as well as uncover some of its secrets, too.

THE BEST BITS:

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Enveloping Environments

A major part of Rogue One‘s promotional campaign has been rendered by ravishing cinematography. From crystal clear waters awash with Stormtroopers, to an ethereal space landscape engulfed by the Death Star. This final trailer is no different; serving up an array of gorgeous images which evoke powerful emotion as well as an undeniable sense of place.

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In the opening frames, we see more of Galen Erso (Mikkelsen) than ever before, and we come to understand his core involvement with the narrative. Captured in plush greenland; sky thick with swallowing grey, the environment paints a reflective picture of his personal tribulations at the hands of Director Orson Krennic (Mendelsohn) and his militant Deathtroopers.

The exquisite photography of their arrival – floating through chilly blue beauty – makes for a potent contrast to their mission.

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Jyn’s Journey

It isn’t just her father who gains further detailing in this final trailer; our heroine does, too. We’ve seen Jyn Erso taken in handcuffs and seemingly punished for her unlawfulness, but now we’ve come to understand the meanings behind her journey.

Progressive sequences early on show how she as an infant experiences the sheer malice of the Empire as she cowers in shrubbery whilst onlooking tense exchanges between her father and Krennic.

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We also come to know how she is paired with Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor; the accomplished Rebel Alliance Intelligence Officer. She is broken free from a seeming prison transport vessel and brought to Republic senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) where she converses with Andor.

He is aware of Galen’s importance more so than his own daughter. With the knowledge that he is “critical to the development of the super weapon,” Jyn’s voyage begins.

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“They have no idea we’re coming”

This final trailer offers an acute understanding of the immeasurable task the Rebels face. The Death Star is the most devastatingly powerful entity in the galaxy – much like the Empire – and now a gaggle of mismatched misfits are striving to collapse it. In the face of sheer adversity, it is Jyn who rouses the crew. “We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope!” she calls, before we plunge into glimmers of the assault.

We see the Rebels slink through heavy undergrowth; a dense jungle of palm trees and foliage, before we cut.

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Erso, Andor and reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO (Tudyk) creep into enemy territory. “They have no idea we’re coming” she beckons as the trio – well, twosome – stand cloaked in disguise. Jyn huddles inside a Imperial uniform, whilst Andor sports an Officer’s attire.

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Throughout Rogue One‘s campaign, there has been much speculation about whether Jyn is actually a double agent, and that her choice of costume is much more than to be hidden in plain sight.

That is a question that will be answered when we all get to finally see the movie, but for now, this extended look at the Rebels infiltrating the Empire is seriously exciting.

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Explosions in the Sky

Whilst there is no doubt that the final theatrical trailer is particularly character-driven, there is still much time for ferocious action. We’ve said before that Rogue One looks set to put the ‘War’ in Star Wars, and this idea is brilliantly furthered here.

As the fight for freedom begins, the screen bursts to brutal life with an array of explosions; from X-Wing and TIE Fighter dogfights up in the stars, to savage shoreline attacks as armies of Stormtroopers invade the facility.

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It is all thunderously exciting and gloriously executed, with a sense of scale unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in the Star Wars Universe. The rusticity of the gunplay and hand-to-hand combat, the practicality of effects, the radiant colour pallets as skies become engulfed by feverish pyrotechnics, and dusty landscapes as they begin to crumble under the sheer power of detonation.

Edwards and his crew – set designers, stunt coordinators, VFX artists and many more – are working in true creative harmony to provide the audience with an exhilarating audio-visual experience.

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Lord Vader Returns 

It has been public knowledge for sometime that Darth Vader himself will feature in Rogue One. The extent of his role in the film however remains to be seen.

After briefly appearing in the previous trailer, it looks from this final offering (and indeed that stunning theatrical poster unveiled yesterday…) that he is a vital presence. This doesn’t mean lengthy but unquestionably important.

Here we see him again in the closing frames but facing the audience this time as he storms towards Krennic, and suffice to say, he doesn’t seem best pleased.

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We then quickly cut away to a breathless and likely beaten Galen who looks frightfully upwards; face dripping with rainwater. Is he staring up at the Sith Lord himself, or is it another powerful presence which lingers over Jyn’s father?

Whoever it is, their impact is palpable. The powerful sequence is given further weight by Clone Wars veteran Saw Gerrera (Whitaker) screaming “Save the Rebellion! Save the dream!” in the background.

THE EASTER EGGS:

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Playing Dress-Up?

We’ve already commented on Jyn’s Imperial outfits, and the circulating suspicion that there is more to this Rebel than meets the eye. Well, keen viewers might have spotted her choice of attire as a youngster which adds further weight to such logic.

Listening to her father who tells her that everything he does is for her, she is sporting her very own Imperial costume; not wildly dissimilar to the one she wears as an adult upon breaching enemy lines.

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Unusual Cellmates 

In this brief shot, we see Jyn perched tentatively as a Stormtrooper marches past her cell. We only stay in this location for mere seconds, but eagle-eyed audiences will have clocked her rather unusual cellmate laying almost lifelessly on the opposite side of the room.

Who is this alien or creature is remains a mystery (to this author anyway), but there is a chance that Jyn isn’t the only Rebel who must be broken free…

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The Droid You’re Looking For?

Again in shot for just a handful of milliseconds, if you take a glance to the far left, you’ll notice a rather distinctive metallic figure. This particular droid is a 3B6-RA-7 or “Threebee”; the same model which featured in A New Hope.

“Threebee” was captured by Jawas on Tatooine and stationed on Nebit’s Sandcrawler. Perhaps we’ll get to see his journey prior to Episode IV, too.

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A Grand Entrance

Early on in the final trailer, Jyn is set free from imprisonment following a surprise attack which leaves many Stormtroopers flying in shock. Rebel Alliance operatives explode a heavy-set door and quickly extract Galen’s daughter before the onslaught of Imperial retaliation attacks.

Interestingly this door is almost identical to the one at the beginning of A New Hope when Darth Vader first enters. That scene is hugely iconic, and this slight and subtle reference pays tender homage.

tantive-iv-door

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A Forceful Statue

On a quick glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is merely just a mass of rock and stone isolated in wasteland. However this is much more than mere rubble, rather a decadent Jedi statue almost certainly stationed on Jedha.

Whilst Rogue One‘s crew are without the vital assistance of the Jedi, the presence of the Light Side is unmistakable across the galaxy. Jedha is a moon which is deemed holy; a mecca for the Force.

A number of the Rebels take residency here including assassin for hire Baze Malbus (Wen), Imperial-turned-Rebel Bodhi Rook (Ahmed) and blind warrior monk Chirrup Îmwe (Yen).

We’d love to hear about your favourite moments from the final Rogue One trailer, so drop us a comment below!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives in UK cinemas in IMAX on 15th December.

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Chris' love affair with cinema started years ago when school teachers would moan to his parents that he spends too much time quoting & not enough working. He has a degree in Film Studies now so how do you like those apples past teachers and doubters? Despite being a romancer of all things Woody Allen & Michael Haneke, Chris has favourite films in the majority of genres and is a complete sucker for bumbling indie types. He's also prone to gazing at beautiful actresses - particularly Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence & Scarlett Johansson - for overly long periods of time. Just thought we'd warn you ladies...