Star Wars: Rogue One – Final Trailer Analysis

The final trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has arrived. Time to break it down for all of its secrets...

This Rogue One: A Star Wars Story article contains spoilers. 

The final trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has finally arrived, and it’s easily the most revealing bit of footage we’ve received of the film so far. We get our first look at Galen Erso, plus a bunch of new aliens we haven’t seen in the trailers before and some new locations. 

As always, I’ve sat down at my desk and obsessed over this trailer to find all of its secrets. I’ve analyzed the new trailer chronologically for any and all points of interest. That means that there are spoilers below, as I’ve added a bit of context to a lot of the shots in the trailer. So if you don’t want anything ruined for you, run while you still can. 

If you haven’t already, check out the final Rogue One trailer below:

The first thing I want to point out is that this trailer presents some absolutely stunning visuals. Rogue One might be the best looking Star Wars movie yet. Ehem, okay, let’s see what we have here…

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The opening shot. At first, I thought this was the tropical planet Scarif from earlier trailers, but now I’m not so sure. The next shot reveals that this is where the Ersos live, which I’m assuming is a completely different planet. Not sure which, though. If you have any ideas, let me know in the comments!

Also, that looks like a Lambda-class Imperial shuttle in the sky. Except it isn’t. It’s a Delta-class T-3c shuttle, and it’s making its first appearance in Rogue One.

Here’s our first glimpse of Galen Erso, Mads Mikkelsen’s character, in actual footage from the film. We know from the synopsis of the Rogue One tie-in novel, Catalyst, that Galen is a scientist working on some kind of enery research that could help Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) finish the Death Star. The synopsis even describes Krennic and Galen as “old friends” even as far back as the Clone Wars. So the dynamic between these two characters should be interesting. 

Also, Galen is the father of protagonist Jyn (Felicity Jones). 

I also have to note the moisure vaporator on the left of Galen. Those are usually found on desert planets. Not sure what that’s doing here. Maybe it’s a standard piece of equipment for all farmers in the galaxy far, far away…

Here’s that shot from another angle. We see Krennic’s elite unit of Death troopers. I’m assuming once Galen found out what his research would be used for, he made a run for it. Looks like he didn’t run far enough, though. 

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I should point out that there aren’t any glimpses of Lyra, Galen’s wife and Jyn’s mother. She’s alive in Catalyst, and we know Valene Kane (The Fall) was cast in the role for the movie. I’m assuming she’s around there somewhere. According to Jyn’s bio, she was separated from her parents when she was fifteen. Seeing as she’s a little girl in this scene, Lyra must still be in the picture. 

Galen talks to little Jyn. He says, “Jyn, whatever I do, I do it to protect you. Do you understand?” She replies, “I understand.” I’m guessing this is dialogue from right before Krennic arrives and Galen is forced to leave. This is basically, “I’m building the Death Star so that my pal Krennic doesn’t murder you guys.”

Yikes, Krennic looks evil. The following shot is of Jyn hiding in a field, watching the scene play out from afar. In the Krennic shot, it almost looks like Krennic sees her hiding and then looks up at Galen as if threatening to kill her…

Flash forward to happier times! Well, not really. It looks like Jyn is in jail in this shot. That certainly looks like a cell door, and that Stormtrooper is probably guarding her cell block. We know for a fact that Jyn becomes a criminal after being separated from her parents. I’m guessing she gets herself into some trouble with the Empire before joining the Rebellion.

I’m not sure what species the alien on the left is. I’ll dig a bit more later, but if you catch the answer before me, let me know in the comments…

There are only three confirmed locations in the film so far: Scarif, Yavin IV, and Jedha. This shot seems to show that last one. Jedha is a holy site for those who believe in the Force. The moon was home to one of the first civilizations to explore the ancient enery. This makes it a place of pilgrimage for those who are looking for spiritual guidance. There could be an interesting connection to The Force Awakens‘ Church of the Force here, actually. I really like that the Force isn’t just being used by dudes in robes who want to jump higher. It’s an actual religion. 

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Yes, that’s a Star Destroyer looming over the planet. Jedha has been occupied by the Empire, who want to exploit the moon for its resources. Which pisses people off.

The next couple of shots are a little confusing. It’s clear that the Rebellion is breaking Jyn out of prison – I’m assuming either by coincidence or because they specifically need her to steal those Death Star plans. It’s probably the latter.

What is a bit more confusing is where the prison is located. The trailer would seem to suggest that Jyn is being held prisoner on Jedha, but these shots could simply be out of order, right?

That Rebel who asks Jyn, “Do you want to get out of here?” is Cassian Andor, a captain in the Rebellion. He’s played by Diego Luna.

There’s also a mysterious alien in the right corner of the shot. Not sure what species it is yet. I’m just going to start assuming they’re all Ewoks…

The next shot shows what looks like a fallen monument to the Jedi. That’s almost certainly a lightsaber in the robed figure’s hands. 

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I want to say that’s the newly introduced U-wing flying over the structure.

We can hear Mon Mothma, played by Genevieve O’Reilly (who also appeared briefly in Revenge of the Sith as the character), talking to (I’m assuming) Jyn in the voiceover: “Our Rebellion is all that remains to push back the Empire. We think you might be able to help us…”

Andor asks Jyn, “When is the last time you were in contact with your father?” Jyn is really confused.

So the Rebellion brings Jyn to the Rebel base on Yavin IV after they free her from an Imperial prison in order to recruit her to steal the plans to the Death Star, whose existence has been leaked to the Rebels by Galen? That might be the most complicated setup in a Star Wars film ever. Oh wait, galactic tax and trade regulations take the cake on that one…

Next is this shot of what I assume is an Imperial scientific installation since Galen and Krennic meet up here. There are mountains in the distance and the weather looks shitty. It’s really reminiscent of the planet in the first shot of the trailer, although that doesn’t make as much sense. It makes way more sense to say that this is Scarif at night. This is probably where the Death Star is being built. 

Here’s Imperial scientist Galen (I’m guessing that’s what it says on the box for the action figure). By the way all of the Imperials are awaiting Krennic’s arrival on that platform, I assume the Director is here to check up on the Empire’s new toy. It’s also made clear here through Mon Mothma’s voiceover that Galen is indeed critical to the development of the Death Star.

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This is just a really cool shot of the Death Star looming over the Scarif skyline. Fun fact: in one of the final scenes of Revenge of the Sith, we get a shot of Darth Vader and the Emperor standing at a viewport watching construction crews build the Death Star. But there’s no planet in the distance. From the looks of this shot, you can deduce that the superweapon is floating pretty close to Scarif. So either this is a bit of retconning or the Empire moved the Death Star to a different location after its introduction in Revenge of the Sith

That’s Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), a Rebel pilot from the planet Jedha. I can’t tell if any of the trailers have closed in Bodhi before, but here he is. 

We also get new shots of Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) and Cirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), who all hail from the planet Jedha. All three of these characters are part of Jyn’s team. I want to say she recruits them during her adventures in Jedha later in the movie?

That’s definitely a U-wing. And I’m pretty sure that’s Alistair Petrie’s Rebel officer seeing the ship off. In the background, we see X-wings and more of the Massassi temples.

That’s K-2SO on the right. He’s an Imperial enforcer droid (you can see the Imperial emblem on his right arm) who fights for the Rebellion. I’m assuming Andor reprogrammed the droid at some point. 

This scene also explains the movie’s title. “Rogue One” seems to be the callsign the team chooses during the mission. It looks to have been Bodhi’s idea…

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Here’s your first shot of the big man. He’s looking at some sort of weird radar thing or heat map or something. It kind of reminds me of the countdown to Yavin IV’s destruction in A New Hope

Here’s Krennic trying to convince Darth Vader that the Death Star is really cool. Darth Vader is probably not very impressed. In A New Hope, the Sith Lord warns Grand Moff Tarkin and the rest of the officers not to lean so heavily on the power of the Death Star. Turns out Vader was right.

This shot looks to me like Krennic and Vader are at odds, which should make things pretty interesting. Krennic doesn’t look afraid, which probably means they’re equals. We know Vader isn’t quite at the position of power we see him in in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

After that stunning shot of TIE fighters flying towards the Death Star (these visuals are most impressive), we get this shot of an Imperial officer walking towards Krennic. Not sure who he is or what this is supposed to be teasing, but his arrival turns the heads of the other Imperial officers… So I’m guessing this is someone important who we haven’t met yet.

In this shot, and the shot before that, the Imperials are looking at a map of what looks like a desert planet. Is this a scene where Krennic plans an attack on the Rebels on Jedha?

Couple of things in this one. That hologram of the Death Star must be what Galen leaked to the Rebels. I’m guessing this takes place before Jyn goes on her mission? Note that Bodhi, who’s from Jedha, is already present in this scene, so he might be with the group from the beginning. I was under the impression that Baze and Chirrut, were also recruited on Jedha, but maybe not. 

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More things: to the left of Mon Mothma is a Mon Calamari. That’s not Admiral Ackbar, though, as this Mon Calamari’s skin is gray. This is Raddus, whose gray skin is an indicator that he hails from the colder part of his homeworld, Mon Cala.

Behind Mothma is a new alien character named Bistan, a lakaru Rebel soldier. We’ve seen him in footage before.

On the opposite side of Mothma is a bearded dude in a white robe. That almost absolutely has to be General Dodonna, the Rebel who led the attack on the Death Star in A New Hope

There are three Rebel leaders at the meeting. I can’t be sure who the two on the right are. The one on the left is Senator Jebel, played by Jonathan Aris (Sherlock). I don’t know where he hails from.

The next few shots are of a fight on Jedha. AT-STs obliterate resistance fighters left and right. Then we get another look at Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), who was first introduced on The Clone Wars animated series as a resistance fighter trying to push the Separatists out of Onderon. 

In Rogue One, Gerrera is the leader of a resistance group known as the Partisans, one of the first factions to join the Rebellion. Gerrera is a bit of an extremist – some might even call him a terrorist – and he’s at odds with Mothma’s beliefs. Gerrera’s Partisans are fighting on Jedha in the movie. 

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Also, Gerrera has apparently lost his legs prior to the film.

Some more shots of the Rebels after that. Then there’s this shot of Scarif. That looks like another Imperial installation, the one the Rebels could be trying to sneak into in the next few shots. 

Also, can I just say that the Empire has the best buildings?

Jyn and Andor sneak into the installation with K-2SO. This explains why Jyn was wearing an Imperial uniform in an earlier trailer. 

Chirrut and Baze watch as X-wings fly into what I think is Jedha. I’m guessing it rains on Jedha, too…

In the center is Edrio “Two Tubes.” He’s a Tognath from the planet Yar Togna. Behind him is another Tognath named Benthic. Edrio and Benthic are “eggmates.” Not sure who the other three are, but they’re all allied to Saw Gerrera on Jedha. Also, is that dude on the right wearing Mandalorian armor?

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It wouldn’t be Star Wars without some dogfights. X-wings and Y-wings face off against TIE fighters in the next few shots. This battle seems to be happening over Jedha. Will the Rebellion free the moon in the film?

Andor can be seen running on the ground below.

I have no idea what kind of weapon Chirrut is holding in this shot, but it looks really cool. Let me know if you know in the comments…

It looks like we’ll get a space battle in Rogue One! Here we see some X-wings assaulting the orbital docking station that’s supposed to house several Imperial Star Destroyers above Scarif. There’s also a deflector shield protecting the entire world from attack. It looks the Rebels might find a way to penetrate it, though.

In fact, it looks like the Rebels brought a whole fleet of ships to Scarif. Look above the X-wings… This must be a big space battle sequence.

The final big shot of the trailer is this massive explosion on Jedha while a woman looks on from the distance. Don’t know if that’s Jyn…

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Also, if you need any more confirmation that Darth Vader is in this movie, here’s the Sith Lord literally walking onto the film.

Alright, that’s everything I found. If there’s anything I missed, let me know in the comments! 

John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek US. Find more of his work on his website. Or just follow him on Twitter.