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Moments We Didn't See Coming In The Rogue One Trailer

So a new trailer for this year's hotly-anticipated Star Wars midquel, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, landed during Thursday night Olympics coverage, with showstopping aplomb. The first standalone installment in the series, Rogue One is already notable for breaking from the longstanding narrative surrounding the Skywalker family to tell a boots-on-the-ground, down-and-dirty war story. That's what the foreboding first trailer showed, anyway, but now things are starting to look pretty Star Wars-y, with some up-close looks at some familiar faces—some we expected, and some we did not. Check out the trailer for a firsthand look at the moments we didn't see coming.

Jyn vs. the TIE fighter

Well, this is about the last thing you want to see on your way to work. It's hard to imagine Jyn Erso, our rogue one, coming out on top after walking up to go head-to-head with a TIE Fighter armed with one puny blaster. From what we know about her (mostly from the previous trailer), while Jyn may be a scrappy genius thief and general misfit, she's also very probably not a force-sensitive Jedi. Which raises the question: is this friend or foe? With all the duplicity we sense in the plot—double agents taking devil's bargains left and right and such—it's almost easier to imagine her walking up to the window of an Imperial fighter ship not to wrestle, but to grab a ride. Either way, how nice is it to see this old-model TIE Fighter in all its beat-up, rusted glory? Those new ships from The Force Awakens were sort of scary-looking, sure. But you can't mess with a classic. Easily one of the trailer's best moments.

The blind samurai

In the tradition of Zatoichi the blind swordsman, we have this milky-eyed guy laying waste to stormtroopers with an ease that shouldn't seem possible without at least a little helping of the Force. Or who knows? Maybe he's just that good. Played by Hong Kong action movie superstar Donnie Yen, little is yet known about this character, who's been listed under the name "Chirrup Îmwe." (Jury's still out on the pronunciation there.) Except, of course, the fact that he makes a mean impression as a badass supreme. "I fear nothing," he intones, striding forward through a cowering crowd towards an oncoming tank. "All is as the Force wills it." And that may well be true. Perhaps it was the will of the Force that let this guy singlehandedly deliver a whoopass beatdown to every stormtrooper who dared to step to him. He doesn't just beat them, he embarrasses them. In a universe of interplanetary travel, where wizards wield laser swords and planet cannons eat stars, you'd expect a blind man with a stick to be the first man down, not the last man standing. It may not be the Force, but something's strong with this one. Oh, and we're gonna need that action figure, too.

A boy and his droid

Do we have a sidekick? Hey, we've got a sidekick! Meet Captain Cassian Andor, the devilishly attractive Rebel soldier who takes it on himself to team with Jyn on her mission to steal the Death Star plans. Exactly what role he'll play is still a bit of a mystery. Are Jyn and Cassian stoic allies on the battlefield, solely focused on the job and making it back alive? Or do we see hints of romance in that brief yet wistful gaze? Maybe it's just the lighting. Sunsets in space are always so affecting. More importantly, look at the robot! Ah, yes. Now we're talking Star Wars. We got some bleep bloop and a tin can. Played by sci-fi fan favorite Alan Tudyk, this lumbering machine goes by the name K-2SO, and like previous two-legged Star Wars androids, he speaks! Whether that's a boon to our heroes or a burden remains to be seen. Taking after C-3PO, we can tell that K-2SO is a bit of an awkward conversationalist, warning his teammates right before a critical moment that whatever desperation move they're about to pull has a "97.6 percent chance of failure," and explicitly informing Jyn Erso early on that he has decided not to kill her, even though he usually would. Well, his heart's in the right place. "He means well," says the Captain. Sort of getting a Han and Chewie vibe from these two wisecrackers. We sure hope they make it out alive. Which raises its own sort of dark question...

OK, so these guys are doomed, right?

It has been said that the events of Rogue One will wrap up directly preceding the freighter chase that opened the original Star Wars. You may remember an irritated Darth Vader kicking down some doors on Leia's ship, choking people out, demanding missing Death Star plans? So we know, at least, that the movie's heist plan succeeds. What has us worried, though, is this: are any of these characters going to make it out alive? Because K-2's comments suggest some really grim odds, not to mention the fact that these fools are going to end up storming a damn beach to fend off AT-AT walkers on foot. Even Luke Skywalker had trouble with those things! Another issue is, if we're going in a strict chronological sense, from Rogue One to Episode IV, V, VI, and VII, we simply don't see any of these guys again. And you may be saying, well, hey, what's the gripe here, it's a big galaxy, right? Please. Finn and Rey ran into Han and Chewie within 40 freaking seconds of entering outer space. This galaxy ain't that packed. And these guys, these awesome characters, who we're already kind of starting to love? They're almost definitely doomed. Oh, and one more thing.


Well, we couldn't not include this. There he is, folks, doing his thing. We actually saw this one coming a mile away. He's gonna be really angry when they lose those plans! And you want to know our guess? We're thinking Director Krennic (played by Ben Mendelsohn) in for the worst of it. Check out his face during the new trailer, compared to this more magisterial look from teasers past. That is not the expression of a man who feels like he's in charge. That's the face of a man who's about to be strapped to a beam cannon and blown into six million pieces. (You know, presumably. That's what we would do, if we were Vader.) You know what? It's starting to feel like every single character in this movie not named Darth Vader is going to be straight-up killed by the time it's over. Which is awful, but it's probably as it should be. December 16, people, and then we ride hard with Rogue One.