Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first anthology film in the franchise and will focus on a young Rebel fighter tasked with stealing the plans to the Death Star.
The film stars Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and is being directed by Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards, but aside from a few other casting details and minor character descriptions, much about Rogue One remains a secret. We know that the movie takes place before the events of Episode IV, Darth Vader will be featured and Alan Tudyk is voicing a very passive-aggressive droid in the style of C-3PO.
It can be hard to keep track of all the details as they’re released, however, and to make it a little easier, we’re going to keep a running, constantly updated guide to everything we know about Rogue One leading up to the film’s release this December.
Just the facts
Stars: Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen and James Earl Jones
Writer: Chris Weitz
Director: Gareth Edwards
Release Date: Dec. 16
Lucasfilm and Disney have released an official synopsis for the movie, but as one would expect, it's about as vague as it can get. "In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction," the synopsis reads. "This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves."
Despite the vagueness of Disney's synopsis, more information has been released at various conventions, including Star Wars Celebration (which occurred between July 15 and 17) and San Diego Comic-Con. We know that Erso has a special connection to the Rebels, and in turn, the Empire. Her father, Galen, is a scientist that has invented a tool that the Empire desperately wants and that the Rebels don't want them to have.
The majority of the film will focus on Erso and her team's mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, though, as seen through the trailers the studio has released so far.
Asked and answered
If this is an anthology film, does it tie into the main series at all?
Rogue One is canonical, which means that it happens within the same universe as the seven other main films. Like we mentioned previously, the events of Rogue One take place before the events of Episode IV and it's safe to assume that what happens in Rogue One ultimately affected the world that we came into in 1977.
Who is Diego Luna's character?
Diego Luna will be playing Captain Cassian Andor. He's still one of the more mysterious characters, but he'll act as Jyn's closest teammate and lead the mission to steal the Death Star plans. During Celebration, Luna said that he couldn't say too much about his character, but we know that he's one of the most important members of the Rebel team.
What about Ben Mendelsohn? Or Donnie Yen and Riz Ahmed and Mads Mikkelsen? Who are they playing?
Again, there's not a lot of information out there about these characters, but we can give you the best breakdown of who they are and what their role is with the knowledge we have.
Mendelsohn is playing Director Orson Krennic. He's responsible for ensuring the security and safety of the Death Star. Considering the major plot of the film revolves around a group of Rebels trying to break in and steal those plans so they can learn its weaknesses, one could make the safe assumption he'll have a big role in trying to prevent them from doing so.
Donnie Yen is playing Chirrut Îmwe, a blind warrior born on the planet of Jedha (more on that below). He'll be a part of the team that tries to steal the plans.
Riz Ahmed will play Bodhi Rook, also from the planet of Jedha, who served as a pilot in the Galactic Civil War and who will fight alongside the Rebels to steal the Death Star plans.
Mads Mikkelsen will play Galen Erso, the aforementioned father of Jyn and a scientist that is wanted by the Empire.
Are there any droids?
There are definitely droids in Rogue One. The droid that's voiced by Alan Tudyk, K-2SO, will exist in the same spirt that C-3PO did in the original trilogy. He's a passive aggressive, sarcastic droid who has no patience for the inadequacies of man and won't hesitate to voice his opinion. Count on K-2SO to be the comic relief in Rogue One.
Where does Rogue One take place?
During Celebration, Edwards showed off a new planet that will act as the battleground between the Rebel forces and the Empire. Scarif, the newest planet, is a world covered in beaches and oceans, with an abundance of palm trees. Edwards said that they shot in the Maldives and joked that it was ironic they had to go to heaven on earth to shoot some of the more violent and intense battle scenes.
It was also recently revealed that another planet, Jedha, is very important to both the Empire and Rebel forces. According to star Donnie Yen, Jedha is the planet that contains the resources needed to build lightsabers. The Kyber Crystals that are used to make lightsabers are also used to power the Death Star.
What role does Darth Vader play?
Darth Vader will definitely be in the movie, but he won't have too big of a role, Edwards said. James Earl Jones is back to voice the villain and while he will be used as more than just fan service, Edwards said they wanted to use him sparingly for that reason. They didn't want to just have Darth Vader in Rogue One for the sake of having Darth Vader in Rogue One. Instead, Edwards said how they use Vader will make a lot of sense once fans see the film.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters Dec. 16.