The first teaser trailer is out, and Star Wars fans across the galaxy are reacting with joy!
The story before Star Wars: A New Hope has always fascinated fans, posing questions like: How was the rebellion formed? How did the Death Star plans get to Leia? These are just some of the questions that the old Expanded Universe explored in detail. From The Lost Jedi Adventure Game Book through to Jedi Dawn, the Expanded Universe pretty much gave us a fully fleshed out backstory.
Of course, when Disney purchased Lucasfilm, they chose to turn the old Expanded Universe into "legends." Since then, they've been free to absorb whatever they want back into their new canon — from the Hutt homeworld to Grand Admiral Thrawn. Now, though, we're seeing why Disney played a masterstroke.
There's a sense that George Lucas's vision actually limited him. His focus on the Skywalker story meant that he left the wider galaxy to the Expanded Universe — to novels, comics, and computer games. Disney, on the other hand, has chosen to continue the ongoing story of the Skywalkers and Solos, but also to create movies that flesh out the galaxy far, far away. Instead of novels, radio plays, and gamebooks, the story of the Death Star plans is destined to become one of this year's top movies.
In embracing the Rogue One title, Disney is playing yet another smart move. Rogue Squadron — the fighter squadron Luke went on to lead — are true legends in Star Wars circles. The Rogue Squadron and Wraith Squadron novels, by Mike Stackpole and Aaron Allston, are among the most dearly-loved books in the Expanded Universe. They were a strong enough brand to run through nine novels, with a tenth (I, Jedi) establishing a major character as a Jedi Knight in his own right. Importing the Rogue brand into the films is a genius move.
Finally, Disney is continuing the trend begun in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Notice that the hero of this film is not Wedge Antilles; it's a new character — Felicity Jones's Jyn Erso. Disney is keeping up their trend of strong female leads, clearly aiming to make it a core part of the developing Star Wars brand.
So now we've seen the first teaser and got a glimpse of just what Rogue One has to offer us. It looks as though Star Wars fans are in for a serious treat, and I for one couldn't be more excited!