By Lindsey Bahr, AP
MARIN, California–The secretive “Star Wars” spinoff movie “Rogue One” just got a little more tangible.
Disney and Lucasfilm unveiled 28 minutes of footage for reporters on Friday at Skywalker Ranch, teasing the origin story of the band of rebels who aim to steal the plans for the Death Star — the event that sets into motion the plot of the original 1977 “Star Wars.”
The footage skipped around in time and story line, but essentially sets up a world on the brink of rebellion. The Empire’s agents are everywhere, with stormtroopers roaming the streets searching for dissidents.
We meet the protagonist, Jyn Erso, as a young child whose parents, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) and Lyra (Valene Kane), are of particular interest to the Empire, and specifically Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic. Without revealing anything else, it’s the specific origin story that still eludes audiences when it comes to the most recent “Star Wars” heroine, Rey. But twists and turns seem to await spectators in “Rogue One,” which finds a grown Jyn (Felicity Jones) in cahoots with the rebel alliance on a dangerous mission to try to stop the Empire from building their planet destroyer.
Director Gareth Edwards introduced the footage Friday, joking that they thought about showing 30 minutes but decided they needed to save something. The film was screened for the cast recently, but few have seen the final product, which will premiere Dec. 10 in Los Angeles before hitting theaters Dec. 16.
The highlight reel set the stage for many of the principle characters, like Diego Luna’s street smart Alliance Captain Cassian Andor, Forest Whitaker’s extremist Saw Gerrera and Donnie Yen’s mysterious, blind Chirrut Imwe. It also established a world that will look quite familiar to anyone who’s seen the 1977 “Star Wars.” Costumes, characters, and sets from that first film — and some of the prequels — populate this universe, including Alliance leader Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) and a few other cheeky surprises.