By Matthew Shepherd, ’19

Fans around the world were ecstatic about the direction of the Star Wars franchise after watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now, with the series’ newest addition Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the horizon, the hype has built up once again.

Many factors go into building up the excitement for a new movie, especially one as large-scale as Star Wars. The most influential of these factors are the movie’s trailers and teasers, and there is only one way to describe the trailers for Rogue One: Amazing. The trailers manage to explain the basis of the story without giving anything away, yet still amaze us with stunning images and scenes from the movie, especially the haunting image of the iconic Death Star being assembled. The action looks great, the actors look like they care about the project, and the director seems to have put in hard work for this movie.

On the topic of the director, this movie is directed by Gareth Edwards, who created films such as 2014’s Godzilla and his big-screen debut, 2010’s Monsters. While neither of these were hits across the board with critics or audiences, they did show Edwards’ potential to create tension and drama and to keep audiences engaged throughout the picture. With the time and effort that he seems to have put in, this project can be amazing.

Along with a strong director, Rogue One also hosts a cast of talented actors. Felicity Jones, who starred in movies such as The Theory of Everything and The Amazing Spider-man 2, plays Jyn Erso, who is tasked to steal plans for a super weapon from the dark and mysterious Empire. Diego Luna, who will play the cool-headed Captain Cassian Andor, has appeared in such movies as Y Tu Mamá También and The Book of Life. And of course, the character who has garnered the most excitement for the upcoming movie: Darth Vader, played by Spencer Wilding.

Another ever-present aspect that always helps to build hype for movies are the fan theories. These attempt to predict the events of the movie, what they mean, and how this will play into future movies, all before a single scene has been shown on the big screen. One of the most endearing has been the possible connection between Jyn Erso and The Force Awaken’s Rey. Fans postulate that Erso is Rey’s mother, which is hinted at by their similar accents, the similarities in their appearance, and a doll Jyn holds which has similarities to Rey’s doll in the beginning of The Force Awakens.

The hype that has built up for Rogue One is immense, and for good reason. Judging by the trailers, the action, acting, and drama are all what we’ve come to expect from the series. Hopefully, this is all leading up to a stunning masterpiece of a movie, able to hold its own against the main storyline of the Star Wars franchise.