I’m ready to take on the Empire again.

The first trailer for the highly anticipated Star Wars anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story released this morning on Good Morning America and I have to say I’m a bit underwhelmed. It was really great for the most part, but there were a few negatives for me.

There is a lot of awesome stuff in this trailer. The pulsing siren throughout the trailer added a lot to the overall tension and lingering sense of dread that the trailer possessed. Director Gareth Edwards brought a lot of his Godzilla sensibilities to Rogue One. The way he makes the AT-ATs and the Death Star look so monstrous and imposing is really cool. I think experiencing the Rebellion from the perspective of someone who isn’t force sensitive will be interesting. Just in the trailer alone the Empire comes off as a little more menacing.

The brief shot of the rebels storming the beach against AT-ATs was my favorite part of the trailer. Gareth Edwards has described Rogue One as a “war story” and that scene looks like it could be analogous to D-Day in Saving Private Ryan. I like that angle they’re approaching this story with, and I hope the final product ends up being darker and grittier than the saga films like this trailer implies.

I was surprised by the lack of Darth Vader in this trailer. I thought he was going to be one of the most heavily marketed parts of the film, to act as the hook to get audiences in to this unknown Star Wars cast. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get to see him, but at the same time I’m kind of glad it was left a surprise. If Edwards takes a similar approach to the one he had for Godzilla and saves Vader and gradually builds up to to him, I think it could lead to some really great pay off. I want to see Vader slaughter some of these knew rebels, and be treated like an unstoppable force of nature.

There is also a small shot of Forest Whitaker in some bad ass looking armor, and Donnie Yen taking out some stormtroopers with a staff. These were both pretty cool looking, and I think they are both good additions to the overall cast. Whoever it was they cast as Mon Mothma did an amazing job. Seriously, flawless casting. The resemblance is almost uncanny. The tracking shot of Ben Mendelsohn gave us a brief look at the villain, and he was pretty intimidating in his little screen time. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.

Honestly my biggest gripe with the trailer is Felicity Jones as the lead. I was just totally unconvinced by her in the trailer, she almost felt like a protagonist from a young adult novel adaptation (Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.). I don’t know what it was but she just rubbed me wrong way in the trailer. The “I rebel” line? Ugh, I thought it was pretty cringey. I’m just not sold on her acting yet, but hopefully I warm up to her by the time the film comes out. If not, that doesn’t bode well for Rogue One.

Check out the trailer below:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story releases December 16th.


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