With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story now a little under two months away (as of this writing), Disney and Lucasfilm are making sure to ramp up marketing efforts to 11. Following the Rogue Friday event that saw the release of the first wave of tie-in merchandise, a third theatrical trailer was unveiled, giving fans their best look at the spinoff film yet. Between a collection of interesting new characters, the tone of a gritty war drama set in the Star Wars universe, and the return of Darth Vader, there’s plenty to be excited about. If everything goes according to plan, Rogue One should be one of the biggest hits of the holiday season – making things difficult for its box office competition.
As viewers impatiently count down the days to Rogue One‘s premiere, Lucasfilm is keeping the movie in the spotlight via their licensing partners. Ever since A New Hope, Star Wars trading cards have been a popular collector’s item, capturing the franchise’s legendary iconography in a still to admire. Recently, Topps shared six images of Rogue One cards that highlight some of the film’s new characters. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that was merely the tip of the iceberg, and now there’s a whole batch of cards.
Appearing on the Topps Star Wars Card Trader app (hat tip Making Star Wars) are 21 fresh cards depicting scenes from the upcoming movie. Both the heroes and villains get a fair amount of time in the spotlight, as the set shows off all the different stormtrooper variants, Rebellion soldiers, and members of Jyn Erso’s team. You can check them out in the gallery below:
Much of the Rogue One promotional materials so far have demonstrated how director Gareth Edwards was influenced by World War II, but these cards suggest there will also be some traces of the Vietnam War. The shots of the stormtrooper and Rebel soldier traversing the jungle look like something pulled out of Oliver Stone’s Platoon, which is an exciting proposition for moviegoers intrigued by the promise of a change-of-pace in the series. The trailers have definitely retained some of that classic Star Wars vibe, but many have commented how the footage feels different than what’s come before. Edwards’ set pieces look epic and grand in scale, and could possibly be the most intense battle sequences in the entire franchise.
Another big takeaway from the Topps cards is that the Rogue One team paid extreme attention to detail in the character and location design. A number of these images look like they could be from the original trilogy, in particular the one of the three X-wing pilots. It clearly takes a number of cues from A New Hope, most notably the hairdos and mustaches they’re sporting. It’s nice to see that Edwards went the extra mile to maintain continuity between films. Since Rogue One supposedly ends just moments before the original film begins, it makes sense for the Rebel fighters to have a 1970s look to them. Additionally, it’s great that the stormtroopers (at least, the ones shown here) are all extras in costumes, an element that only helps Rogue One feel grounded and lived-in.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has said that Rogue One is an experiment of sorts, since it is the first live-action Star Wars film to take place outside of the traditional Skywalker family saga. Much of the studio’s future plans for the franchise depend on Rogue One being successful, showing that there is an audience for Star Wars as a whole and not just the numbered episodes. It will be interesting to see how everything pans out, but Rogue One looks like it will be another worthwhile journey to the galaxy far, far away when it’s all said and done.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.