This September is a big month for Star Wars fans. The third season of the hit show Star Wars Rebels premiered last week to positive reviews, and now the feature film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is taking center stage. Today (September 30, 2016) marks the latest Force Friday holiday. As many moviegoers probably know by now, it’s a special event that sees the release of the first wave of tie-in merchandise for the upcoming film. Lucasfilm and their various licensing partners have spent the past few weeks promoting all of the products, and now they’re available for people to buy.
Fans are already celebrating, purchasing action figures, Funko Pops, LEGO sets, and more at their local stores. But toys only scratch the surface of what consumers will be getting over the next few months. Star Wars has long had a presence in the trading card realm, and Topps is looking to get in on all the “Rogue Friday” fun by unveiling a new batch of promotional images.
Using their Star Wars Card Trader mobile app (hat tip CBM), Topps shared seven new photos, highlighting the various characters that will be in the film. Everyone from principal heroes like Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor to supporting players Bistan and Pao are included. You can check out the images in the gallery below:
While the pictures don’t reveal anything new about the movie plot-wise, they’re still nice to look at. Since the days of the original trilogy, Star Wars has been synonymous with visually stunning artwork, and these are no different. In particular, the one of Jyn silhouetted as the Death Star chases down a fleet of X-wings could easily work as a poster a fan would want to hang on their wall. Getting another glimpse of Darth Vader is also very exciting. A majority of the Rogue One marketing campaign has (smartly) been about pushing all the new faces, but viewers cannot wait to see the legendary villain on the big screen again. Unlike Luke Skywalker in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm has made it a point to spotlight Vader in Rogue One advertising, giving casual audiences something familiar to latch on to in the spinoff.
Rogue One is a fascinating part of Star Wars history in that it is the first live-action film that is not part of the Skywalker family saga. Disney intends to keep the franchise alive and well for the foreseeable future with a new movie each year, so it’s vital that these anthologies (including 2018’s young Han Solo standalone) find commercial and critical success. The studio is not anticipating Rogue One to make as much at the box office as Episode VII, but they still have high expectations for their holiday tentpole. They’ve done an excellent job of building up hype and anticipation, and though questions about the heavily-publicized reshoots remain, the film looks like another worthwhile trip to the galaxy far, far away.
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.
Source: Topps (via CBM)