Today the annual Star Wars Celebration convention kicked off in London, and Rogue One director Gareth Edwards took the stage to discuss his new film and show off a new behind-the-scenes reel. It reveals a grittier take on the universe than audiences saw last year in The Force Awakens, following a ragtag group as they try to steal the plans for the Death Star that ended up in R2-D2 in the original 1977 film. Edwards also revealed the new poster for the film (featured below).
Showing footage of Stormtroopers walking through gorgeous blue water (it's the planet Scarif, apparently, though it was shot in the Maldives), the footage is heavy on the big differentiator that Edwards has been pointing out since last year. Rogue One is a movie about war, inspired as much by Saving Private Ryan as Empire Strikes Back, and from the emphasis on practical effects — Edwards's director of photography points out in the clip that shooting with real effects changes the way they compose shots — to the sets themselves it's clear Edwards is going for a fresh take on familiar material.
watching the new Rogue One trailer: it ends with a single shot of darth vader's silhouette, then he breathes — just once. everyone went wild— james vincent (@jjvincent) July 15, 2016
Those in attendance also got a sneak peek at the new Rogue One trailer. The footage, which hasn't appeared online yet, opens with a running child, chased by an Imperial shuttle. It then builds on much of what we've seen before, featuring footage of battles, Stormtroopers, Rebel soldiers in chains, and Mon Mothma. But what was most important was what the clip closed with: a shot of Darth Vader, standing in front of a field of red graphics, and giving one of his menacing mechanical breaths.
James Vincent contributed to this report.