We've already had our first look at Rogue One's story, but now it's time for a peek at something far more important — its toys. LucasFilm showed off a selection of the Star Wars spinoff's tie-in merchandise in a short YouTube video posted last night, following a short plastic Jyn Erso as she steals the Death Star plans from the cutest little stormtroopers in the galaxy. The stop-motion clip — chapter one of a four-part story — was written and produced by Star Wars fans using Rogue One toys, and features action figure-sized Rebel agents, bobble-head Stormtroopers, and a partially built Lego Death Star.
'Star Wars' has a long history of fan films
The clip also serves to announce a new fan film contest, called Go Rogue, in which Star Wars fans are invited to make their own "Rogue Stories" — using toys and costumes to put together their own short movies and skits based around the upcoming movie. There's a long history of these kinds of fan films helping to sustain the Star Wars community, especially during the dark decades between the trilogies, and the arguably darker period after the disappointment of the prequels: unlike a number of studios that work to quash any IP infringement, LucasFilm has supported fan-made material, sponsoring official Star Wars fan film contests from 2002. These contests served as fertile breeding grounds for viral videos in the adolescence of the internet, birthing early hits like Pink Five and Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager.
The Go Rogue contest opens on September 30th, but you'll be able to start filling your house with reams of Rogue One junk before that — many of the toys featured in the clip are available for preorder starting Friday.