There’s a very good chance that by now, you’ve seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, or you’re planning to see it very soon. As with previous Star Wars film and, well, every big movie, there’s a lot you don’t catch on during your first glimpse. That’s what we’re here for: To fill you in on what’s important.
1. This is the First Star Wars Film Without the Scrolling Text at the Beginning of the Movie
To tell you the truth, I was quite stunned when I was sitting in the theatre and the movie just started. I forgot about it 2 minutes into the film, but initially I was like “WTF?!”, expecting to see the yellow text rolling up the screen, if only for tradition sake. But this is outside the main trilogies storytelling frame, so something had to be different right off the bat.
2. The First Star Wars Film Without Anyone Mentioning the Name Skywalker
We do have a Skywalker in the film (Darth Vader). We do have a force wielder in the film (Vader, again), at least one. One might argue that Chirrut Îmwe is a force wielder. However, the Skywalker family is the center of action in the seven previous Star Wars films. In Rogue One? The “little” people, which was a nice change.
3. The First Star Wars Film With a Woman Receiving Top Billing
One can say that Rey (Skywalker?) was the big star of Episode VII, but you can argue about that. However, Jyn Erso, portrayed by Felicity Jones, is undoubtedly the central character in Rogue One. Star Wars put females in the lead two movies in a row, but it didn’t feel forced or anything, which goes to show someone did a good job of writing these films.
4. Director of Episode VIII, Rian Johnson, Had a Cameo in the Film
The abundance of Stormtroopers in other people in full body suits and armor make it an easy way for famous people to make cameos in Star Wars films without actually drawing attention from the plot. Writer/Director of Episode VIII, Rian Johnson, made such an appearance, being the one who controls the Death Star’s superlaser, the destroyer of worlds.
5. Anthony Daniels Has Appeared in All 8 Star Wars Films
If you went to the bathroom or get yourself a drink, you missed it: C-3PO and R2-D2 make a short appearance in Rogue One, with the translator droid making his usual pessimistic remark. And with that, Anthony Daniels made his 8th appearance in a Star Wars film, the only actor in all 8 feature SW films. R2-D2 has also been in every Star Wars film.
6. Star Wars Rebels Ghost Ship Makes an Appearance Too
Lucasfilm is trying not to crossover Star Wars Rebels with other Star Wars material, but The Ghost does appear in the film, seen in the top left corner during one of the shots outside the Rebel base on Yavin 4.
7. Jet Li Was Also a Candidate to Play Chirrut Îmwe
Chirrut Îmwe is probably the coolest character in Rogue One, and it’s hard to imagine anyone but the talented Donnie Yen portraying him. However, Jet Li was also in the running to act as the blind temple guardian who kicks some a$$, only Yen’s salary ($4 million) helped him land the role, compared to Li’s $10 million. Yen wasn’t sure because of the 5-month filming period in London, but his son’s love for the series convinced him to go ahead and do it.