‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Visual Story Guide Preview is Full of Rebel Secrets
While not quite as dramatic as the stolen plans to the original Death Star, a 10-page preview of the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Official Visual Story Guide was uncovered this week. After dropping the first teaser trailer on us last month, it's been all quiet on the Outer Rim front for Rogue One. That's not all that surprising given that Star Wars Celebration 2016 is just a hair under two months away, and Lucasfilm and Disney are likely loading up all the big reveals for the self-titled convention. As the internet has shown over the past few years however, you can't keep Star Wars secrets locked up for long.
The Rogue One story guide preview was just a small sampling in the Macmillan Winter 2016 preview catalog, uncovered by Slash Film. Though the film isn't due out for months, this preview gives us the bit of an idea of what to expect from Gareth Edwards' anthology film, which is the first of many planned spin-offs set in the Star Wars universe.
This is your warning to avoid reading any further should you not want even the slightest details about Rogue One spoiled.
Judging by the fact that you're still reading, I'm guess you won't mind that the preview all but confirms Darth Vader's appearance in the movie. Oh you didn't want that spoiled? Well I told you there was going to be spoilers ahoy. That's on you. Though it's been rumored for some time he'd cameo in some regard, his prominence in the character art hints at least a mildly significant role. As the Emperor's right hand of Sith justice, it certainly makes sense Vader would be present during the construction of the first Death Star. He does get sent out to hunt down the plans after they're stolen after all. Clearly that's because Director Krennic, the mystery white-caped man played by Ben Mendelsohn, fails in his mission to stop the Rebels from getting their hands on the weapon's designs.
While that may not be new information to anyone that's been alive since 1977, there's a lot of "how" it happened that we still don't know. Those answers thankfully aren't spoiled in the preview pages of this book, but there are more character names and descriptions shared. Most notably, we get conceptual art for the character rumored to be played by Alan Tudyk, K-250. You can see from the images that the Enforcer Droid is an Imperial machine, but at least for the purposes of this film, has been co-opted by the Rebels as part of the heist plan. That's not something we saw a whole lot of in the existing films, but the extended lore, and in particular some recent comics, has shown that tactic as a viable plan on more than one occasion.
Most interesting (for me anyway) are the new ship designs shown off for the TIE Striker and the Rebel Starfighter. The TIE Striker's lineage can be immediately traced back to the Starfighters from the prequel era, as they share some of the unique design sensibilities of the Eda-2 Actis Interceptor. More traditional TIE Fighters will appear in the movie as well, but this new ship should make the already insanely maneuverable TIES that much more fearsome. You can also see how the design was worked backwards from the TIE Interceptor to look like a precursor. Lucasfilm's design team has always been at working backwards from the original trilogy to create vehicles that show a history where one previously never existed.
The same can be said of the Rebel Starfighter (aka the U-Wing), which takes a bit of the ARC-170 Starfighter and mixes it with the T-47 Airspeeder to create something new and believable. The addition of Incom fusial thrust engines shows their relation to the X-Wings, and they stick true to the older concept of solid thrusters from the classic films versus The Force Awakens' bisected versions. That we didn't see either of these ship types in the first three Star Wars films is irrelevant; that they all look like they could have been in those films is all that matters.
There's also the matter of that Empire tank, which while interesting in concept, I just can't get behind the idea of an attack vehicle that limits the range of its forward canons so poorly. You don't put a gun by the wheels/hovertreads. That's just silly.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will hit theaters Dec. 16. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Official Visual Story Guide is due out Jan. 24, 2017. You can check out more pages and the official synopsis below.
The official companion book to fall’s most anticipated release of Star Wars Rogue One. Never-before-seen interviews, images and teasers from this major motion picture. Detailed, in-depth character profiles, iconic vehicles, weaponry and droids.
Lucas Films proudly presents the official companion book to this fall’s most anticipated release of Star Wars Rogue One. Featuring never-before-seen interviews, images and teasers from this major motion picture. Experience all the thrills with detailed, in-depth character profiles, iconic vehicles, weaponry and droids you've been looking for. Featuring 160 pages of action-packed photos and content, this official Lucasfilm collector's book is a must-have for every Star Wars fan.