Everything You Need to Know About Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Felicity Jones will play Jyn Erso
Photo: Giles Keyte/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a story of rebellion and, almost more notably, it is a rebel in its own right as the first Star Wars live-action spin-off. It follows a young woman, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), who grew up during the Clone Wars, an intergalactic conflict engineered to destroy the Jedi Order. Jyn's father is the scientist commissioned to design and build notorious battle station and ultimate Imperial weapon, the Death Star.

Eagel-eye fans may have noticed that Rogue One's plotline was referenced in the opening crawl of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, which teased a story about rebel spies who stole design plans for the Death Star. Since news broke that it was being developed into its own spin-off, the creators and stars have been rather tight-lipped about the film. On the eve of Rogue One's release on Dec. 16, here, we review what we do know.

01 of 09

Felicity Jones Plays the Lead

Felicity Jones Plays the Lead
Jonathan Olley & Leah Evans/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Jones will play the lead character Jyn Erso. "[She] brings a quiet, strong, intelligence [to the film]. You never doubt that she can take on a big Imperial droid or walk into a room of resistors and convince them, without ever having to raise her voice," producer Allison Shearmur said to our reporter Brandi Fowler at the film's premiere last week.

02 of 09

Vader's Involved

Vader's Involved
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Darth Vader is likely to make an appearance, which was hinted at in one of the most talked-about trailers.

03 of 09

Ben Mendelsohn Will Play the Villain

Ben Mendelsohn Will Play the Villain
Giles Keyte/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Ben Mendelsohn will play the villainous Orson Krennic, the director of Advanced Weapons Research for the Imperial military (hence his obsession with a completed Death Star). He has an obsessive drive to complete the construction of the weapon to earn the favor of Emperor Palpatine (the mastermind behind Anakin Skywalker's turn toward the dark side).

04 of 09

There's a new Droid

There's a new Droid
Lucasfilm Ltd.; Anthony Harvey/Getty

Alan Tudyk transforms into the main droid of the film, K-2SO, an Imperial droid turned loyal to the rebel alliance. He joins the ranks of the franchise's other notable droids: C3-PO, R2-D2, and most recently BB-8. Though, it's unclear if he will carry on the legacy of humor.

05 of 09

The new director was influenced by George Lucas

The new director was influenced by George Lucas
David Livingston/Getty

The film is directed by Gareth Edwards, best known for his 2010 sci-fi thriller Monsters. He has cited Steven Spielberg and even Star Wars creator George Lucas as major influencers of his work.

06 of 09

The Stig may be a Stormtrooper

The Stig may be a Stormtrooper
Steve Haag/Gallo Images

According to a Time Out London Facebook Live featuring director Gareth Edwards, Rogue One may feature a former "Stig" from the popular British TV show Top Gear. He's a mysterious white helmet-wearing character who never speaks or reveals his true identity. In the name of irony, he is said to play a Stormtrooper, the similarly white-helmeted and silent characters well known to the Star Wars films.

07 of 09

Riz Ahmed will play a Rebel Pilot

Riz Ahmed will play a Rebel Pilot
Samir Hussein/WireImage

Riz Ahmed, also known as rapper Riz MC, will play a talented former Imperial pilot named Bodhi Rook who now sides with the rebel alliance. Our reporter Brandi Fowler caught up with Ahmed on the red carpet for Rogue One's premiere to learn just how excited he is to be cast in this role: "It doesn't feel like reality. It feels like it's a childhood fantasy, and in many ways it is. So I'm just trying to embrace it, enjoy it, and savor the moment."

08 of 09

Composer Michael Giacchino Wrote the Musical Score

Composer Michael Giacchino Wrote the Musical Score
Mike Windle/Getty

Trekkies and Star Wars fans unite—at least musically—under composer Michael Giacchino. The film's composer wrote the score for Star Trek and won an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy for scoring Up. This marks the first time that a Star Wars film has not been scored by John Williams.

09 of 09

Genevieve O'Reilly Reprises Her Role From Return of the Jedi

Genevieve O’Reilly Reprises Her Role From Return of the Jedi
Eamonn McCormack/WireImage

Genevieve O'Reilly will be reprising her role as senator Mon Mothma, who we were supposed to meet in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi before her scene was cut from the final theatrical version.

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