The teaser trailer for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is out of this world.
The movie, which takes place just before the events depicted in 1977's "Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope," follows the Rebel spies' efforts to steal the Empire's plans for the first Death Star. The cast includes Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker and Donnie Yen. Alan Tudyk, meanwhile, gives life to a motion-capture character.
"Rogue One" is also the first Star Wars movie without any Jedi.
On her own since age 15, Jones' character is introduced just as she's being charged with forgery of Imperial documents, possession of stolen property, aggravated assault and resisting arrest. After Rebel leader Mon Mothma describes her as "reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined," she replies," This is a rebellion, isn't it? I rebel." And wouldn't you know it? That kind of criminal record is exactly what the Rebels need.
Like Rey (Daisy Ridley) taking the lead in 2015's "The Force Awakens," Jones's character is front and center, continuing in the studio's strong feminist streak.
In 2013, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced two standalone movies were in development. Last year, he revealed "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" was the first, with a Han Solo origin story being the second. Gareth Edwards, whose credits include "Godzilla" and "Monsters," was hired to direct the blockbuster. Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta wrote the script, and Kathleen Kennedy and Tony To produced it.
In March 2015, Lucasfilm previewed a different teaser at the Star Wars Celebration event in Anaheim, Calif., where Edwards showed mocked up footage of a lush planet and TIE Fighters.
Months later, at Disney's D23 Expo, the full cast of the movie was revealed. "'Rogue One' takes place before the events of 'Star Wars: A New Hope' and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe," Kennedy, Lucasfilm's president, said in a statement. "It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know."
The "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" trailer debuted on "Good Morning America" Thursday. The movie will land in theaters on Dec. 16.