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Everything You Need to Know About the “Rogue One” Hype

Everything You Need to Know About the “Rogue One” Hype
Drew Troller
Avg. Reading Time: 8 min

This is a Sponsored Post from Alamo Drafthouse

After Star Wars: Episode III came out in 2005, consensus was that the series was done; there would be no more Star Wars movies. So I can understand anyone who is confused by all the hype around Rogue One: A Star Wars Story right now. How can a franchise that was supposedly complete get so much buzz? Didn’t I just see promotion for a new Star Wars last year? How can there already be another one? And where are Rey and BB-8 on that poster?

Never fear. As the PorchDrinker most obsessed with the banal details of the Star Wars universe, I’m here to bring you up to lightspeed on why there’s so much hype for Rogue One right now. Confession: because this is the first stand-alone Star Wars anthology movie, it has had to EARN its hype, and thus I am starting at a baseline (0/5 on the hype index) with no expectations and slightly less enthusiasm than normal. But as more details have come out about Rogue One, my excitement has fluctuated – some for the better, some for the worse.

Here is everything you need to know about Rogue One, and one fan’s running tally of how hype has waxed and waned over the last couple years of development.

It’s Star Wars

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When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2013, they announced a bold plan to continue the stories of the original Star Wars plot and characters, but also produce stand-alone films about other characters and stories from that universe. So no, you will NOT see Rey or Poe or Finn or BB-8 in this movie. This is the first Star Wars to break the mold of “Episode __” – it’s just Rogue One. This strategy definitely intrigues me. New Star Wars automatically earns at least an ounce of hype. They could do a silent movie directed by a toddler and I’d still be excited.

Hype Index Total: 1/5


It’s the story of the Rebels stealing the plans to the Death Star

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Rogue One will fill in the backstory of what came before Episode IV aka A New Hope aka the original Star Wars from 1977. The opening crawl of that movie tells us that there’s a band of Rebels fighting against an oppressive galactic Empire. And after a long period of being defeated, the Rebels had finally achieved their first military battle over the Empire immediately before Episode IV starts. And in the battle, the Rebels acquired plans to the Empire’s new super-weapon. The Rebel-friendly Princess Leia Organa then hid those plans on the droid known as R2-D2. Oh God, I hope you’re following this. This is just the first 10 minutes.

Rogue One will be the story of how those plans were acquired and the people who acquired them. In other words, this movie will ease us into anthology films, showing us the weeks/months immediately before the first Star Wars. Finally, we get to see a slice of that struggle, filling in details of the Star Wars universe.

Hype Index Total: 2/5


It’s a war movie

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The genre of Rogue One will be less of a space-western and more of a space-war-movie. Think Saving Private Ryan with blasters. I have loved the Skywalker family saga as much as anyone else – maybe more. And though the story of Anakin Skywalker and his descendants has been fascinating, I’ve always felt that the Star Wars universe could do so much more. It’ll be nice to see a movie where we see a story focusing on characters who aren’t related to the ones we already know. The possibility for a gritty war-style movie with blasters and AT-ATs and speeders… that’s awesome.

Hype Index Total: 3/5


Gareth Edwards is directing

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Look, I’m not saying for sure that Gareth Edwards is a bad director, or that he can’t handle Star Wars. But I’ve only seen one of his films – Godzilla. And that movie was memorable for having characters plodding around without really focusing on the main threat. It felt over-long, with low stakes and so-so action. I’m hopeful, but this news doesn’t really excite me.

Hype Index Total: 2/5


It has a familiar look

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There’s a distinct original-trilogy aesthetic to all the Rogue One costumes, props and sets. Fans often bemoan the overly glossy and artificial feel of the CGI-heavy prequel trilogy. So seeing this reel of behind the scenes footage is definitely a relief. Weird source of hype: a guy getting into the cockpit of a 1970s-looking X-Wing with a 1970s-looking mustache. The production design definitely seems like it has shades of the beloved originals.

Hype Index Total: 3/5


It has a talented castgreat-shot

Felicity Jones (from The Theory of Everything and Inferno) will play Jyn Erso. Her father – who apparently is the J. Robert Oppenheimer of the galaxy far, far away – is played by Mads Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen was the perfect antagonist in Casino Royale and the NBC show Hannibal, so having him as an Imperial bigwig seems perfect. Then there’s Ben Mendelsohn as the Imperial boss who oversees the Death Star. Add in Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk, and I’m impressed at the diverse and accomplished cast.

Hype Index Total: 4/5


There are reports of some cameos shoe-horned inscared

It makes sense to have Mon Mothma – previously seen in Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith – to come back as one of the leaders of the Rebellion.


And the rumors of a Jimmy Smits cameo as Bail Organa (Leia’s adoptive father) is plausible. But there are also rumors that certain patrons of the Mos Eisley cantina in A New Hope may appear on-screen, and we may get another view of Grand Moff Tarkin, who died on the Death Star. Fine, but the more fan service you jam into the movie, the less I’m excited about a true stand-alone movie. Besides, there’s one character I really want to see on screen again….

Hype Index Total: 3/5


Did I just hear Darth freakin’ Vader breathe?!great-shot

…And that character is Darth Vader, the most menacing villain in cinematic history. When the first trailer for Rogue One came out, the stinger was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of Lord Vader himself. And yeah, that’s pretty exciting. If you’re gonna make a war movie in the Star Wars universe that takes place at the height of the Empire’s strength, I’d damn better see the greatest Force user who ever lived in that movie. I am very hyped to find out how Rogue One wants to use Vader.

Hype Index Total: 4/5


There are reports that reshoots were ordered to make it less intensescared

In June, reports surfaced that Disney was ordering reshoots of several key scenes in Rogue One. Tony Gilroy was brought in to handle reshoots, which some people said were ordered in an effort to make Rogue One less violent. Concerns about Disney censoring the dark tone got worse with the release of the trailer. One astute fan noticed that a shot of a soldier caked with blood in the teaser trailer had the gore digitally removed for the theatrical trailer. People who had hoped for that dark and gritty war movie began to fear that these reshoots were bowdlerizing Rogue One.

Hype Index Total: 3/5


…but it is still getting a PG-13great-shot

Hey, this is a movie about hope. And the fact that the official MPAA rating is PG-13 for “extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action” gives me hope. Rogue One will be the eighth Star Wars movie released and the third one with a PG-13 rating. The other two made the most of their more mature ratings – both Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens had some dark imagery. Maybe there’s still a bit of intensity left over in Rogue One.

Hype Index Total: 4/5


It won’t have an opening crawl or John Williams scorescared

Lucasfilm calls Rogue One an “anthology” – a different label than the traditional saga films of Star Wars. In an effort to help differentiate the properties, Lucasfilm will not have the opening crawl of yellow text across the screen that audiences are used to seeing. This was confirmed in an interview with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy last month. One more thing we know won’t be in Rouge One is the music of John Williams. Nothing against new composer Michael Giacchino, but Star Wars has a distinct sound created by Williams, a master of the craft.

Hype Index Total: 3/5


It also won’t have any lightsabers or Jediscared

This might be the most we see of Jedi in Rogue One. I said I wanted a standalone film without relying too much on the characters we’ve already seen before. But having no lightsaber duels bums me out. I may be a bit of hypocrite on this one, but I can’t help it. It makes sense, granted. This is a period in the Star Wars universe where the only living Jedi we know of – Obi Wan and Yoda – were hiding. And it’d feel like a huge cop-out to force in a couple characters to have a lightsaber fight. But… logic doesn’t create hype.

Hype Index Total: 2/5


Ticket sales are historic

great-shotMillions of fans can’t be wrong, right? Pre-sales of Rogue One tickets have been quite strong. They’ve trended at 90% of ticket sales for The Force Awakens, which was the biggest movie to hit theaters last year. Fandango’s servers couldn’t even handle the traffic; the site crashed on day one of sales. Vegas oddsmakers seem to think Rogue One will be the biggest movie of 2016. Yes, you can bet on whether it will top the box office. The current line is -350, meaning you’d need to wager $350 to win $100 on Rogue One‘s winnings. Not very good odds for anyone betting against Star Wars. Not that box office sales mean a movie is good, but clearly the world is excited. There has been a hype-ening… have you felt it?

Hype Index Total: 3/5

Speaking of ticket sales… catch the Rogue One experience at Alamo Draft House. Tickets are now available, plus enjoy top notch craft beer before the show in the Glass Half Full Bar.


The trailers are fantastic

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The people in charge of marketing Rouge One have done an amazing job. Every single TV spot – which are getting harder and harder to avoid – draws the audience in. The latest commercial, which you can watch below, shows the emotional side of Jyn’s character. The marketing so far shows that Rogue One won’t just be a big loud cash grab – it’ll be a somewhat sentimental cash grab, too.

Hype Index Total: 4/5


So, is R2 gonna be in this thing, orrrrrr….?

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Going into Rogue One, the only Star Wars characters to appear in every single movie are C-3PO and R2-D2, two droids (robots, for anyone who somehow made it this far in a pedantic Star Wars article without knowing that). And this could be the movie that breaks that streak (barring a surprise cameo). Kind of a bummer, especially how easy it would be to justify R2’s appearance, say at the very end of the movie aboard Leia’s ship. But what worries me even more than the apparent lack of R2-D2 is that no one has officially gone on record to promise that Jar-Jar Binks will NOT be in Rogue One.

Hype Index Total: 3/5


Reactions to a preview have been positive and George Lucas likes it

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Some lucky bastards journalists and writers were shown roughly 30 minutes of Rogue One – a kind of weird edit of the first 12 minutes plus select other scenes – early this month. Reviews have said that the look of the movie is note-perfect for Star Wars. Alan Tudyk’s character, the droid called K-2SO, is apparently hilarious without distracting from the drama. And Gareth Edwards reports that George Lucas himself liked the movie more than The Force Awakens, even. And you may think that the man who made The Phantom Menace shouldn’t be trusted to say what’s a good Star Wars movie. But George Lucas has paid for his crimes against his own legacy. I’m willing to welcome his opinion. I’m even one of those crazy people who thinks Disney should invite him to direct another movie. If the man who created the Star Wars universe likes Rogue One, I am excited to see a movie that honors his vision.

Hype Index Total: 4/5


My hype right now is at about a 4 out of 5. That’s the most excited I’ve been for any movie this year – the most since The Force Awakens last year. And with Alamo Drafthouse serving up top notch beers, that’s enough to push me to a solid 5. Having a great venue to watch the most anticipated movie of 2016… that’s my dream movie experience. For all my fellow Star Wars fans buying tickets and getting hyped for Friday… may the force be with you!

Buy your tickets to catch Rogue One at Alamo Drafthouse


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