There have been endless articles since the “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” trailer premiered last week. There are bound to be more with the arrival of the international trailer, which features brand new footage. I’m not going to break the trailers down for you, as it’s been done over and over. I do, however, want to tell you a different reason I’m excited about the movie. I mean, aside from the fact that it looks amazing. I mean, really amazing. I mean, I love this trailer more than warm oatmeal cookies with drizzled icing. But that’s not the only reason why.
When I was a kid, I was introduced to Anne McCaffrey’s book series “Pern.” The world was full of dragons and riders; it totally sucked me in. The way I got in, however, was through a side trilogy, written about an at-the-time relatively minor character named Menolly. McCaffrey would go back to her world and tell minor stories and weave them in to give a wider picture of a larger universe. You got a look into not just the major characters, but also what else was going on and the lives of other people.
As a kid, seeing the original “Star Wars” trilogy, I wanted to know more. I wanted to know where regular people lived and where the rest of the Rebellion was. I wanted to know how many other worlds there were. I wanted to know about the “many Bothans" who died to give the Rebellion information. I wanted to know where Princess Leia got the Death Star plans before she gave them to R2-D2. “Rogue One”’s announcement was childhood wish fulfillment. In a way, just as the original “expanded universe” did for years, in the form of books, video games and comics, this will fill in holes. “Star Wars Rebels” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” have done the same. I’m dying to know everything about everything!
And then there’s Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso, our hero. Yes, she’s still one of the only ladies in a giant group of men, but she clearly kicks ass and isn’t exactly perfect. It feels like writing a well-rounded female action hero is becoming the norm, as opposed to “tough chick in black leather.” Jyn, Katniss, Rey — it’s finally happening. To learn about another amazing and complex female character, one we didn’t know about before (like we did with Ahsoka Tano, Hera and Sabine), and to see the trailer on my TV; to see the new planet Jedha, a U-Wing fighter, the size of K-2SO, Darth Vader; to see yet another part of my all-time favorite fantasy universe — well, it’s pretty darn awesome.