Rogue One is ostensibly about a political uprising, charting an increasingly militarized rebellion fighting against insurmountable odds, and dealing with the motives for Rebellion and the bureaucracy of governments. That being said, Iger’s point is that there’s no intentional subtext relating to the current climate, especially the highly controversial 2016 U.S. election.
That’s actually all very in keeping with traditional Star Wars. The original trilogy was about a totalitarian government being overthrown (and had distinct influences from the Vietnam War), but it is, at heart, a classic “good versus evil” story. And, even though the prequels got more into galactic politics, they were still more focused on the process and the criticism of dictatorships than looking at parties or complex ideologies (although there were some Julius Caesar/George Bush parallels made).
Instead of politics, Iger was keen to push what he sees as the film’s real message – diversity:
“Rogue One has one of the greatest and most diverse casts of any film we have ever made and we are very proud of that, and that is not a political statement, at all.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens already presented a vastly more diverse galaxy, but Rogue One is going even further – with the group who steal the Death Star plans being made up of a very international cast. That’s something that does indeed appear to be a more core theme of the film.