Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is right around the corner, and Lucasfilm is doing everything they can to hammer that point home. New TV spots are debuting on a daily basis, while fans in the U.K. can already purchase their tickets for opening night. It’s expected that viewers in other countries can pre-order their own tickets by the end of the month. With the world premiere less than three weeks away (as of this writing), it won’t be long now before moviegoers make another trip to the famous galaxy far, far away.
The studio is in the thick of their last push for marketing, and EW looks like it will be a publication to watch closely. On the heels of the magazine unveiling two new covers depicting Jyn Erso and Darth Vader, the outlet has now published a collection of still images from the film and shared more information about a certain Sith Lord that will be making his big screen return.
First up are the pictures, which essentially show similar imagery to the earlier promotional materials. There is an eye-catching look at the Death Troopers making their way through a grassy field. This could be from the flashback sequence shown in the third trailer, where the Imperials come to collect Galen Erso so he can work on the Death Star project. Additionally, a new character named Tivik (an underworld contact of Cassian Andor’s) is revealed for the first time. You can check the photos out in the gallery below:
For most viewers, the images of Vader will be the ones that generate sizable excitement. Lucasfilm has smartly held back on showing too much of the Dark Lord in advertising, which makes Vader’s role in the movie (however small it might be) all the more anticipated. Some clear looks at the villain are provided in the gallery, which makes sense since he was a focus of EW‘s latest report. Lucasfilm Head of Story Development Kiri Hart explained Vader’s dynamic with Director Orson Krennic in an interview:
“Here is the thing about Krennic: his perspective obviously is that of a person who doesn’t understand the Force. And Darth Vader comes at everything from the perspective of understanding the Force. So that I think is the thing that you see sort of separating Darth Vader from other characters with regards to a super weapon like this.
“There are military men who are interested in a really effective piece of military hardware, and Darth Vader is a little bit beyond that, right? He’s tapped into something on another level, on a spiritual level. So, that’s part of the fun of Vader in the context of the Imperial Military. He’s got a broader perspective.”
Rumors have suggested that Vader first enters Rogue One‘s narrative to discuss with Krennic when exactly the Empire should utilize the Death Star, and Hart’s quote lends credence to that speculation. In A New Hope, Vader didn’t seem too fond of a fully operational battle station, referring to it as a “technological terror” that could not rival the power of the Force. As Hart suggests, Vader’s understanding of the universe as a whole is far more extensive than others working for the Empire, which should lead to some fascinating conversations between the Sith and Krennic. They don’t see eye-to-eye on this subject, and that probably won’t bode well for Krennic in the end.
The multitude of Rogue One trailers and TV commercials have done a great job of highlighting all the fresh aspects of the spinoff, from the new vehicles, cast of protagonists, and stromtrooper variants. There’s no denying many are excited to see Jyn Erso and her team steal the Death Star plans, but Vader is undoubtedly an element casual audiences and hardcore fans cannot wait to see. In all likelihood, this is the final instance (for real, this time) Lucasfilm will include the iconic character in a live-action film, so the onus is on director Gareth Edwards and company to make it count. By all accounts, Vader has a minimal, but crucial, part to play, so hopefully he has a couple of standout moments.