Here is the first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Chris Orr, writing in the Atlantic back in 2005, said that Joss Whedon’s Serenity was “closer in spirit to Star Wars than anything George Lucas has produced in a quarter century.” It’s true that Whedon’s swashbuckling space adventure owed much to Star Wars. It’s hard to imagine Malcolm Reynolds existing at all with Han Solo and his gang of rebelling pals. But by the time Firefly / Serenity hit the world, Star Wars had become a different beast. It had lost that airy touch and spirit, and was instead constrained by the machinations of a unduly plot-heavy cinematic / bureaucratic universe.
What Lucas lost, though, Whedon found.
Well inspiration runs both ways. Today we saw the first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Rogue One will be the first in a series of one-off films in the Star Wars franchise, telling ancillary stories in the Star Wars universe. Watching Felicity Jones bluster her way through the overwrought structures of the Empire and the Rebellion, it felt, to me, like Serenity was paying back the favor.
I’m sorry, is this the rebellion or the Browncoats? I’ll forgive you if you can’t tell the difference.
If Disney / Lucasfilm are willing to let these spin-offs run free from the cumbersome recycled story of The Force Awakens, then that’s all the more reason for excitement.