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The first full 'Rogue One' trailer: What it all means

It's finally here. The first proper trailer (as opposed to brief teaser) for the first Star Wars spin-off movie, Rogue One, debuted Thursday night during Olympics coverage, after an interminable hours-long wait for fans. 

The trailer featured all-new footage — and went far beyond the scenes that Star Wars fans in London got to see during the official Lucasfilm conference, Star Wars Celebration, back at the end of July. 

So what did we just see? Let's start with the obvious. 

The world just got its first official cinematic glimpse of the galaxy's greatest bad guy, Darth Vader, since he was put together Frankenstein-style at the end of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). (Vader will again be voiced by James Earl Jones in the film.)  

What those fans saw at Celebration was a brief shot of Vader's helmet in reflection. Here you get a one-second shot of the Dark Lord himself from behind. Lucasfilm has given new meaning to the word "tease." 

We got far more of Forest Whittaker's character, Saw Gerrera, an unorthodox rebel figure previously seen in the Clone Wars cartoons. "The world is coming undone," he says, and it's no wonder why these words were chosen to open the trailer. Everyone who has lived through 2016 can relate.

Every iconic visual that we associate with the Galactic Empire gets a spectacular shot, from Star Destroyers to TIE fighters to the mighty Death Star itself. 

But each time we see them from an unusual angle: the Destroyers and the Death Star closer to the planetary surface than we've ever seen, the TIE popping up to stare at our hero, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), directly in the eye.

The message is clear: Rogue One will give you comfortingly familiar Star Wars tropes, but in ways we've never seen them before.  

The focus is barely on Jyn Erso as the trailer takes most of its 135 seconds to briefly introduce us to other characters, such as intelligence officer Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), freelance assassin Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) and the comic-relief robot K-2SO, a tall drink of CGI voiced by Firefly's Alan Tudyk. 

Then there's the eerie, blue-eyed Jedi-like spiritual warrior Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), whom the gang meet on the planet Jedha, dropping Imperial guards like they're sick beats. "I fear nothing," Imwe says. "All is as the Force wills it."

All of this pulse-quickening action suggests the Force wills a strong December opening for Rogue One, too. 

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