With the premiere of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens in December 2015, the next generation of Star Wars movies began. New characters, stunning cinematic technology, and a Disney-funded endeavor not only launched the movie's popularity into light speed (pun intended) but also allowed the film to achieve several accolades and surpass records.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will, according to early reviews, be no exception. But for the casual movie-goer, what exactly are audiences in for when they go to the theater? When does this flick take place in the sequence of galactic events (seeing as Star Wars movies' releases already don't coincide with the plot chronology)? Fear not, read on, and be in-the-know with these four facts (Get it? "Four?" Because the movie takes place before Episode IV?) for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
1. "Rogue One" is the first "Star Wars" spin off movie.
Calling Rogue One a "prequel" may incite riots, given the infamous reputation of the prequel Episodes I-III. So to prevent hoards of angry nerds from burning down the theaters, Disney dubbed Rogue One as one of the Star Wars “Anthology Films,” which are all spun off from the main saga. In this case, Rogue One takes place directly before the events of A New Hope. There are other Star Wars "Anthology Films" in development, including one featuring a young Han Solo, but Rogue One will be the first.
2. There is no Skywalker drama in this movie (for the most part).
Because of Rogue One's placement before Episode IV, the plot revolves around (pun intended) the Death Star and the Rebels' efforts to destroy it, but it does not delve into the story the Skywalker Family, as the other movies do. An array of new characters make an appearance, including the advertised protagonist, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). But, like all Star Wars movies, there are cameos and recurring characters, and Rogue One delivers, featuring Darth Vader himself in the plot (okay, so maybe there's a little Skywalker drama).
3. None of the characters from "The Force Awakens" will be present.
This may seem redundant, but seeing as The Force Awakens was released almost exactly a year ago, one might think to themselves, "Where's that hot desert girl with the stick, the guy with the cool jacket, and/or the Emo Sith kid?" (Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren, respectively, for those who don't understand the humor.) Even cute little BB-8 most likely won't be present, as all those characters are present almost 30 years after the events of Episode VI.
4. If none of this makes sense, just look at this "Rogue One For Dummies" infographic.
Screenshot and save for future reference as necessary.
Now you're armed and dangerous and ready to join the Rebellion!