The "Rogue One" story takes place before the very first Star Wars movie, which is now know as "Episode IV: A New Hope". This movie details the efforts of the Rebellion & the central character Jyn Erso to stop the Empire from realizing it's planet-destroying weapon, The Death Star. Jyn's father Galen Erso was coerced by the Empire to help design the super laser weapon on the Death Star, and there is speculation that his reluctance may have been a factor in the presence of the exhaust port design flaw that was used in its destruction.
We all know the Death Star ends up being completed, then used against Princess Leia's planet of Alderann, and finally destroyed by Luke Skywalker. Despite knowing the eventual outcome, this movie looks to be an engaging and beautifully shot backstory to these events.
What most people are hyped about is the appearance of the greatest villain, and in my opinion the greatest character in all of fiction, Darth Vader. The former Jedi Anakin Skywalker is now the menacing Sith Lord and is probably overseeing the construction of the Death Star, while hunting down the Rebels who are trying to thwart the Empire's plans. This trailer only shows a few fleeting glimpses of Vader's menacing presence, but it is enough to make any Star Wars fan get excited for this movie.
These are some of the other cool details that I think are part of what's going to make this a great addition to the Star Wars universe:
• The battles with AT-ATs in tropical settings
• Director Orson Krennic, the threatening Imperial officer in charge of the Death Star project
• Blind Force-believing martial artist Chirrup Imre, played by Donnie Yen
• The oppressive presence & power of the Empire that is represented by the looming Star Destroyers
• Hope and resistance to authoritarianism as a message of the strength of the human (or alien) spirit
There has been some question about whether this is too much Star Wars media being released by Disney. As long as the content is well-produced & provides inspiring storylines, this lifelong Star Wars fan is happy to explore as much of the galaxy far, far way as possible.