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If you’re like me, Rogue One is the most anticipated movie of the year, and it has a lot riding on its tail. It’s the first canon Star Wars movie to not focus on the Skywalkers. In the post Jedi galaxy, it’s up to the rest of civilization to bring about the Rebellion against the Empire. As Rogue One puts the war in Star Wars, here are five things we’re most looking forward to in the newest Star Wars Story.

1 – Jedha

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The small desert moon once used by the Jedi Order as a resource for building lightsabers, is now being occupied by the Empire. Why Jedha is being occupied is not certain. It’s heavily speculated that the Empire will be mining kyber crystals to use for their ultimate weapon, the Death Star. Before the fall of the Jedi, the moon was regarded as a pilgrimage site for those that believed in the Force. It also appears that we meet some of the crew, such as Baze and Chirrut, here. What other secrets does this oncegreat city hold? Do all the civilians living there believe and feel the Force? Will this moon survive the Empire with their weapons test being imminent?

2 – Death Troopers

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While we’re getting multiple new varieties of stormtroopers, the Death Troopers are the most intriguing and exciting. They’re an elite Imperial Intelligence group of soldiers in all black. According to starwars.com, they serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic. They’re intimidating to say the least. So it’s a wonder if they only exclusively served Krennic or they continued to serve the Empire on other missions. What does their future hold in the Star Wars Universe? Definitely looking forward to seeing more of these guys!

3 – “Boots on the ground”

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I’ve heard this phrase used a lot from fans describing the tone of the film. In short, we’ll see the war carried out by soldiers and that’s something we do not get much of in the Star Wars films. There is usually more emphasis focused on the lightsaber fights, but this movie won’t have them at all. Our focus will be drawn to the Rebels on the ground. We will have space battles of course, with one being shown in the trailers. The big fight, however, seems to be on Scarif. With AT-ACTs and U-Wings transporting troops from both sides onto the battlefield. Not to mention stormtroopers…in the water!

4 – The Crew

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Jyn, Cassian, K-2SO, Chirrut, Baze and Bodhi. We’ll learn why they fight for the Rebellion, we’ll discover what means they will use to get the job done, and we’ll put our hearts with them as they do the seemingly impossible. Steal the plans to the Death Star out of Imperial hands and deliver them to the Rebellion. We know that the leader of the group, Jyn Erso, has personal ties to the Death Star as her father, Galen, has a hand in its creation. Alone since she was 15 and stacking up a long rap sheet with the Empire, she’s chosen to help the Rebellion get these plans. She and the others will make sacrifices along the way. Some, if not all, will perish in the mission. But we will learn their stories and cannot wait to hear and see more about them.

5 – Darth Vader

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Yes, we’ve had a lot of Darth Vader, especially in the original trilogy, and we also saw his origins in the prequel trilogy. In Rogue One, we will be seeing him in his prime. We speculate that Krennic will be in a power struggle with Vader, wanting to impress the Imperial elites with his work. Seeing Vader come out of the mist with purpose means we could be getting Vader on the battlefield when Krennic fails. And the potential to see that is TOO GOOD to not get excited about! It could also “explain” why Vader is so slow in his fight with Obi-wan in A New Hope, as he could’ve been injured on the battlefield. It will definitely make the opening of A New Hope all that more powerful when Vader chases down the plans after potentially having wiped out all the rebels on Scarif. I cannot wait to see what Vader does!

What are you most looking forward to? Do you agree with our list? Let us know and be sure to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theaters on December 16th!

Erin Lynch