Explore new Rogue One ships, droids and other technologies!
When the first Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16, fans will get a look at brand-new Rogue One ships and technologies and will also learn more about the franchise’s elusive kyber crystals. In the film, the Rebel Alliance is out to steal the plans for the Death Star. We may know how this all ends, but this is the first time we’re getting a look at how those plans made it into the hands of Princess Leia in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
Directed by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed and Valene Kane. We know we’re going to see Darth Vader, as well as a slew of new characters, but we’re also going to see new Rogue One ships like the TIE striker, the U-wing fighter and a sarcastic droid named K-2SO. Read on for a preview of the new Star Wars tech we’re going to see in Rogue One!
While it resembles the short range TIE fighters from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and the subsequent sequels, the Imperial TIE striker is more streamlined, according to StarWars.com. They are designed for patrols over ground-based installations. The pointed wings are designed specifically for combat in a planet’s atmosphere. They’re faster than the TIE fighters and have extra laser barrels. Their wings can curl down for speed. The body is longer, allowing cargo to be carried along with the pilot. In the trailers, we see them defending an Imperial base on the planet Scarif.
Remember the AT-AT walkers from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back? If you were lucky, you had one of the Kenner or Hasbro toys as a kid. This time around, we’re going to see another version. The AT-ACT walker is a larger version of the AT-AT, and used for a different purpose. The AT-ATs were used more for combat, but the AT-ACTs have a larger cargo area, and can be used to transport building materials or combat supplies. Again, we first saw these in the Scarif battle from the film’s trailers. They AT-ACTs are there to help with construction, as Scarif is being used as an Imperial base camp for the Death Star’s construction. Feel free to begin the debate about whether it’s pronounced “ay-tee ay-see-tee” or “at act.”
Fans of the original films know all about the X-wing fighters that the Rebel Alliance used to take down the Death Star. The UT-60D or U-wing, however, is much larger. To get large numbers of troops onto the battlefield, the U-wing starfighter can penetrate combat zones and take damage while providing air cover. It’s got wings that can either tuck into its sides or swing out, forming a ‘U.’ Fans of the game Star Wars Battlefront have seen this ship in the DLC, during the Battle of Jakku.
Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle
Lieutenant Commander Orson Krennic (Mendelsohn) is the director of Advanced Weapons Research for the Empire. As we learned in the Rogue One prequel novel Catalyst, he has been focused on the completion of the Death Star as his ticket to advancement in the Empire for years. He’s all about pride, and his huge Delta-class T-3c shuttle reflects that. The shuttle can transport a number of Death Troopers and when landed, appears much like an imposing pyramid.
Imperial Combat Assault Hovertank
The Imperial Combat Assault Hovertank is an easily maneuverable ground vehicle that can drive through city streets. It’s got a large cargo capability and laser cannons to help “keep the peace.” It has room for a Tank Trooper commander on the top and lightly-armored combat drivers inside.
K-2SO (Tudyk) is clearly the comic relief of the film, going by the most recent trailer. He’s a reprogrammed Imperial security droid, now working for the Rebel Alliance. He’s the perfect cover, as no one would notice him behind enemy lines. He entered the Alliance after meeting Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), who messed with his inner workings. He also seems to have an issue working with Jyn Erso (Jones), claiming in the trailer that he’s with her because the Captain told him he had to be. He’s part of the mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. One could argue that messing with the programming of a sentient droid, something akin to brainwashing, might put you on the dark side. Though we don’t know a lot about him quite yet, he may remind fans of HK-47, the Hunter-Killer assassin droid from the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic with his quippy lines.
This astromech droid might look like the beloved Rebel droid R2-D2, but C2-B5 is on the side of the Empire. He, like his fellow droids in their service, gets frequent memory wipes. Here’s hoping that the Rebel Alliance takes him in.
You may be familiar with kyber crystals as the keys to the lightsaber. These crystals can be found on a number of worlds, though the planet Ilum has the most. The crystals, though clear, take on a color after bonding with a Force user, giving the lightsaber its distinctive color. In Rogue One, a large kyber crystal is used to power the Death Star. We learned in Star Wars: The Clone Wars that major weapons had been powered by kyber crystals in the past. Emperor Palpatine has been mining kyber crystals whenever he can, and we see one of those destroyed in an episode of Star Wars Rebels. In one of the international trailers for Rogue One, we see a young Jyn being given a necklace by a woman (likely her mother) and told to “trust in the Force.” As her father is part of the Death Star creation team (though reluctantly), he would possibly have access to kyber crystals. Is the necklace a kyber crystal? Does Jyn have a strong connection to the Force? We’ll know more on December 16!