Rogue One: Are Bothans Preparing to Steal the Death Star Plans?

August 18, 2015 – Lucasfilm announced this week that filming of Rogue One, the first of the standalone or anthology films in the Star Wars series, had begun. Director Gareth Edwards and Producer Kathleen Kennedy have assembled an incredibly talented cast of actors for the film, which is scheduled to hit theaters on December 16, 2016.

Rogue One depicts a ragtag band of resistance fighters, who have banded together to steal schematics and plans to the notorious Death Star. We might finally get to meet the Bothans, whom Mon Mothma alluded to in Return of the Jedi (1983)(“Many Bothans died to bring us this information.”)

All photo credits: Disney/Lucasfilm

All photo credits: Disney/Lucasfilm

The cast includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Diego Luna (Milk), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly), Forest Whitaker (The Butler; The Last King of Scotland), Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt), Alan Tudyk and Riz Ahmed.
RogueOneCast-1 Set before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Rogue One “goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know,” said Kennedy.

Are any of the characters Bothans? At this point, we don’t know yet. But close-up views of the cast photo (above) released by Disney/Lucasfilm show a grittier band of fighters than the usually immaculate Jedi of past movies.

Hong Kong actor and martial artist, Donnie Yen, sits regally. He appears to be blind with a severe case of cataracts.

Hong Kong actor and martial artist, Donnie Yen, sits regally. He appears to be blind with a severe case of cataracts.

Actor Jiang Wen is fully suited up with an armored breast plate and, over his shoulder, an unidentified tube. Please tell us it's not a cardboard poster-holder with the Death Star plans.

Actor Jiang Wen is fully suited up with an armored breast plate and, over his shoulder, an unidentified tube. Please tell us it’s not a cardboard poster-holder with the Death Star plans.

Unidentified actor holding a metallic plate. Perhaps he's the cook, ready to bake 20 mini-cupcakes and 4 chocolate KitKat bars?

Unidentified actor holding a metallic plate. Perhaps he’s the cook, ready to bake 20 mini-cupcakes and 4 chocolate KitKat bars?

Whatever Riz Ahmed is doing, his character has some pretty cool-looking industrial military gear. And is that patch on his shoulder the insignia of the Galactic Empire?

Whatever Riz Ahmed is doing, his character has some pretty cool-looking industrial military gear. And is that patch on his shoulder the insignia of the Galactic Empire?

This first Star Wars spin-off is now labeled “A Star Wars Story” instead of “Star Wars Anthology”. The new moniker sounds less sophisticated than “anthology”, but perhaps this was a marketing decision? After all, what percentage of the viewing public really knows what an “anthology” is?

As shooting ramps up in London, stay tuned for further updates.

UPDATE (April 2016):

It is highly unlikely that any of the characters in Rogue One will be Bothans. The following graphic explains why:
Bothans Die in Shadows of Empire
You can also read our updated article HERE, Many Bothans Do Not Die in “Rogue One” (08 April 2016)

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2 thoughts on “Rogue One: Are Bothans Preparing to Steal the Death Star Plans?

    • Good point. The graphic above should have included the word “many” before “Bothans” so that it more accurately reflects Mon Mothma’s comment at the 2nd Death Star briefing in Return of the Jedi: “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.” As the Rogue One trailer confirms that we will be seeing Mon Mothma again, it would be great to finally be introduced to the legendary Bothans as well. Whether any perish at the 1st Death Star, we will know for sure by Dec. 16th.

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