How great was it that "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" committed itself so thoroughly to featuring women and people of color as galaxy-saving protagonists? Well, strap in, because judging from the "Rogue One" trailer that was released on "Good Morning America" today, there's so much more of that to come.
Set before the events of "A New Hope," "Rogue One" tells the story of the ragtag team of Rebels who attempt to steal the Death Star plans from the Empire. We know they eventually succeed, of course, but how they'll do it is still anybody's guess — and certainly won't be easy, it seems. Check out the first ever trailer below and see for yourself:
Not only does the movie look beautifully shot — you can thank director Gareth Edwards for that — but Felicity Jones, who'll be starring as a character named Jyn Erso, is already exceptional.
Powerful, action-focused female protagonists are, thankfully, slowly becoming more acceptable in the film industry, but I certainly can't remember the last time I was introduced to a "reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined" leading lady right out of the gate. That archetype, of the jerk with a head of gold who needs to play by the rules (but definitely won't), is typically reserved for male protagonists — think Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in the first "Star Trek" reboot or Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in "X-Men."
Too angry, too violent, too passionate women are a lot harder to come by, and when we do meet them in movies their anger is either softened over time or merely implied. Even Katniss Everdeen, who definitely fills that role in the "Hunger Games" book series, didn't quite achieve the same level of antihero-like complexity as a character when her story was brought to film.
It's breathtaking that "Rogue One" is so willing to play in that sandbox from the get-go with Jyn Erso, painting their lead as a female character who isn't just strong but aggressively, almost undesirably so. She's clearly the best at what she does, but what she does best isn't very nice.
We have some very strong, capable, rebellious women in the "Star Wars" franchise already, but no one who's rebelled quite like this — and we can't wait to see more.
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" hits theaters December 16, 2016.