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What 'Rogue One' trailer says about 'Star Wars' diversity

'Rogue' stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, and Forest Whitaker and will be released this December. It's set in the 'Star Wars' universe and is a prequel of sorts to 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.'

'Rogue One' trailer

A new trailer has been released for the upcoming “Star Wars” movie “Rogue One.” 

“Rogue” will not be a sequel to the massively successful 2015 “Star Wars” film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” but is rather a prequel of sorts: it takes place what seems to be shortly before the original 1977 movie and centers on members of the Rebellion trying to get their hands on the plans for the Death Star. 

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The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, and Forest Whitaker.

[Editor's note: The original version of this article misidentified one of the actors starring in "Rogue One."] 

Ms. Jones’ character seems to have a checkered past, based on the voiceover introducing her character in the clip. 

“Forgery of Imperial documents, possession of stolen property, aggravated assault, resisting arrest,” a voiceover reads as Jones’ character is seen. 

“This is a rebellion, isn’t it?” Jones’ character replies. “I rebel.”

Jones’ character and others are sent to check out what is presumably the Death Star weapon and identify its weaknesses, if any. 

The movie is set to be released this December (the official “Force Awakens” sequel will follow at the end of 2017). It’s directed by Gareth Edwards, who has previously been behind such films as the 2014 version of “Godzilla” and 2010’s “Monsters.” 

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Another spin-off film centering on a younger version of original trilogy character Han Solo is set to be released in 2018. 

With the cast of “Rogue,” those behind the “Star Wars” films continue to show the same attention they showed to cast diversity with “Force Awakens.” “Force” was led by actress Daisy Ridley and another lead character was portrayed by black actor John Boyega. The movie became the highest-grossing movie ever in America, not accounting for inflation. 

This movie seems to center on another female character, portrayed by Jones, and her co-stars include Mr. Luna, who is Mexican; Donnie Yen, who was born in China; and African-American actor Forest Whitaker.

The diversity seen in the trailer "Rogue" represents a significant shift from the original "Star Wars" trilogy, which had just three human female characters with speaking roles – Leia, Luke's Aunt Beru, and Alliance chancellor Mon Mothma, who seems to appear in the "Rogue" trailer as well – and only two nonwhite human characters with a speaking role who appear onscreen – Lando Calrissian and Grizz "She's gonna blow!" Frix, an A-wing pilot.