Film / Rogue One

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Tynnra Pamlo: You're asking us to invade an Imperial installation based on nothing but hope?
Jyn Erso: Rebellions are built on hope!

"We call it the Death Star. There is no better name. And the day is coming soon when it will be unleashed..."
Galen Erso

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, marketed as Star Wars: Rogue One or simply Rogue One, is a 2016 film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, based on an idea from Lucasfilm SFX supervisor John Knoll and a story treatment by Gary Whitta (who wrote The Book of Eli). The film is the first entry in the Star Wars Anthology Spin-Off series, and the second to be produced by Disney, following The Force Awakens. It is also the first live-action film in the Star Wars universe not to be scored by John Williams, instead scored by prolific Disney composer Michael Giacchino, while incorporating many of Williams' themes. It was released on December 16th, 2016.

Nineteen years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, word spreads throughout the galaxy of the Empire's Death Star, a weapon that can destroy entire planets. Fearful of what the galaxy's dictatorship will do with such power, the fractious Rebel Alliance assembles a small team to find the creator of the weapon, Galen Erso, for information on how to destroy the Death Star. With no guarantee of survival, Galen's daughter Jyn and her new-found allies must quickly learn to trust each other to overcome the armies of Director Orson Krennic, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Darth Vader. The film's end is set less than one hour before the beginning of A New Hope.

The film stars Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, Diego Luna as Captain Cassian Andor, Ben Mendelsohn as Director Orson Krennic, Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe, Alan Tudyk as the droid K-2SO, Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus, Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook and Guy Henry as Grand Moff Tarkin (with CGI being used to grant him the late Peter Cushing's likeness). And last, but certainly not least, James Earl Jones reprises his role as the voice of Darth Vader.

Previews: Teaser, First Trailer, Second Trailer

Its story is followed by A New Hope, and the film is followed by The Last Jedi in production order.


Rogue One provides examples of:

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    Tropes A to F 
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: When Jyn views her father's message to her, she breaks down crying. While the Death Star fires in the background.
  • Activation Sequence: From the words "commence primary ignition," we see the Death Star firing sequence in full.
  • Adaptation Expansion: This movie expands greatly upon the events described in the opening crawl of A New Hope. The Star Wars Celebration specifically focused on the first two paragraphs during the introduction of the movie.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom:
    • The explosion from the Death Star's laser, at only a fraction of its full power, is enough to create a shockwave capable of peeling back the crust of a planet for kilometers in all directions. To characters on the ground, this appears as, well, a rather extreme example of this trope.
      K-2SO: There seems to be a problem on the horizon: There's no horizon.
    • Also Darth Vader at the end of the film. Leading the boarding party to take back the Death Star's plans, any rebel soldiers that end up within his reach die as he methodically carves through them, very nearly reclaiming the plans all by himself.
  • Advertised Extra: The alien characters (eg. Pao, Bistan, and Moroff) only have brief roles in the movie in spite of have being marketed fairly prominently in the behind-the-scenes featurettes.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The backstory novel Catalyst explores the backstory of Orson Krennic and his association with the Erso family, going back to the Clone Wars Era.
    • Many if not all of the code names Jyn reads through while searching for the Death Star plans are mentioned in Catalyst as cover names for various sub-projects associated with the Death Star.
    • The names and technical specs of the new Imperial war machines were covered in Empire Magazine and various books released prior to the film. Notably the new TIE Fighters on Scarif (called TIE Strikers), and the AT-AT variant on the ground (the AT-ACTs a.k.a. All-Terrain Armored Cargo Transports.)
    • The Rogue One novelization reveals further details, both within the main text and in "Supplemental Data" sections in the form of fictional documents such as intelligence intercepts, religious texts, and personal diary entries.
  • And Starring: "James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader" followed "with Forest Whitaker and Jiang Wen". The very end of the closing credits also has "Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher".
  • And This Is For...:
    • One of the rebel soldiers exiting the U-wing to support Rogue One in the final battle yells "For Jedha!" as he rushes into battle.
    • Bodhi says "This is for you, Galen." after he's able to send the message out to the Rebel fleet above Scarif, telling them to blow up the planetary shield station so the Death Star plans could be transmitted out, just before he's killed by a grenade.
  • Anyone Can Die: As is the nature of a war movie, not everyone makes it out alive — at least not beyond those that are already in other films, anyway, which is basically just Darth Vader, Wilhuff Tarkin, Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and Leia. Every major character introduced in the movie is dead by the time it ends, and Bail and Tarkin don't have long to live given their fates on Alderaan and the Death Star.
  • Apocalypse How: A Class 5 example. Despite the Death Star only shooting at minimum power, the superlaser targeting the Holy City of Jedha delivers a huge amount of energy, seeming to have penetrated the moon's crust and created a shockwave in its mantle, as the ground is shown peeling off the surface of the moon (which is what would happen if a planet was hit by a large enough impactor, and presumably a giant death laser as well). The moon probably isn't going to be habitable in the wake of such massive geological devastation.
  • Apocalypse Wow: Director Krennic sums it up best, while witnessing the Death Star firing with a fraction of its full power.
    Orson Krennic: Oh, it's beautiful...
  • Arc Welding:
    • Saw Gerrera's inclusion ties the movie pretty tightly to The Clone Wars. Not only that, but Saw and his sister both fought alongside Ahsoka Tano, who is a major character in both The Clone Wars and Rebels tying the movie to that show as well. Further ties to Rebels come from mention of a General Syndulla and Freeze-Frame Bonus of the Ghost and Chopper.
    • The Death Star's oft-copied and oft-mocked thermal exhaust port that renders an invulnerable battle station completely vulnerable to a single proton torpedo? Galen Erso designed the reactor so it would explode if struck with a single explosive. The novelisation reveals that he also conspired so that the design team would have no choice but to use exhaust ports.
    • Vader has red lenses in his helmet, much like his Rebels appearances. It's worth noting that he was always meant to have them, but the original costume didn't for one reason or another.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Hope". For a good reason.
    • "Stardust".
    • "Trust". The last thing Jyn's mother tells her is "Trust in the force" before giving her the kyber crystal necklace. More than a few characters emphasize the need to trust one another, while much of the plot focuses on the fact that they have every reason not to, coming from various conflicting factions and backgrounds.
    • In the novelization, at one point, Senator Mothma describes the reason for why she trusts Jyn is because she has 'fire', a theme previously used in Rebels media as something synonymous with rebellion and hope.
    • "I am one with the Force and the Force is with me."
  • Armor Is Useless: Zig-Zagged.
    • The Stormtroopers are at it again, in fine Star Wars tradition. When a blind guy with a wooden staff can curbstomp the hell out of you and a dozen of your buddies in just a few seconds, you might as well go into battle naked.
    • On the other hand, several characters take more than one shot to die. This includes some Stormtroopers. Perhaps their armor offers some protection against guns, but not as much against concussive blows.
    • K-2SO is shown taking an incredible amount of punishment from stormtroopers, while an identical model droid earlier in the film is instantly killed with one shot from a laser pistol.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: The Rebellion isn't quite yet the collection of shining heroes we see in (chronologically) later films. Plenty of their recruits and operatives come from the dregs of society. They're not in a position to turn anyone away.
  • Asshole Victim: Krennic. He orders innocent people killed just to try to make a point. This includes killing countless people with the Death Star. So his fate is ultimately earned.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The AT-ACTs' impracticality is made strikingly clear in this story. They're intimidating as hell to ground troops, but are severely vulnerable to aircraft. They're big targets and seem to have no ability to track and shoot down the fast-moving X-wings. The empty space where cargo containers can be loaded also makes for a major structural weakness in an AT-ACT's body. (It's a glaring difference from the nigh-unstoppable AT-ATs from Episode 5, since these ones aren't actually military vehicles, they're cargo transports.)
  • Badass Beard: Most of the Badass Crew aboard Rogue One have one, exceptions being the Badass Mustache Cassian and the clean-shaven Chirrut. And Jyn, for obvious reasons.
  • Badass Boast: Chirrut makes a very nice one, which he then proceeds to back up by taking out a whole squad of Stormtroopers.
    Chirrut Îmwe: The Force is with me, and I am with the Force, and I fear nothing, for all is as the Force wills it.
  • Badass Bystander: The entire plan of the Rebels would have been for naught if it wasn't for the random unnamed Rebel crew mate who grabbed the stolen Death Star plans and ejected their ship from bay before Darth Vader could kill his way to the next door.
  • Badass Family: The Ersos end up causing the Empire a lot more trouble than probably anyone else in the galaxy. In the backstory, Lyra was the one who plotted their escape from Krennic in the first place and dies trying to take him out in order to save her husband and child, Galen undermines the Empire's deadliest weapon and gives the Rebellion a major advantage, and Jyn does everything in her power to get the Death Star plans to the Rebellion at the cost of her own life.
  • Bad Vibrations: The blind Chirrut is the first to notice the approaching AT-ACTs on Scarif thanks to their heavy footfalls.
  • Bald of Awesome: In the flashbacks Saw Gerrera is bald but he has hair again in the main narrative. This makes it a rare case of a character becoming less awesome by gaining hair (but also becoming a cyborg over time).
  • Battle in the Rain: The mission to Eadu and all fights that ensue there take place in the torrential downpour of a raging thunderstorm.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Bodhi helps divert stormtroopers away from the citadel on Scarif by sending in false reports of rebel movements that have to be responded to.
  • Big Bad: Director Orson Krennic serves as the film's central antagonist, serving as the supervisor over the Death Star's construction, and a personal foe of the Erso family. Tarkin, however, usurps the position later on. Vader, of course, is THE Big Bad and he has the highest body count in the movie, as usual.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The battle of Scarif. Overlaps with Parallel Conflict Sequence with three separate struggles all connected in the Rebels' effort to steal the Death Star plans. First Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO's infiltration of the Imperial base in order to find the plans, the rest of Rogue One distracting the garrison on the beaches on a suicide mission, and the Rebel fleet in space battling several Star Destroyers and trying to pierce through Scarif's shield to intercept the plans.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Krennic is this with Tarkin, who is also in the film, but is dismissive of Krennic and uses the Death Star in an extreme "You Have Outlived Your Usefulness" on Krennic.
  • Big Entrance: After Darth Vader boards the rebel ship, the terrified rebels only hear his breathing in a dark hallway. Then he lights up his lightsaber to reveal he'd been standing there all along. Then he effortlessly slaughters them all.
  • Big Word Shout: LAAAAAUUUUUNNNNCCCCCCCCHHHHHH!
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The Death Star plans are successfully stolen and the Empire suffers a major defeat, but not without great cost: the entire team is killed in action, and the Rebels suffer significant losses, including an entire capital ship when Darth Vader shows up to block their escape and boards the ship, forcing Leia's ship to disembark and flee. Plus, it's known Vader will catch up with Leia. While we as an audience know that the Death Star will be destroyed thanks to this mission, there's a great degree of uncertainty in-universe, though the Rebellion remains hopeful for the future.
    • Imagine for a moment you didn't know the events of A New Hope or if these movies had been released in chronological order. Then at the end of this one: 1. All the heroes are dead. 2. They were successful in getting the Death Star plans to Leia, but she's now on a small ship with scant defenses and has a Star Destroyer with Darth Vader on board bearing down on her. 3. The Rebel Alliance is shown to be loosely organized and with few resources. Now they've just taken very heavy losses in a battle which... 4. Was ended with one shot from the Empire's new super weapon and they're now more powerful than ever. When you consider all that it would be hard to see this film as having anything other than a Downer Ending.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The Empire has always been black throughout the franchise, and are no different here. The Gray comes from the Rebels. Many of the characters — main characters included — admit to lying, stealing, cheating, and killing in the past just to survive in life, even before they joined the Rebellion. On the whole, the film shows that the Rebellion — long seen to be the "good guys" of the series — isn't exactly all good either. At the moment the film takes place, the Alliance isn't as united as shown in previous films, being demoralized by consecutive defeats and the news of the Empire superweapon. They employ mercenaries, assassins, saboteurs, anything they could get their hands on to have even the slightest chance of taking the fight back to the Empire. They also aren't above blackmailing people, such as Jyn, in order to get them to cooperate. Best shown in Cassian, who shoots his informant in the back when it was clear that the guy would slow him down, and is tasked by a Rebel officer to assassinate Galen Erso for his part in creating the Death Star, even if he has to do it in front of Galen's own daughter Jyn. In the end, as Jyn bitterly notes, it was the Rebel airstrike that killed her father, not the Empire.
  • Blindfolded Trip: Every visitor to Saw's base is blindfolded for the trip so they can't reveal its location — including Chirrut, who finds the whole thing ridiculous.
    Chirrut Îmwe: Are you kidding me? I am BLIND!
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted; Chirrut is bloodied when he dies, and when Baze takes a wound to the leg, there's visible damage.
  • Body Horror:
    • We get a good look at what Vader looks like when he's not in his armor 19 years after his duel on Mustafar. Needless to say, it's not a pretty sight.
    • Saw Gerrera has seen better days. He needs a breathing aid and he has two artificial legs.
  • Bond One-Liner: Downplayed, as Vader doesn't actually kill Krennic in this scene:
    Orson Krennic: So I'm still in command. You'll speak to the Emperor about...
    [Darth Vader Force-chokes him]
    Darth Vader: Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director.
  • Bookends:
    • After Galen is taken and Lyra shot dead, Krennic orders his troops, "Find it!", regarding their daughter Jyn as only a thing, not a person. Near the conclusion, after Cassian has shot Krennic, Cassian prevents Jyn from attacking the fallen Krennic and pulls her away, telling Jyn, "Leave it. Leave it."
    • In the opening confrontation between Krennic and the Ersos, Lyra tells him, "You're going to lose." In his final confrontation with Jyn on Scarif, she tells him, "You've lost."
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Jyn is furious with Cassian for pretending to go along with trying to rescue her father, only to attempt to assassinate him on a superior's orders; she says he's no better than a Stormtrooper. In another film she'd have the moral high ground, but Cassian angrily fires back that he's been fighting against tyranny and oppression for decades, while she's been keeping her head down and refusing to take part in the conflict; she doesn't get to criticize the methods he uses to strike back against the Empire when she's only now become emotionally invested in the war.
  • Bottomless Pit: No Imperial installation would be complete without one, or without someone falling in one.
  • Break Them by Talking: Krennic does this to Galen, revealing just how he knows the weapon works. In doing so, he tells Galen that he's partly responsible for destroying the holy city of Jedha along with his old friend Saw Guerrera.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Chirrut uses a stormtrooper as shield against his comrades during the Jedha Battle. It is quite effective, since blaster bolts can't go through a body like bullets would and the stormtrooper is wearing armor.
  • Call-Forward: Has its own page.
  • Call to Agriculture: Galen Erso uses this as an excuse to stop working on the Death Star. Krennic, unconvinced by Galen's sudden change in profession, mockingly lampshades this.
    Orson Krennic: You're a hard man to find, Galen, but farming. Really? A man of your talents?
  • The Cameo:
    • In a Freeze-Frame Bonus or two, you can see a VCX-100 among the rebel fleet—the Ghost from Rebels. If you listen closely to rebel communications, a General Syndulla is name-dropped. This led to a debate as to whether it's Cham Syndulla, who holds the title of General, or a promoted Hera Syndulla. Word of God confirms that it's Hera, and not her father, and she got a promotion. In addition, the Rebels character Chopper can be seen and heard when the senator is being warned to call off the attack on Eadu.
    • Archived footage of Red and Gold leaders from A New Hope is reused, with existing lines used in A New Hope cut into voiceovers playing over shots of the space battle. Red leader has a voice actor as his original actor had passed away, but Gold leader's original actor contributed his voice to the film.
    • Femi Taylor (or rather, unused footage of her from Return of the Jedi) puts in another appearance as a Twi'lek dancer.
    • An easy one to miss, on Scarif as a squad of Stormtroopers heads out, a mouse droid can be seen trailing behind them.
    • As the Alliance pilots scramble to their ships before the battle of Scarif, a transport drives by with a few pilots. Sharp-eyed viewers will notice an uncredited Seann William Scott sitting in the last seat, just looking over the camera as the transport drives by.
  • Can't Stop the Signal: After transmitting the Death Star plans, Jyn lets Krennic know that the galaxy will soon learn how to destroy his life's work.
  • The Caper: The film is about a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits stealing the plans to the Death Star.
  • Catchphrase Interruptus: Kaytoo tries to say "I have a bad feeling about this", but gets cut off before he can finish.
  • The Cavalry:
    • Just as the rebel ground forces are about to get curbstomped by AT-ACTs, Alliance X-wings swoop in to turn the tide, followed by more ground troops pouring in once the planet shield goes down.
    • Subverted earlier in the film, when the arrival of the same X-wings succeeds mainly in killing Galen Erso right in front of his daughter.
  • Ceiling Smash: Darth Vader kills a large group of Rebel soldiers in the climax and at one point, he uses the Force to slam a Rebel into the ceiling, hold him in place, then bisect him with his lightsaber.
  • Central Theme:
    • Trust; Several of the characters insist on the importance of trusting each other, despite coming from different factions and with different motivations. The Imperial characters, notably, don't seem to trust each other and spend the film trying to outmaneuver each other rather than cooperate.
    • Rebellion; even the Rebellion has rebels. At some point in the film, it picks up "Hope", which entirely supplants it by the last few seconds.
    • Hope; as Cassian says to Jyn early on and Jyn later says to the Rebel Alliance council, "Rebellions are built on hope".
    • Sacrifice. A long series of characters, including main characters, supporting characters, and nameless Red Shirts, are killed in turn while making sure the Rebels get one step closer to victory. At one point we see a character pass the plans through a jammed door to a comrade moments before Vader kills him, only having time to do so because of a dozen other rebels distracting Vader at the cost of their own lives.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When Cassian asks about the huge dish on top of the Scarif installation and Bodhi explains it's used to transmit large amounts of data, movie-goers will probably guess in an instant that the thing will become important before the mission is over.
    • "Stardust", the Affectionate Nickname given to Jyn by her father, turns out to be a lot more than just that.
  • Closest Thing We Got: There are no Jedi in the film; no epic heroes with Force powers and lightsabers. There's just a bunch of regular people who have to try and stop the Empire. The closest thing are Force believers who used to guard the mine for lightsaber crystals and Darth Vader (if counting general Force-Users). Chirrut is definitely force-sensitive, as he can (among other things) sense the kyber crystal Jyn is wearing as a necklace, but his powers are limited.
  • Code Name:
    • The project to build the Death Star is filed under a code name, "Stardust", the same name Galen affectionately called Jyn, allowing her to figure out the project's name and retrieve the plans in the vault.
    • The titular "Rogue One" becomes the team's callsign when they leave for Scarif.
  • Collapsible Helmet: A downplayed example, but the armor Jyn disguises herself with on Scarif comes with a sealed helmet whose visor can be opened without using one's hands and which disappears somewhere inside.
  • Colony Drop: How the Rebels deal with the shield generator on Scarif after realizing that their weapons aren't powerful enough; they have a Hammerhead corvette ram a disabled Star Destroyer, push it into another Star Destroyer, then push the results into the shield generator.
  • Coming In Hot: Cassian and his team crash-landing on Eadu.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: After Baze shoots a bunch of stormtroopers surrounding Chirrut.
    Chirrut: You almost shot me!
    Baze: You're welcome.
  • Composite Character: Each of the Rogue One crew members is either a combination or Expy of the Millenium Falcon crew members.
    • Jyn combines Luke and Leia's dead mother/imperial father origin with Han Solo's "from jaded to converted" story arc.
    • Cassian combine's Han's shoot-first pragmatism with Leia's dedication to the Rebellion.
    • K-2SO combines C-3PO's Britishness and general body shape, Chewbacca's size, and R2's charm and sarcasm.
    • Chirrut shares Obi-Wan's status as the priest warrior in commune with the Force.
    • Baze is basically Chewbacca humanized combined with Han's converted skepticism.
    • Bodhi, like Lando Calrissian, is a pilot atoning for his work with the Empire.
  • Contemplative Boss: Krennic and Tarkin take on this pose at different points in the film when acting visionary.
  • Continuity Nod: Has its own page.
  • Continuity Porn: Rogue One largely serves to explain some aspects of first three Star Wars films that the prequel trilogy did not touch: why the Death Star has an exhaust port that leads straight to its explosive core (its engineer deliberately sabotaged the design for this exact purpose), where the Rogue Squadron from The Empire Strikes Back got its name (one of the heroes comes up with Rogue One on the spot), why the Red Five monicker was open for Luke when there was a Red Ten (Red Five is killed in the climax), why was Leia's ship coincidentally right next to the planet where one of two Jedi in the universe were hiding (her father told her to seek out that Jedi), and why didn't we see the Rebels who stole the Death Star plans in any of the original movies? They died during the battle to get the plans.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The Imperial inspection team on Scarif just happens to have a member that's both significantly shorter and more slender than all the others and wears fully sealed armor for Jyn to pilfer.
  • Cool Starship: As per usual for a Star Wars film, this movie has several of them. Aside from iconic ones like Star Destroyers, X-wings and Y-wings, this film also introduces the UT-60D or "U-wing", a transport/gunship craft employed by the Rebellion, and the TIE Striker, an atmospheric air superiority fighter used by the Empire. The Hammerhead-class corvette, making its first live-action debut in this film, also counts. Further, the previously-derided Y-wing, which had been portrayed as slow and awkward compared to the X-wing, is shown in this film to be capable of knocking a Star Destroyer out of commission in short order.
  • Crapsack World: The rebel alliance is but a small whisper, with various factions arguing over its leadership. The Jedi are gone and the Empire grows stronger and more confident every day. Most people seem happy to try to be ignored.
    Saw Gerrera: You care not for the cause? You can stand to see the Imperial flag reign across the galaxy?
    Jyn Erso: It's not a problem if you don't look up.
  • Crying Little Kid: Seen during the battle on Jedha. Jyn spots a very young child caught in the crossfire between the Stormtrooper forces and the rebels, and dashes in to get the child out of harm's way.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Chirrut's very first scene has him having one with Jyn about kyber crystals. Nothing he says actually explains anything by that point due to lots of Vagueness Is Coming, but one line in particular holds several layers of meaning: "The strongest stars have hearts of kyber." Aside from sounding like (and probably being) a badass religious mantra about the crystals' origin, it alludes to the then-unknown fact that the Death Star's superlaser is powered by kyber crystals. Another facet manifests in the kyber necklace Jyn was given by her mother and has been wearing ever since. When things are at their darkest, she takes it out and draws from it the strength she needs to see her mission through.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Jyn really establishes her badass Action Girl cred in Jedha City when she utterly curbstomps a squad of Stormtroopers with her collapsible baton and one of their own blasters.
    • Chirrut wipes Stormtroopers with nothing but a Simple Staff and against three times as many opponents as Jyn, as his Establishing Character Moment mere minutes later.
    • Darth Vader's one fight scene involves him absolutely massacring a squad of rebel soldiers, whose only success is getting the Death Star plans away from him by the skin of their teeth.
    • Vader's Star Destroyer's arrival quickly turns the battle over Scarif into one in the Empire's favor. The Rebels have all but won by that point against the defenses over the planet but their fleet has taken such a beating that his lone Star Destroyer is too much for it.
  • Custom Uniform:
    • Krennic's all white, caped attire definitely makes him stand out, particularly among the darker toned uniforms of his fellow Imperial officers.
    • Galen Erso's uniform on Eadu has its color scheme flippednote  from those of the rest of his team.
    • Notably averted by Grand Moff Tarkin, who except for his rank insignia wears a standard grey-green Imperial uniform.
  • Dare to Be Badass:
    • Cassian concludes his briefing to his volunteers on Scarif with this sentence: "Make ten men feel like a hundred!"
    • And Galen Erso's words to Bodhi Rook that inspired him to defect and bring Galen's message to the Rebellion:
      Bodhi Rook: He said I could get right by myself. He said I could make it right, if I was brave enough... to listen to what was in my heart. Do something about it.
  • Darker and Edgier: Rogue One is much grittier in its approach than other Star Wars films, to the point that the already dark The Force Awakens has been called "family-friendly" in comparison. And while K-2SO provides a lot of comic relief, the tone of the film is a lot bleaker than the other movies up until the ending.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Especially when the darkness hides the even darker Vader, as numerous rebels learn the very hard way.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • The first trailer starts with a quiet, single piano version of "Binary Sunset", with the villainous "The Imperial March" as a bass accompaniment.
    • The second trailer has a slowed down, foreboding version of Darth Vader's "The Imperial March" theme playing, with a few Triumphant Reprise bars of "Binary Sunset" peeking through.
  • David vs. Goliath: As usual for the Rebellion vs. Empire conflict. For instance, the Battle of Scarif is reminiscent of D-Day. During the climactic space battle, two Imperial Star Destroyers and a heavily armed space station are destroyed compliments of a squadron of Y-wing bombers, a small corvette, and a quickly conceived and executed plan.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The humble, oft-put upon Y-wing finally gets a moment to shine on the big screen, with Gold Squadron pulling a bombing run on an Imperial Star Destroyer that completely disables it, directly leading to a David vs. Goliath moment.
  • Daylight Horror: The climax of the film is one of the most brutal depictions of a Star Wars battle yet in the films, and it takes place against the backdrop of the gorgeous tropical planet Scarifnote . Goes Up to Eleven when the Death Star decides to join the fun, with a hefty dose of Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • Death from Above:
    • The not-so-subtle threat of pulling something like this on Jedha is probably one of the reasons there's a Star Destroyer looming above the city seemingly within arm's reach of its inhabitants while the Imperial forces on the ground complete their mission.
    • The Death Star, as the name suggests, was designed for this.
    • Galen Erso falls victim to an X-wing bombing run on Eadu.
    • AT-ACTs tend to inflict this on their targets simply by virtue of being huge. Many of them suffer Karmic Deaths in return when Alliance fighter squadrons rush to the aid of their beleaguered ground forces.
  • Death Glare: Director Krennic gives one to Tarkin after he takes away command of and credit for the Death Star.
  • Deconstruction: The film essentially feels like a deconstruction of its Immediate Sequel, A New Hope. The all-important MacGuffin, the Death Star plans, are there; the Rebel Alliance is there; the Evil Galactic Empire is there — but instead of a feel-good, Black and White Morality film, quite a few of the Rebels are only the "good guys" by virtue of being less evil than the Empire; the Rebel Alliance is in dire straits that put the Battle of Yavin to shame, our "hero" is a jaded, delinquent Action Girl instead of a naive-but-well-intentioned Farm Boy, and instead of a resounding victory against the Empire with our heroes celebratingthe Alliance barely gets away while suffering heavy losses, and all the major heroes are killed. The great Irony here is that Rogue One is thematically in the spirit of New Hollywood, i.e. the very movement which Star Wars: A New Hope famously helped to bring down back by successfully going Lighter and Softer than was normal for the 1970s.
  • Deflector Shields: The movie give us a closer look at a full planetary shield with the one around Scarif. It surrounds the planet with only one orbital station used as a door to allow ship traffic. Several X-wings manage to slip past to attack the forces on the ground before the shield door is closed, but when it does a pair of fighters can't recover in time and smashes against it. The shield also stops transmissions (except for minimal ones using a dedicated imperial channel), which is why the Rebels need to destroy the orbital station and bring down the shield before the Rogue One team on Scarif can transmit the Death Star plans to the ships above.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Non-verbal version. When the characters are abducted early in the film, they have hoods placed over their heads. Including Chirrut.
      Chirrut Îmwe: Are you kidding me? I am blind!
    • K-2SO gives us a golden example when trying to pass himself off as a normal Imperial droid escorting some prisoners.
      K-2SO: I am taking these prisoners to imprison them... in prison.
  • Developing Doomed Characters:
    • Given the nature of war movies, casualties among the protagonists are to be expected. Quite surprisingly, Rogue One takes this trope to its sad extremes — when the credits roll, every single main cast protagonist is dead. No exceptions.
    • After spending a decent amount of time supporting the Rebel Alliance's operations on Yavin IV, Bail Organa tells Mon Mothma that he needs to go back to Alderaan to warn the people about the threat of the Death Star. We all know what happens next.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight:
    • The first time Jyn and Galen see each other in thirteen years ends with the mortally wounded father dying in his daughter's embrace.
    • Chirrut dying as Baze holds him and repeats his Survival Mantra.
    • [Jyn and Cassian are locked in an embrace when the Death Star destroys the base at Scarif, killing them and everyone else left alive there.
  • Digital Head Swap:
    • Peter Cushing's head was digitally placed on the head of another actor in his role as Grand Moff Tarkin.
    • At the end, the head of young Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia was digitally placed on the head of another actor during a brief scene where the Princess receives the stolen plans for the Death Star.
  • Discontinuity Nod: Darth Vader's castle was an idea found in early drafts of the original Star Wars trilogy, but was not shown in any of the films.
  • Dissonant Serenity:
    • When the Death Star destroys Jedha City, killing at least tens of thousands in the blink of an eye, Krennic watches the spectacle in rapturous amazement and whispers "It's... beautiful."
    • The soundtrack has a tendency to join in with this, the music that plays over the most horrific scenes is often a simple quiet lament instead of the more bombastic orchestral stings that the original trilogy's score was known for.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • The climatic battle has three Rebel fighter squadrons taking part, namely Red, Gold and Blue Squads. Seeing how only Red and Gold Squads took part in the attack on the Death Star, you can probably guess that Blue Squad are going to be wiped out in this film.
    • Likewise, when Red 5 appears on screen, you know he's not coming back since Luke got to fill that vacancy at the Battle of Yavin.
    • Bail Organa mentions he is going back to Alderaan to explain to the Senate what had transpired with the Death Star plans, unaware that it would be destroyed while he was still on it.
    • Sure Tarkin gets Krennic taken out, but Tarkin's not going to survive the next rebel attack.
  • Doomsday Device: The film downplays this, but still shows how horrible the Death Star is. Tarkin orders it used twice, but at minimum setting.
    • The first use destroys a city... but then also tears up the ground surrounding it, to the point where the debris kicked up reaches the upper atmosphere.
    • The second use creates a mushroom cloud just like a nuclear blast, but the blast keeps growing until it's the size of a small continent.
  • Dope Slap: In Jedha City, when K-2SO is pretending before a squad of Stormtroopers that his rebel teammates are his prisoners, the droid gives Cassian a slap on the side of the face for speaking out of turn. (It was clearly unscripted, given Cassian is stifling laughter afterwards.) He later apologizes for this.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Rogue One" is both the call sign of Jyn's unit, and a reference to Jyn being an outsider/problem child of the Rebellion. On a metatextual note, director Gareth Edwards has stated that the movie could be considered the "rogue one", since it's the first to not have anything to do with the Skywalkersnote  and that it doesn't follow some of the traditional conventions associated with the series (such as an opening crawl).
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: A key part of Krennic's motivation. He spent a sizable portion of his life supervising the largest engineering project in centuries, and when he finally finished, instead of receiving honors and commendations, he gets told that his creation, and with it all glory associated with using it, is going to be turned over to a hated political rival. When complaining to Vader gets him no sympathy, he spends the rest of the film trying to seal the security breach that Tarkin used as grounds to take over control of the Death Star project in the hopes that this will gain him leverage he needs to take it back.
  • During the War: It's the Star Wars that tries to emphasize the franchise name the most, being essentially a War Movie IN SPACE!
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Everyone gets one.
    • K2 blows his circuits to smash the controls on the door to the information room.
    • Chirrut survives just enough blaster fire to set up the com link, and Baze takes out the last Death Troopers after Chirrut dies.
    • Bhodi is taken out by a grenade just after he tells the rebel fleet that Jyn got the plans.
    • Jyn and Cassian die waiting for the blast on the beach, but they made sure to finish their mission.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Subverted. Krennic initially intends to destroy Jedha outright with the Death Star, but Tarkin tells him to just blast the capital city at minimum power, which blows a big chunk out of the planet and would almost certainly leave it uninhabitable in the longer run, but still largely intact. The same thing later happens to Scarif.
  • EMP:
    • During the space battle over Scarif, rebel bombers deploy a barrage of ion torpedos to disable an Imperial Star Destroyer.
    • One example can be seen groundside, taking the form of an Alliance door gunner shooting an AT-ACT in the knee with a BFG that produces a lot of sizzling electrical discharges wherever it hits, likely another ion weapon.
  • Epic Hail: The battle on Scarif definitely qualifies, with the team working towards retrieving the plans, communicating with Rebel support overhead, flipping the master switch, aligning the antennae, and finally transmitting the schematics.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The entire Rogue One crew is killed on Scarif.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: Even at minimal power, the Death Star's superlaser is still magnitudes more powerful than any nuclear weapon real life could hope to produce. The blasts still very closely resemble nuclear weapons, only scaled up.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: Bo Gullet, Saw Gerrera's Living Lie Detector, is a six-foot-tall land-dwelling cephalopod that subjects its victims to such horrendous Mind Rape that most of them come out insane. Just watching the process may provide some serious Nausea Fuel even for those viewers that don't usually have any problems with tentacled creatures of any size.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Krennic is the film's main antagonist, but is ultimately little more than a Middle-Management Mook, being on the receiving end of this trope from both Tarkin and Vader three times. Tarkin is able to take control of the Death Star from him with only a few words as well as pointing out that, under Krennic's watch, there was a confidentiality breach regarding the Death Star's existence and Galen Erso's main facility, and when Krennic attempts to go over his head to Vader in an attempt to take control back, Vader simply makes it clear how unimpressed he is, via Force choke. nd then he's finally vaporized by the Death Star's signature laser when Tarkin orders it fired on Scarif to "cover" their losses and manages to have the laser aimed directly at Krennic.
  • Evil Gloating: When Krennic has Jyn cornered near the end of the film, he can't resist spending a few minutes gloating before finishing her off, giving Cassian time to follow and rescue her.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Averted with Krennic, but played straight with Tarkin and Vader. It's very evident when either of them belittles him. Vader's unusual size is emphasized when he carves through Rebel soldiers.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Krennic in his mistreatment of Galen, including shooting all his assistant scientists for his betrayal.
    • A subtle example with Darth Vader if one considers Obi-Wan's line of "I have the high ground" from their duel on Mustafar. The film shows that Vader has taken up residence in a castle rising several stories above Mustafar's soil.
    • Grand Moff Tarkin is utterly cutthroat, willing to ruin Krennic's life simply for getting in his way on his own climb to the top. The two may have been professional rivals, but it's hard not to get the impression that Tarkin is going out of his way just to rub it in when he gets Krennic fired from the Death Star development team, which up until now has been his own pet project.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Darth Vader's slick-looking fortress sanctuary, with a dash of Volcano Lair thrown in and all the Malevolent Architecture and Scenery Porn your hard-working Sith Lord could wish for. Its design as a whole bears so many similarities to Sauron's fortress Barad-dûr as it is portrayed in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy that it might well qualify as a Shout-Out.
  • Excuse Me While I Multitask: K-2SO is firing on incoming Stormtroopers with one hand while typing on the Imperial Archive's control panel with the other.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire plot — Jyn's childhood flashbacks aside — appears to unfold in a matter of days at most.
  • Eye Lights Out: This happens when Kaytoo succumbs to blaster damage.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Double Subverted by a Rebel soldier when Darth Vader attacks in the same hallway he's in. Despite initially screaming for help due to the door being jammed, he realizes that he probably won't make it in time, so he hands out the flash drive containing the Death Star plans through the open gap, telling another soldier to take it — still managing to go out in an act of bravery.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Imperial officer in charge of the landing pad on Scarif where Rogue One makes planetfall doesn't notice that a clean-shaven officer and two stormtroopers entered the ship for inspection, but one officer with a Badass Moustache and a completely different face and a KX-series droid comes out some minutes later. The thousands of Imperial personnel inside the base are equally oblivious.
  • Fictional Document: The novelization features "Supplemental Data" sections between chapters which take the form of these — diary entries, email exchanges, etc.
  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: Two of them when the Rebels take off from Yavin - first to attack Eadu, and then Scarif.
  • Foregone Conclusion: As you can expect from a prequel to the original Star Wars, we already know the mission to steal the Death Star plans is going to succeed and that the plans will end up in Princess Leia's hands. We just don't know how they did it, or who (if anyone) survived.
  • For Want of a Nail: Per Galen Erso's own expert opinion, the Empire could build the Death Star eventually without him. By forcing him to work on it (and for Jyn to really hate the Empire), Orson Krennic not only sows the seeds of the Death Star's destruction but of the destruction of the entire Empire and the Sith. Galen builds in a deadly chain reaction flaw, which leads to him sending a message about it, which leads to the attempt to steal the plans (involving and only occurring because of Empire-hating, revenge-seeking commando Jyn) from people brought together because of Galen's message and defector. This leads to the frantic Battle of Scarif and Vader chasing the plans across the galaxy. Which leads to the plans being jettisoned in R2-D2 to a backwater desert planet inhabited by a certain Luke Skywalker. We all know how that ultimately worked out for the Emperor. ANY deviation in timeline or method in trying to acquire the plans would mean Luke does not enter the galactic stage. Well done Galen Erso.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The Ghost from Star Wars Rebels is part of the Rebel fleet that attacks Scarif in the climax.
  • Friend or Foe: While the protagonists are heading to the facility where Galen Erso is to find him, the Alliance loses contact with them and so Intelligence general Davitz Draven, who believes Galen cannot be trusted and wants him dead rather than extracted, orders X-wing fighters to bomb the facility. The bombing run kills Galen and nearly does so for Jyn as well.

    Tropes G to L 
  • Gas Leak Cover-Up: The destruction of Jedha by the Death Star is called a mining accident, as the Imperials aren't yet ready to reveal the superweapon exists.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The Tantive IV's door closes before we can see Vader slaughtering the last trapped Rebel soldiers.
  • Grenade Spam: There are a lot of grenades used throughout the film, more than in the entirety of Episodes I through VII combined, which is quite fitting for a gritty war movie. Although there's no particular character or troop type that uses grenades as their primary weapon, all factions and a significant fraction of fighters in Rogue One use (or become the victim of) at least one grenade before the credits roll.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Kaytoo's solution to being rushed by multiple Stormtroopers is to grab one trooper and bludgeon all his friends with him.
  • Gunship Rescue: As the AT-ACTs are about to finish off the rebel force on Scarif, Blue Squadron's X-wings show up and take them out.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: In the famous Darth Vader Mook Horror Show scene at the end of the film, Vader is seen slicing one hapless Rebel Red Shirt in half, and the Rebel screams.
  • Hallway Fight: The climax involves Darth Vader himself killing his way through a corridor of a Rebel spaceship in order to obtain plans for the Death Star.
  • Hauled Before a Senate Subcommittee: Mon Mothma's original plan for Galen Erso is to have him testify before the Imperial Senate about the Death Star project. This does not work out when General Draven privately overrules Mothma's orders and asks for rebels to kill Galen, which leads to his accidental death and the move to retrieve the Death Star plans in the Battle of Scarif. Plus Emperor Palpatine orders the Imperial Senate dissolved a few days later, as stated by Tarkin in A New Hope.
  • Held Gaze: An entire scene is devoted to Cassian and Jyn staring intently at each other in a descending elevator; knowing the end is near and silently grappling with all the things they have to leave unsaid.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The alarm that plays in the second half of the initial teaser.
    • When Krennic calls after Vader as the latter is walking away, there is a moment of utter silence...then with no warning, we hear the terrifying bass rumble of Vader's Force-choke just before Krennic begins gasping for air.
    • Vader's breath announcing just who is in the darkness in front of a group of Rebel troopers.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Part of the Rebel fleet over Scarif and the Rebel soldiers facing Darth Vader and getting the plans on board the Tantive IV count, too.
    • The Lightmaker, a Hammerhead corvette that lodges itself into a Star Destroyer and pushes it into another Destroyer. After cleaving straight through the second Destroyer's upper hull, the Hammerhead proceeded to push the first Destroyer directly into the planetary shield gate; destroying them both.
  • Hero Killer: The Elite Mooks known as Death Troopers rack up a huge body count over the course of the film, killing Lyra, Chirrut, and Baze. And that's not even counting rebel redshirts...
  • Hero of Another Story: Rogue One is the other story, expanding on the opening crawl of the original film, and showing how the Rebel spies stole the plans for the Death Star.
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus join up with Jyn and Cassian due to a random chance meeting on Jedha, and then stick around for the rest of the movie.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Jyn uses a Stormtrooper's blaster rifle to kill some of his squad members in Jedha City.
    • Tarkin orders the Death Star to be fired on Scarif, killing Krennic with the very weapon he built for the Empire.
    • In turn, [by destroying Scarif and killing Krennic, Tarkin doomed the Death Star to its eventual destruction and himself along with it. Without knowing what Jyn stole, they don't know about the flaw or how to correct it even if they did.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Mostly averted, although sometimes one side or the other just run straight at the enemy firing from the hip.
  • Holy City: Jedha, which is a religious pilgrimage site for those who pray for the Jedi to return. Naturally, it's occupied by the Empire.
  • Hopeless War: Some people in the Rebellion have come to view the battle against the Empire as a lost cause. The Rebels have yet to score a meaningful victory against the seemingly unstoppable Empire, and with the news of a planet-killer weapon being constructed, some leaders have abandoned hope and refuse to support the futile Alliance cause any longer. It takes Jyn leading Rogue One behind enemy lines to steal the Death Star plans to ignite A New Hope for the Alliance... at the cost of their own lives.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Rebel ships are jumping into hyperspace... But the last few crash into a Star Destroyer that just arrived. Darth Vader's, to boot!
    • In the end, Jyn has successfully transmitted the Death Star plans to the rebel fleet and Cassian has incapacitated Krennic. The two look to be in the clear to escape the planet alive, then the Death Star itself arrives and eliminates any chance of that happening.
    • Even after the Death Star fires, its superlaser misses the base itself, destroying the comm dish but striking the surface some miles away from the installation. Much like Jedha, this offers enough time for them to be rescued. Unfortunately all Alliance ships on the surface are already down, Bodhi is dead and the shuttle has been destroyed, and they're too far from the landing pads to steal a ship themselves.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: The thing that keeps the Rogue team going when all appears hopeless. As Jyn herself says, "We have hope! Rebellions are built on hope!"
  • Humongous Mecha: Imperial walkers make their first movie reappearance in a battle since The Empire Strikes Back from 1980note , playing a pivotal role on Scarif. They're every bit as huge and terrifying than they will be on Hoth, considering the rebels there are entrenched and have at least some weapons capable of damaging the monstrous machines. The only difference being that the Scarif walkers are the cargo variant rather than the combat model; one Scarif walker doesn't even have sides, and none have the heavier chin guns that the walkers seen on Hoth have. On Scarif, however, the rebel fighters opposing them have nothing to give them even a remote chance of bringing the behemoths down on their own: one AT-AT shrugs off a hit to the cockpit from an anti-tank missile. Then is set upon by X-wings and torn to pieces.
  • Hyperspeed Ambush: The Rebel attack on Scarif.
  • Hyperspeed Escape:
    • Cassian narrowly jumps his U-wing out of the path of falling debris created in the wake of the Death Star firing in Jedha.
    • After the Death Star plans are successfully stolen, the Rebels begin jumping to hyperspace. Several make it, but then it's subverted when Darth Vader's Star Destroyer Devastator jumps in and cuts off their escape, with one unfortunate Gallofree Yards transport smashing right into the Star Destroyer.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: On Scarif:
    Orson Krennic: Who are you?
    Jyn Erso: You know who I am. I'm Jyn Erso, daughter of Galen and Lyra.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: A minor example bridges this film's plot and A New Hope. A nameless rebel soldier, trapped between a jammed door and Darth Vader, hands the Death Star plans through the gap so his comrades can escape with them on the Tantive IV.
  • Immediate Sequel: Or "Immediate Prequel", in this case. Rogue One occurs mere days before the assault on the Death Star seen in A New Hope, ending within an hour before the skirmish over Tatooine (according to the first short story in the book From a Certain Point of View). The film ends with Tantive IV fleeing with the Death Star plans while pursued by Darth Vader's Star Destroyer, Devastator, just where we see it at the beginning of A New Hope.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The fate of the Rebel who is successful in handing off the Death Star plans to a comrade to get it away from Darth Vader, who then skewers him and the door he's trapped by right through the heart.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy:
    • Seems to be in effect, as the heroes survive barrages by the white rank-and-file Stormtroopers. Not only poor marksmanship, but poor tactics with ranged weaponry entirely. Several of the Stormtroopers that Chirrut engages on Jedha run up to point-blank range before attempting to fire on him, bringing them well within melee range of Chirrut and his staff. Still, they kill Rebel red shirts by the dozen, and at least one man has to deliberately take a bullet so Bodhi can get the message out. It's showcased in the finale. While everyone in Rogue One does die, they all — with the exception of K-2SO, who is a seven-foot robot and difficult to miss — are killed through explosions rather than shot.
    • Not so much with the elite Death Troopers, who immediately start sniping down Rebels.
    • This trope is seemingly invoked when Chirrut walks through a barrage of fire from the Death Troopers, while reciting his Force prayer. All of the Death Trooper's shots narrowly miss him, as if the Force itself willed it. As soon as he completes his task, he is killed when the troopers blow up the nearby console he was operating, sending him flying.
  • Implausible Deniability: Leia's claim that she was on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan at the start of A New Hope is already pretty iffy, but this movie shows that she and her ship have escaped from the battle over Scarif, literally moments before they will be boarded by Vader, who saw the ship taking off from the battle, with hiw own eyes.
  • Implied Death Threat: Tarkin gives one to Krennic, stating he would have to answer to another higher power — Vader —, all the while giving off one hell of a Psychotic Smirk.
  • Infant Immortality: During Saw's ambush of an Imperial convoy on Jedha, Jyn notices a little girl caught in the crossfire and goes into the fray to reunite the girl with her mother. Subverted though in that it's unlikely the girl and her mother got out of the city in time before it was destroyed by the Death Star's superlaser. The Rogue One novel states the girl, named Pendra, died in her father's arms.
  • Interface Spoiler: Averted. Every planet gets a title card when we first arrive there, except for Coruscant, which only appears briefly in a flashback, and a planet Director Krennic visits halfway through the film, whose name and a knowledge of the Star Wars universe together would have spoiled Darth Vader's first appearance a few scenes early, since it's set on Mustafar, the planet where he received the injuries that meant he was put in his suit.
  • Internal Homage:
    • The film opens with a large-object-entering-the-top-of-the-frame shot that echoes the famous Overhead Star Destroyer Shot that opens A New Hope.
    • A later shot uses a diagonal shadow to give a visual effect reminiscent of the main series' Idiosyncratic Wipes.
    • The Death Star firing sequence in this film is almost a shot-to-shot recreation of the firing sequence in A New Hope.
  • Irony: Despite all three members of the Erso family trying to save one another, they end up eventually causing each others' deaths. Lyra's attempt to kill Krennic led to her own death, Galen captured and Jyn orphaned; Jyn's attempt to free her father from the Empire leads rebel assassins right to him; and Galen's efforts to protect his daughter and undermine the Empire lead to Jyn eventually being killed by the very same flawed weapon that he designed and built.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Saw Gerrera, who walks on barely-functional cybernetic legs and needs an oxygen mask intermittently to breathe, decides to stay behind on Jedha and die after the Death Star has fired on the planet instead of running with Jyn.
  • Karma Houdini: Davits Draven is never shown to face any reprimanding for ordering a bombing run onto the facility Galen Erso was in, even though Galen would have helped the Alliance, that could have killed the protagonists' team. Particularly as the order was certainly born out of his distrust of Galen Erso, causing him to want the man killed rather than extracted. This is despite the fact that Draven is defying a direct order from Mon Mothma that Erso is to be retrieved alive.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Orson Krennic threatens to kill the engineers who worked on the Death Star unless one of them confesses to being a traitor. When Galen Erso confesses to being the traitor and explains they had nothing to do with his actions, he executes the engineers anyway out of spite.
    • There's a literal one when he strikes Galen, and he follows it up by mocking the memory of Galen's murdered wife.
  • Kill 'em All: Just about all of the main characters die, with the exception of those already in other films, as do all the minor characters who join them on the ground in the final battle (Anyone who survived the battle proper died when Tarkin fired the Death Star at the base). The only one in the poster who survives is Darth Vader.
  • Killing Intent: On Eadu, when Cassian and Bhodi were away scouting, Chirrut asks Baze if Cassian had the face of a killer because of his blindness and his inability to see it for himself. He explains to the group that the dark shadows of the Force always appear when someone is about to kill. Kaytoo confirms his suspicions when he reveals that Cassian had his rifle in sniper mode before they left.
  • Kubrick Stare: Tarkin threatens Director Krennic's career if the test at Jedha is a failure. Krennic responds with a chilling glance back at Tarkin.
    Krennic: I will not fail.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Literally. Krennic orders the Death Star's super-laser to be test fired on Jedha, committing a war crime in the process. The next time said weapon fires, Krennic is not just in the targeted area, he is hit by the superlaser beam directly, which misses the actual target it is aimed at by several miles as a consequence. The events in Catalyst imply that it might be Tarkin's deliberate attempt to get rid of Krennic for what he did to him.
    • Additionally, continued development of the Death Star was possible because of Krennic's exploitation of the Erso family, and yet he's undone when the remaining Ersos give their all to get the plans to the Rebel Alliance.
    • Tarkin's order that the Death Star test only render Jedha uninhabitable, instead of destroying it outright (so that the moon's natural resources could still be exploited by the Empire instead of being vaporized), made it possible for Jyn Erso to escape. She brought with her the knowledge that the Death Star had a design flaw, which in turn leads to Tarkin's own death in A New Hope when that flaw is discovered and exploited. And Tarkin's completely gratuitous use of the superlaser on Scarif to make sure the Death Star plans would never fall in Rebels' hands (with the added bonus of killing his hated political rival Krennic) guarantees that Tarkin will never learn about the design flaw until it's too late.
  • Lethally Expensive: Our heroes manage to get the Death Star plans to the Rebellion... with all of them getting killed in the process.
  • Light Is Not Good: Darth Vader appears to Krennic in a white halo.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: No Jedi to be seen (save for Vader in two scenes), just a group of people with blasters and a job to do.
  • Ludicrous Precision: Subverted with K-2SO, whose statistical analyses result in conclusions like "The chances are quite high."

    Tropes M to R 
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The Rebel Red Shirts when they realize Darth Vader is walking down the hall toward them.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • For all of Chirrut's talking about the Force, we're never told that he's a Force sensitive — certainly he was never a Jedi. However, his skills through the film do seem to imply he is, or at least that his hearing sense and proprioception are beyond the conceivable human level. He can sense the presence of Jyn's Force-resonant Kyber crystal pendant despite it being under her jacket, pinpoints multiple moving targets in a rushed battlefield just as well as if he was seeing them; makes an improbably accurate judgement about Cassian's true intentions basing only on what he claims to be the Force around him; scores a picture perfect hit on a TIE fighter with a blaster, among many other speeding starfighters no less; and, finally, walks through a dense line of fire without being hit by any laser and manages to find his objective without any help or guide.
    • Jyn's kyber crystal pendant seems to have implied powers as well, as her mother tells her "Trust in the Force" and it seems to keep Jyn safe everytime she does. She's shown tightly clutching it in several scenes right before making a miraculous escape. Notably, when Rogue One is sneaking through the Imperial shield gate, the Imperial authorities seem not to buy it...until Jyn clutches her necklace, and a few seconds later, the Imperials let them through. She also doesn't appear to be wearing it on Scarif, and she dies there.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • "Rebellions are built on hope." Cassian says it to Jyn on Jedha, and she says it to the Alliance leaders when they say there's no hope of getting the Death Star plans off Scarif. Later, when asked what the rebels gave to her, Leia simply says it's "hope".
    • Jyn's mother's last words are warning Krennic that he will lose. Galen says the same thing to Krennic shortly before he dies. When Jyn confronts Krennic after doing everything she could to get the Death Star plans to the rebels, she informs him that he has lost.
  • Mildly Military: The Skarif forces evidently haven't had so much as a decent drill in quite a while.
    • The main control crew just looks stunned at the start of the rebel attack, until Krennic shouts at them to send out the legion.
    • The stormtroopers set out are only a match to the Rogue One team due to their numbers. It takes the Death Troopers to wipe out the rebels.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The film begins with Jyn as a child.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: After Jyn's Rousing Speech to the Rebel leaders, which fails to sway them, the core characters finally rally behind her, pledging to help her retrieve the Death Star plans and in the process forming the titular Rogue One team. This in turn inspires those Rebel leaders who agreed with Jyn, like Admiral Raddus, to send the fleet into action without the Council's approval. Which seems to be exactly what Council leaders Mon Mothma and Bail Organa were hoping would happen.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Krennic executes the Death Star engineers upon learning Galen has betrayed him, even though he knows the engineers were not involved in the betrayal.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: The movie is a lot harder than other Science in Genre Only Star Wars movies, with most technology treated as real-world military equipment in a World of Phlebotinum and Physics Plus. The writer even tried contacting Neil deGrasse Tyson to ask about physics!
  • Mood Whiplash: After having acted like a Jerkass towards Jyn for the whole movie up until this point, Kaytoo's assurance that he'll help her on her mission to Scarif is really heartwarming, and she warmly smiles at him in response. He then immediately adds that he actually tags along because Cassian ordered him to.
  • Mook Horror Show: Darth Vader's action scene can best be surmised as this... and the "mooks" are Rebel Red Shirts.
  • Mugged for Disguise: When Rogue One lands on Scarif, the Imperials enter for inspection. Cassian and Jyn steal their uniforms and enter the facility.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • Near Villain Victory: Granted, it's a Foregone Conclusion that the Death Star plans would eventually end up in the Rebels' hands, but one can certainly feel the tension when Darth Vader casually mows down Rebel soldiers one by one as the surviving soldiers desperately try to keep the data disk out of his reach. It ends up on Tantive IV just in time before Vader could recover it. As that disk is the only remaining copy of the Death Star plans, the Sith Lord is literally a couple steps away from rendering every sacrifice the Rebels made in the Battle of Scarif meaningless.]
  • Neck Lift: Jyn's attempt to escape the Rebels trying to rescue her is abruptly ended when K-2SO catches her by the neck and takes the fight out of her with a choke slam. He then politely informs her that she's being rescued.
  • Neutral No Longer: Bail Organa is last seen leaving for Alderaan, saying that he's going to convince his people that the time has come for them to fight. Of course, he and the planet will be destroyed before anything can come from this.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds!:
    • Like 3PO, K-2SO is always able to provide the unfavorable odds. Unlike 3PO, he's able to understand people don't want to hear them.
      K-2SO: Would you like to know the probability of her using it against you? [referring to a blaster Jyn has]
      [Cassian just looks at K-2SO]
      K-2SO: It's high.
      Cassian Andor: Let's get going.
      K-2SO: It's very high.
    • Also:
      K-2SO: Now we have 35% chance of failure.
      Cassian Andor: I don't want to hear it. Thank you.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • There are no fewer than seventeen lines, shots, or scenes from the trailers that ended up being cut from the film.
    • Darth Vader doesn't confront the heroes like he's hinted at in the trailers.
    • The Imperial klaxon only goes off prominently once — the rest, it's background noise on Imperial ships during the Scarif battle.
    • Jyn Erso is implied to be a standalone insurgent who only starts working for the Rebellion once they notice her exploits. In the film proper, she's been out of the Rebellion for five years and now actually a petty criminal who wants nothing to do with them, and the Rebellion only picks her up because she might be able to heal a rift between them and another standalone insurgency. She also never defiantly tells Mon Mothma "I rebel."
    • Star Wars Battlefront (2015) got a promotional DLC for the game before the movie released which (supposedly) took the player through the whole mission. Nothing on it goes as planned, especially not the fact that in the game's version, the team escapes.
    • Jyn and company are never chased through the lower halls of the control tower, nor do Jyn or Cassian ever encounter the AT-ACTs
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • The Rebel Alliance launches a strike that kills Galen Erso and nearly kills his daughter, without whom they would never realized the flaw in the Death Star. Jyn notes the irony, that Alliance bombs killed her father, who only served the Empire in order to ensure that the Death Star could be destroyed.
    • While the initial plan was to distract the Imperials on Scarif while stealing the plans and subsequently getting the hell out, Alliance interference led to the closing of the shield gate, rendering the plan impossible and dooming everyone on the planet.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Imperial tanks on Jedha were labeled "hovertanks" in merchandise, even though the idea of making them hover was abandoned early on.
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • A surprisingly subdued case for a Star Wars movie. Landing pads above bottomless abysses are still lacking in railings, but most of the rest we get to see of (Imperial) architecture at least feels safe enough. In a situation inherited from A New Hope, we see two Imperial engineers who have to stand next to the super laser with barely enough space to stand and no railing.
    • At the very end, the sliding doors apparently can't be opened manually if the power is cut — when it finally does open, after Vader's killed every Rebel on his side of it, it's presumably from him forcing it open with the Force — and this alone almost caused the entire movie to be for nothing.
  • No-Sell:
    • During the assault on Scarif, Baze fires a missile at an advancing AT-ACT walker. Despite scoring an impressive headshot, the giant machine recovers immediately and keeps marching forward and then looks directly at Baze, the pilots clearly pissed off. It doesn't fare so well when X-wings swoop by a second later to nail it in the same spot, however.
    • Several Rebel troopers open fire point-blank at Darth Vader. Unsurprisingly, they're slain for their troubles.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • Jedha has a massive Star Destroyer and several other such ships floating above it, making it clear that the Empire could wipe the city out in moments if they wanted to. However, when Tarkin orders the Death Star be tested on the city the Imperials begin to haul ass and evacuate. It's treated as a quiet, curious occurrence, and while some citizens may be happy the Star Destroyer is leaving, others may wonder why they're suddenly getting the hell out of there. Rebels also established that the Empire will evacuate all Imperial personnel right before a major assault, so in a way, the Star Destroyer and the Imperials suddenly fleeing is scarier than the Death Star actually firing on the planet.
    • At the end of the film, the Rebels are about to board the Tantive IV to get the plans to safety. A door is jammed, and a small squad is trying to pry it open when all of a sudden, the lights in their hallway go out. Everyone suddenly looks up, and looks back to the seemingly endless darkness of the hallway they just came from in clear panic. The camera pans towards the darkness... and then finally, you hear Darth Vader's iconic breathing.
  • Not So Different: Saw Gerrera and Darth Vader. Both men took part in the Clone Wars on the side of the Republic, both ended up suffering severe injuries requiring them to have cybernetic implants, and both started on the side of good but ended up doing incredibly drastic things to advance their cause. By the time of the film, Saw even has a similar-sounding breathing mask that renders his breath a deep, raspy noise (albeit he doesn't need it 100% of the time. Sounds a lot like our favourite Sith Lord, doesn't it?
  • Oddball in the Series:
  • Offhand Backhand:
    • During the skirmish on Jedha, Kaytoo catches a grenade that a stormtrooper throws at him and tosses it over his shoulder, just as a cadre of troopers shows up. BOOM!
    • While Kaytoo is holding the line at the archive, he casually blasts a Stormtrooper coming through the door without even looking up from the command terminal.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Considering she had to climb down into a very deep chasm in the midst of a raging thunderstorm while Cassian and Bodhi just had to move over some rough terrain, Jyn reached the lower ladder to the Eadu installation's landing pad awfully quickly.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Baze has this look on his face when he sees the seismic shockwave of Jedha City's destruction approaching. Rapidly.
    • Probably the dominating thought in every rebel's head when the AT-ACTs join the ground battle for Scarif. Baze gets another one seconds later after he fires a missile at the closest walker, smashing its head sideways... and that's it. The thing takes a moment like it's trying to figure out if that just really happened, then "looks" directly at Baze with what feels like a promise of "You are so dead!" Cue Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.
    • Jyn and Cassian share this reaction when Kaytoo informs them that the Empire has closed the shield wall, as that's the moment when the reality that they are on a suicide mission hits them.
    • Played for Laughs when Jyn wears one after thinking she blasted the wrong KX unit during the Jedha ambush, only for K-2SO to pop out from a nearby alley and ask her if she knew that wasn't him.
  • One-Hit KO: During the infiltration of Scarif, Kaytoo takes out an Imperial officer with a sledgehammer fist punch to the top of the head that would've made Bud Spencer proud.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Throughout the course of the movie, Krennic is shot, blown up, strangled, and shot again. He goes down after all of them, but is usually back on his feet by the next scene. In the end, it takes a shot to the face from the freakin' Death Star to finish him off.
  • Opening Crawl: Defied. Rogue One is the first Star Wars film not to have one.
  • Operation: [Blank]:
    • Jyn and Cassian list a number of project code names while searching for the Death Star plans.
    • The novelization reveals the original mission Jyn and Cassian are sent on to locate and extract — or kill — Galen Erso is codenamed "Operation Fracture" by the Alliance.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Vader's one-man assault to board the Rebel ship to try and recover the stolen plans feels like something out of a horror film.
  • Outrun the Fireball: A variation — the Rebels have to outrun (and later out-fly) mountains of debris crashing down from the wake of the blastwave from the Death Star's test shot from above Jedha.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Zeb and his friends aren't the only ones who use the ever-useful "Karabast".
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Hammerhead corvette has enough thrust to push around a disabled Star Destroyer and cleave another Star Destroyer in half with it.
  • Playing the Heart Strings: Short, but present when Darth Vader's Devastator jumps out of hyperspace to ambush and decimate the weakened Rebel fleet, with the soundtrack quietly muffling the destruction happening.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Literally in this case. Galen Erso designed the Death Star with a major flaw in it, one that the Rebels could exploit to destroy the entire station, but as the holo-message he leaves for Jyn detailing his plan never reaches the Rebel High Command, they thought Galen was just an Empire collaborator who had built a powerful superweapon to be used to destroy them and therefore must be eliminated. This leads to Galen being killed by a Rebel airstrike instead of being extracted, which strips the Rebels of a reliable source of data on the Death Star, forcing Jyn and Rogue One squad to go on a suicide mission to retrieve the Death Star plans themselves which results in a lot of dead rebels.
  • Portal Slam: Sort of, involving hyperspace. As the Rebel fleet begins to make the jump to hyperspace to escape Scarif, Vader's Star Destroyer, Devastator, suddenly appears in their path from out of hyperspace itself. Several rebel ships crash into it as a result.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Jyn drops a quiet but emotional one when Rogue One leaves Yavin IV for Scarif. Everyone aboard approves.
    Jyn Erso: May the Force be with us.
  • Prequel: The movie is a 2016 film, but details how the Rebels got their hands on the Death Star plans everyone was after in 1977's A New Hope. In fact, the ending directly sets up the opening scene of A New Hope.
  • Psychic Strangle: Vader appears, so naturally someone's getting choked. Krennic gets a downplayed version when he's choked but not lifted after Vader tires of his blatant petty ambition, and it's played straighter as Vader cuts his way through a bunch of Rebel soldiers.
  • Pun:
    • Vader's bad joke after force-choking Krennic.
      Darth Vader: Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director.
    • Michael Giacchino's pun-based soundtrack titles are noticeably absent from the packaging... until you open the booklet and see his alternate track titles written out there. "Jedha City Ambush" becomes "When Ambush Comes to Shove", for example.
  • Ramming Always Works:
    • During the space battle over Scarif, the rebels se one of their Hammerhead-class ships to push a disabled Imperial Star Destroyer right into another Destroyer, destroying both, then send both wrecks on a collision course for the shield control station orbiting the planet.
    • Later on in the battle Vader's Star Destroyer emerges from Hyperspace on a collision course with retreating rebel vessels just about to jump into it, destroying several smaller ones.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jyn gives one to Cassian when she finds out that he intended to kill her father rather than rescue him. She lashes out at him and says "You may as well be a Stormtrooper." This leads to a Shut Up, Kirk! when Cassian turns it right back on her. Cassian defends himself by saying that he's done horrible things for the Rebellion, but he's been in it since he was six years old. He also says he has actually been out there trying to make a difference while Jyn was just running around being a criminal rather than making a meaningful impact.
  • La Résistance:
    • The Rebel Alliance is shown as divided when it comes to undertake major action against the Empire, and is almost on the verge of giving up due to the sheer size and power of the Imperial forces. That is, until the battle of Scarif, which resulted in "a new hope".
    • Due to its chief's fanaticism or Shell-Shocked Veteran-induced paranoid behaviour, Saw Gerrera's rebel group has become a Renegade Splinter Faction from the Rebel Alliance.
    • Many people on Jedha don't take it well that the Empire pillages the holy city's kyber crystals' reserves.
  • Retcon: Along with Revision: it's established Rogue One takes place immediately before A New Hope, which makes Leia's "diplomatic mission" cover story even more of a blatant lie. No wonder Vader wasn't impressed.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: While many Rebels try to be civilized and create good will, there are secret pockets in the rebellion who will do whatever it takes to win, and then there are people like Saw who are too extreme even for them.
  • Rousing Speech: Jyn Erso delivers one in response to one Senator's shock at the scale of the Death Star.
    Senator: If the Empire has this kind of power, what chance do we have?
    Jyn Erso: What chance do we have? The question is what choice? Run? Hide? Plead for mercy? Scatter your forces? You give way to an enemy this evil with this much power, and you condemn the Galaxy to an eternity of submission. The time to fight is now!
    • Unfortunately this fails to rally the rebel leaders... but does help a small platoon of rebels to come with her to Scarif.
  • Rule of Three: Lyra Erso, trying to prevent Orson Krennic from taking them all prisoner again, tells him "You'll never win." Galen, when his deception is revealed and his fellow scientists are killed, tells Krennic exactly the same thing. And their daughter Jyn, in the process of sending the Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance, even while he's holding her at gunpoint, triumphantly tells Krennic "You've lost."

    Tropes S to Z 
  • Saved by Canon: The major and minor characters who don't die are because they appear in chronologically later works.
    • Of course, those who appear in the Original Trilogy: Darth Vader and Mon Mothma are safe in this film, while Bail Organa, Wilhuff Tarkin, and Red and Gold Leaders survive it only to face Doomed by Canon in A New Hope.
    • Since Rebels takes place a few years before the Battle of Yavin, this movie confirms that at least Hera Syndulla and Chopper, as well as the Ghost, will survive until then.
    • Ponda Baba and Doctor Cornelius Evazan aren't there when Jedha is destroyed, since they appear at the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine in A New Hope.
  • Scenery Dissonance: Isn't Scarif a beautiful tropical beach planet? At least, until the huge battle... and the Death Star nuking the hell out of it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Krennic is hastily evacuated by his guard detail during the Alliance raid on Eadu.
    • It's more or less the only thing you can do when you're infantry without really heavy anti-armor artillery (or a grappling hook and a lightsaber at least), and a pack of AT-ACTs just showed up out of nowhere.
  • Second Law of Metafictional Thermodynamics: The article for the Second Law sums it up best, "anything that can be expended, will be expended." As such, most unnamed characters, whether they're rebels or a stormtroopers, are killed in droves, often by violent explosives or waves of gunfire. And further than that, nearly everything new to this movie is destroyed; Jedha city, the Scarif base, the entire Rogue One crew, Orson Krennic, the Erso family, Saw Gererra, and all of Green Squadron, are all gone while the characters from A New Hope and on are safe because they have to be.
  • Secret Weapon: The Death Star is meant to stay in absolute secrecy until the Empire is ready to show it off. Even the Rebellion doesn't know about it until Galen leaks the information.
  • Sequel Hook: Given that this film is about the events leading to the original film, it's a given. The film's climax has Darth Vader trying and failing to secure the stolen Death Star plans, watching as the Tantive IV takes off and jumps to Hyperspace. We finally see the plans delivered into the hands of Princess Leia, who will give them to R2-D2 during the original film's Action Prologue.
  • Serial Escalation: Which works by the chronological order of the films. Here the Death Star's low setting is used, and it destroys huge chunks of planets. In A New Hope, an entire planet is destroyed. In The Force Awakens the Starkiller Base destroys all habitable planets in a system.
  • Serkis Folk: How Wilhuff Tarkin is portrayed this time around — a real actor, Guy Henry, is there doing an impression of Peter Cushing, but a digital version of Cushing's face is superimposed over Henry's face. Furthermore, Leia's brief appearance in the final moments of the film works in the same way, portrayed by Ingvild Deila, but still voiced by Carrie Fisher. Both Cushing and r:Carrie Fisher are given acknowledgement for the use of their likenesses in the credits.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Just narrowly averted. The mission comes dangerously close to failing when the door leading from the Profundity to the Tantive IV jams and the plans are almost intercepted by Darth Vader, and they're only able to slip his grasp by means of there being a wide enough gap in the door for the plans to get through. Barring the movie having a Foregone Conclusion necessitating that the plans make it to the Rebel Alliance, the end makes it abundantly clear that the Rebel Alliance were incredibly lucky.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shovel Strike: When the rebels rescue Jyn, her first instinct is to go solo, so she hits one of them with a shovel and tries to run away.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Saw Gerrera chews Jyn out for giving up the fight against the Empire, being on the mission with Cassian only because she's being forced to. When he demands to know how she can bear to see Imperial flags reign across the galaxy, she replies thus:
  • Sinister Geometry: The Empire. Many previously known examples, including the Death Star, Star Destroyers, Vader's helmet and TIE fighters return, and Krennic's shuttle has an eerie pyramid-with-wings design similar to Kylo Ren's shuttle.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Despite being probably the darkest Star Wars movie ever made, it leans towards Idealism. The acquisition of the Death Star plans requires enormous sacrifice, including the lives of everyone in the Rogue One team. However, their success brings new hope to the Rebel Alliance and, as we know, their sacrifice is eventually given meaning when it leads to the eventual destruction of the Death Star. In fact, the film slides from one end of the scale to the other by the end of the film, showing the Rebellion shift from being a discordant Army of Thieves and Whores at the start to being the idealistic and unified Rebel Alliance by the climax.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Trying to outdo one another, Jyn and Kaytoo spend a good deal of interaction with each other trading blows.
  • Something Completely Different: To say the least, this movie is not your garden-variety Star Wars film. There's no opening crawl or fanfare, no John Williams composing (although a couple of his staple cues sporadically pop up), and the story is a Lower-Deck Episode that isn't directly centered on the Skywalker family or force wielders, but an ordinary band of ragtag rebels trying to get the Death Star plans. On top of that, it's by far the darkest Star Wars movie to date, being a mostly serious war movie with grayer morality than the norm, and each every member of the main cast, other than the fraction introduced in a later-set film, is dead by the time the film ends.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Used to tragic effect after Jyn successfully transmits the Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance; a beautiful, uplifting piece of music appears in the soundtrack... but then Raddus's bridge crew reports "something massive emerging out of hyperspace", and suddenly we see said superweapon looming in the atmosphere above Scarif while this beautiful music plays, and we know our heroes are doomed.
  • Square/Cube Law: Used for an amazing effect in the movie finale, when the downsized Hammerhead is given a specific order by Admiral Raddus. The corvette immediately rams the larger, more fragile bulkheads of the Imperial Star Destroyers and comes out mostly intact. Take note that the Hammerhead is crammed with detailed equipment and has a well-shaped bow with a sturdy connection to its massive stern engine, while the Star Destroyers have very little visible support structures despite how perfectly triangular they are.
  • Stealing the Credit: Grand Moff Tarkin steals credit from Orson Krennic for the completion and successful test of the Death Star.
  • Straw Civilian: The three senators that form Mon Mothma's cabinet come off as Dirty Cowards as each of them advocates surrendering to the Empire or disbanding the Rebellion, making the civilian rebels look like fair-weather friends.
  • Strolling Through the Chaos:
    • Chirrut walks serenely through the middle of a fierce firefight while chanting his prayer in order to reach the master switch. Even as Stormtroopers actively target him, he is not even grazed by their shots.
    • In a villainous example, Vader is fired upon by a squad of Rebels in a narrow corridor. He simply paces forwards casually batting aside all the fire with his lightsaber before going on the attack. Though if he had actually gone all out right from the start, he might have retrieved the Death Star blueprints.
  • Suicide Mission: The garrison stationed on the Imperial archives on Scarif is too entrenched and too heavily armed (replete with AT-ACTs) for the Rogue One commandos to have any hope of coming back alive after the shield wall is closed. Indeed, the Rebellion's council refuses to allow an assault in the first place, so Jyn and her allies leave Yavin IV without permission. In the end, they succeed in stealing the plans and transmit them to the Rebel fleet, but at the price of their lives. It's also suicide for nearly all of the Rebel fleet that later arrives to support them, as they prove no match for the Imperial fleet stationed above Scarif plus Darth Vader's own fleet. Fortunately, they get the plans into the hands of Leia on the ''Tantive IV'', and much of the fleet manages to flee at [[FasterThanLightTravel lightspeed.]]
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Krennic tries to pull this off by going over Tarkin's head to Darth Vader to have him appeal to the Emperor so that Krennic can get control of the Death Star back. It doesn't go exactly as planned.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: The AT-ACTs are supposed to only be cargo transports, yet are armed with big guns and durable enough to take a missile to the cockpit. The idea behind this is that while they aren't designed for combat, the Empire wants them to be able to protect their own cargo.
  • Supervillain Lair: Darth Vader has a castle surrounded by lava. It is tall, dark, ominous, and looks like it is in hell.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: After the skirmish on Jedha City, K-2SO, Jyn, and Cassian are cornered by a squad of Stormtroopers. The leader of the squad, not knowing that K-2SO has been reprogrammed, asks him where he is taking his "prisoners". The droid attempts to run with it to maintain control of the situation in Cassian's favor, but it predictably backfires.
    K-2SO: I'm taking them... to imprison them... in... prison.
  • Survival Mantra:
    Chirrut: I'm one with the Force, and the Force is with me. I'm one with the Force, and the Force is with me. I'm one with the Force, and the Force is with me...
  • Swiss Cheese Security: The lower access ladder to the Eadu installation's landing pad is either very poorly guarded, or not at all. Had Jyn been out for Krennic's head, she could've killed him right then and there.
  • Tagline: "A rebellion built on hope."
  • Taking You with Me: A mortally wounded Death Trooper drops a live grenade that takes a major Rebel down with him.
  • Team Title: "Rogue One" becomes the callsign of the main characters' group.
  • That's No Moon!: Used in the D23 teaser. The camera pans up over a jungle planet and a moon orbiting it... only for the moon to be revealed to have a giant planet-destroying laser bank on it. Yep, it's the Death Star — the Trope Namer itself.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • Using the Death Star to destroy Jedha's capital city counts as this, as it's been established elsewhere in Star Wars lore that a Star Destroyer has more than enough conventional firepower to level a city-sized area in short order. Though one could infer from the dialogue that Tarkin really just wanted to make sure the superlaser actually worked, and didn't actually intend to cause an extinction-level event. Not that he minds.
    • In order to get rid of the rebel commandos, Tarkin orders the Death Star to destroy the entire area around the Imperial base on Scarif — a sector the size of half the Pacific Ocean. He also (unlikely to be by coincidence given the animosity between the two men) has the superlaser aimed directly at the antenna deck where the wounded Krennic is lying.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The film features the Rebel Alliance's first true victory over the Galactic Empire — the successful theft of the Death Star plans — which they desperately need. Admittedly, this comes at a high cost, but it's war.
  • Title Drop: When Jyn and her squad are attempting to leave the Rebel Base without authorization, they're asked for their call sign. Bodhi stammers and stutters, with Jyn whispering to just make something up. Eventually he comes up with, of course: "Er, Rogue... uh—One!"
    Rebel Flight Controller: Rogue One? There is no Rogue One!
    K-2SO: Well, there is now.
    Jyn Erso: Time to leave!
  • Title In: For the first time in any Star Wars film, some planets and other locations (though not all) are identified with on-screen text, including Jedha, Scarif, and others.
  • Together in Death:
    • Jyn and Cassian, embracing each other on the beach as they get engulfed by the explosion caused by the Death Star.
    • Chirrut and Baze die only minutes apart. When Chirrut is mortally wounded from a grenade, Baze starts repeating his catchphrase/prayer to him: "The Force is with me, and I am one with the Force.", until he dies in his arms. He then turns around, taking several enemy troopers down while being shot at until one of the troopers drops a live grenade as he dies. Baze, at this point badly wounded as well, simply lies on the ground as the grenade rolls towards him, stares at Chirrut's body — and the grenade goes off.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The humble Y-wing bomber, generally considered obsolete at best in most sources, shows exactly why Gold Squadron is chosen to make the first assault on the Death Star in the original film: a small group completely disables an Imperial I Star Destroyer in a single pass. She may be outdated as a front-line fighter, but more than proves her mettle in the attack role.
    • Darth Vader was never not badass, per se, but years as the Series Mascot did make him less scary. And then he comes out of the darkness and brutally slaughters a group of Rebel troopers.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The Death Star arrives over Jedha, eclipsing its sun in the process.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The International Trailer shows the Death Star firing its laser on Jedha and the ensuing damage.
    • While the spoiler in question is more of a Freeze-Frame Bonus than anything, the creature featurette spoils the fact that Darth Vader appears armorless in the movie at one point.
  • Unflinching Walk:
    • The climax has Jyn fearlessly limping down a catwalk, brandishing a blaster pistol as she heads to reorient the satellite needed to transmit the Death Star plans.
    • Chirrut walks through a hail of blaster fire to flip the Master Switch, while chanting his Survival Mantra.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The plan for breaking into the Archives on Scarif gets discussed onscreen, and it goes awry. The Death Star schematics do make it into the Rebellion's hands, though everyone on the team dies doing so.
  • Villain Decay: Stormtroopers. By this film they have abandoned any sense of being an "Elite" force. Stuck with menial tasks like prison guards and escorting cargo shipments. They are wiped out by the platoon load and attempt no tactics.
  • War Is Hell: A populace mercilessly suppressed by a military regime, civilian cities destroyed, war crimes committed, countless casualties, valiant heroics on both sides that often accomplish little, dead heroes, shellshocked survivors, and all of it for the mere hope of finally getting the upper hand against the enemy — war doesn't get more hellish than that in a movie without jumping to a much higher rating.
  • War Movies: This film is the first one to truly show a war scenario, rather than a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits-turned-True Companions or otherwise being Science in Genre Only.
  • Watching the Sunset: The imagery of sunset-watching is invoked as Jyn and Cassian sit on the beach and watch the glow on the horizon. It's the Death Star's blast wave, and they know their deaths are unavoidable.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Death Star's low setting is this. It starts out with a shot powerful enough to wipe out cities, but the blast keeps building up until it's the size of a large nation.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: When Krennic's shuttle takes off after the Alliance raid on Eadu, its engine backwash almost blows Jyn off the heavily damaged landing pad.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • Director Krennic and Darth Vader aren't friends. They're barely allies and Krennic understandably feels threatened by the Sith Lord.
    • The Rebel Alliance is another example, being not nearly as united as they are from Episode IV onwards. Saw Gerrera's group is not even a part of the Rebel Alliance, using far more extreme tactics than they prefer.
    • Rogue One themselves all come from different backgrounds with different motivations for being on the mission. They don't even adopt their team name until the final act.
      • Cassian is a lifelong Rebel. He's been fighting for the cause literally since he was a child and pretty much knows nothing else. He's been given orders to assassinate Galen Erso as an Imperial collaborator for working on the Death Star, without Jyn's knowledge.
      • Jyn wants nothing to do with the Rebellion, claiming it has brought her nothing but pain. She's more or less being forced to be on the mission, but hopes to find her father, the engineer behind the Death Star project. She disagrees with the Alliance leadership on her father's culpability in the Death Star's development.
      • Bodhi is an Imperial pilot who has finally mustered the courage to defect (he still hasn't had a chance to lose his Imperial uniform). Having become disillusioned with what the Empire stands for, he mostly just wants to try and make things right.
      • Baze and Chirrut are a couple of former Jedi Temple guards who helped Jyn and Cassian out due to a dislike of what the Empire has done to their home. With the destruction of the Holy City, they basically have nothing left. When they meet Bodhi, their first instinct is to try and kill him as an Imperial soldier, barely stopped by Cassian, who needs Bodhi alive.
      • K-2SO is a reprogrammed Imperial battle droid, who gets on spectacularly poorly with Jyn. He came along because Cassian said he had to.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The Movie, as all the brand-new main characters are dead by the end.
  • We Need a Distraction: After they've landed on Scarif, Cassian has the Rebels plant bombs, find somewhere fortified, and lie in wait. Once Kaytoo determines that the Imperial patrols are much too thick for their disguises to get them anywhere near the archive core, they signal the Rebels to start making some noise, clearing the path.
  • We Used to Be Friends: As shown by the prequel novel Star Wars: Catalyst, Orson Krennic and Galen Erso used to be friends, or at least close colleagues. Krennic saved the Erso family when they were being held captive by Separatists back during the Clone Wars, and found Galen employment in the new Empire—but then he used Galen's research on kyber crystals for his own ends, leading to distrust and eventually conflict between the two.
  • Wham Shot: The rebels are trying to escape with the beamed up plans, and then the closest door is stuck and the lights go out. Then Vader's lightsaber turns on.
  • World of Badass: There's not a single major character in this movie that doesn't get at least one chance to be badass to hell and back. Darth Vader has this part nailed down in his job description, naturally, but special mention must go to every single resistance fighter on the surface of Scarif. They know they're outnumbered and outgunned to a degree that's not even funny anymore, but they still don't hesitate for a second and make the Empire pay dearly for every man or woman they lose.
  • World of Snark: The entire crew of Rogue One engages in pithy one-liners, though K-2SO is probably the most adept at it, and even villains like Darth Vader manage to get in a quip before the film closes.
  • You Have Failed Me: Averted by Darth Vader. He orders Krennic to report to his stronghold after the clusterfuck at Eadu and Krennic clearly expects to be killed, but Vader simply threatens him and lets him go, instructing him to clean up his mess. Though he still briefly Force-chokes Krennic to make a point when he gets mouthy.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: This is Chirrut's reaction to Saw Gerrera's forces putting a bag over everyone's heads as they are captured — including him. This is completely unnecessary as he's blind.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • After the Imperials are finished mining all of the kyber crystals from Jedha, they use the Death Star to destroy Jedha's largest city.
    • After Galen's engineers complete the construction of the Death Star, Krennic has them all killed, both to keep them silent and to spite Galen for leaking information to the Rebel Alliance.
    • A minor one is pulled when Tarkin steals command of the Death Star from Krennic. Later, when the Rebels raid Scarif, Tarkin sees it as a perfect opportunity to eliminate Krennic for good.
    • After confirming that the Imperial archive on Scarif is the only location where the Death Star plans exist, Tarkin has the Death Star destroy it — along with all the personnel there.
  • You Shall Not Pass:
    • Pulled by Kaytoo against a mass of Stormtroopers to give Jyn and Cassian time to recover the Death Star plans, dying in the process.
    • Some Rebel troopers attempt this against Darth Vader to stop him from recovering the same plans. The key word being "attempt".

"Rogue One... may the Force be with you."

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/RogueOne