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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 Storynote  is a 2016 film and the first entry in the Star Wars anthology Spin-Off series. It is directed by Gareth Edwards, with a screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, and a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, The Walking Dead: The Game). 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 (Mads Mikkelsen), for information on how to destroy the Death Star. With no guarantee of survival, Galen's daughter Jyn (Felicity Jones) and her new-found allies must quickly learn to trust each other to overcome the armies of Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), Grand Moff Tarkin (Guy Henry, with CGI being used to grant him the late Peter Cushing's likeness) and Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones). The film's end is set less than one hour before the beginning of A New Hope.

The film also stars Diego Luna as Captain Cassian Andor, Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe, Alan Tudyk as the droid K-2SO, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus, and Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook.

A prequel television series titled Andor, with Diego Luna reprising his role as Cassian Andor, released on September 21st 2022 on Disney+.

Previews: Teaser, First Trailer, Second Trailer

Its story is immediately followed by A New Hope, and the film is followed by The Last Jedi in production order, while the next film under the Star Wars Story label is Solo.

We stand here amidst MY tropes, NOT YOURS!

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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.
  • Actor Allusion: Before K-2SO, Alan Tudyk was "Sonny".
  • 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 Boss of Doom: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Darth Vader is an example of this trope done right. While he has less than five minutes of screentime, his appearances within this time-frame (his dismissal of Krennic and his now iconic massacre of Rebel mooks) ensure that every bit of it counts.
  • 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.
  • Almost Dead Guy: While mortally wounded, Galen Erso is able to deliver some final words to his daughter before passing. The last of which are "I have so much to tell you..."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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." Chirrut repeats it as his survival mantra at dangerous moments throughout the film, and as he lies dying in Baze's arms, Baze joins him in saying it, before repeating it as he faces down the Death Troopers.
    • "You'll never win." Each member of the Erso family says this to Krennic at significant moments in the movie. Lyra says it right before being killed by his Death Troopers, Galen says it after Krennic has his team of scientists executed, when Jyn confronts Krennic at the top of the Scarif tower after successfully broadcasting the Death Star plans, she finally changes it to "You've lost."
  • 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. It's also possible that Chirrut is actually striking the stormtroopers between their plates.
    • 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.
    • Baze, who is the only main character wearing heavy armor, takes several shots from Death Trooper rifles, which previously killed all their targets instantly. On the other hand, he still seems wounded (or at least winded) by the blasts, and the last time he gets shot knocks him to his knees and leaves him too weak to get out of the range of a grenade in time.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: On Eadu, when Krennic orders his Death Troopers to execute the imperial scientists who have outlived their usefulness, they do so... with a whole squad of Stormtroopers behind the targets. Sure, they are precise shots unlike said Stormtroopers, and the Empire consider their soldiers expendable, but still...
  • Attack Its Weak Point: A gunner on a U-Wing attacks one of the leg joints on an AT-ACT and is able to bring it down. It's also shown that the AT-ACTs also have weak neck joints and that its body in general has a weaker structure (with lighter armor and wide-open cargo space) that makes it vulnerable to X-Wing strikes.
  • 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 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 the other one played by director Gareth Edwards who ejected their ship from bay before Darth Vader could kill his way to the next door).
  • Badass Cape:
    • Subverted with Krennic, whose cape reacts realistically to inconveniences like rain highlighting he isn't quite the badass he thinks.
    • Played straight with Vader, as usual, who wears a cape and is as fearsome a warrior as ever.
  • 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.
  • Bathos: Vader's meeting with Krennic on Mustafar is mostly rather terrifying, because, well, it's Vader, but it's also one of the funniest scenes in the movie thanks to Vader doing nothing but mocking Krennic the entire time and sending him out with a really bad pun.
  • Battle Cry: The rebellion troop reinforcement on Scarif yells "For Jedha" when jumping from their ship.
  • 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: Orson Krennic is the main threat, though Tarkin and Vader have more authority.
  • 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 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 "YES!": Bodhi, when Chirrut activates the master switch that links him to the comms tower.
  • 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.
  • Black Speech: The voice encryption used by Krennic's Death Trooper Guard Squadron makes their speech incomprehensible to outsiders in a creepy way.
  • Blatant Lies: During her fight scene in Jedha City, Jyn accidentally shoots a robot that looks like Kaytoo. When the latter enters the scene and asks if she knew it wasn't him, she replies "Of course" with a not so confident look.
  • 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!
  • Bling of War: Director Krennic dresses like quite the diva for an Imperial officer with his fancy white uniform and flowing cape. At least Tarkin, a sector governor who outranks him, is more modest.
  • 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 fairly good view of 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:
    • The film begins with a ship (Krennic's) arriving above a planet, and ends with another ship (Leia's) departing above another planet.
    • Galen hugs Jyn when the Ersos are about to leave. At the ending, Jyn hugs Cassian as the two embrace the Death Star's blast on Scarif.
    • After Galen is taken and Lyra shot dead, Krennic orders his troops, "Find it!", as if regarding their daughter Jyn as a thing. 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," before shooting him in the shoulder. In his final confrontation with Jyn on Scarif, she tells him, "You've lost," and soon after Cassian shoots him in his other shoulder.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Cassian uses the hand of an unconscious Imperial officer to open the vault room. Apparently he tries to use the wrong hand, forcing Kaytoo to prompt him with "Right hand!"
  • 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 Magazines: While no one in Star Wars ever stops to reload, Baze Malbus and his MWC-35 "Staccato Lightning" cannon takes this to new heights. According to online sources, it holds 35,000 bolts. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, a counter on the weapon shows seventy thousand rounds. Or something.
  • Bottomless Pit: No Imperial installation would be complete without one, or without someone falling in one. In this case, Cassian in the control tower of the Scarif base.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The Rebel Alliance uses a Hammerhead-class ship in the Battle of Scarif — a ship that debuted in Knights of the Old Republic, set almost four thousand years earlier. However, as those games have been rendered Legends with the rest of the old extended universe, this counts more as a Mythology Gag.
  • 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 Gerrera.
  • 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.invoked 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.
    • Both Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, the respective director and producer of The Last Jedi, appear as the two technicians in the Death Star's firing chamber.note 
    • Take a listen to the Rebel base PA. It sounds like Red Five arrived to Yavin earlier than scheduled:
      PA: Attention all flight personnel, please report to your flight commanders immediately. All flight personnel, please report to your commanders immediately. You have been redirected to Scarif. Pilots will be briefed by your squadron leaders en route. May the Force be with you.
  • 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, though this story is more like The Dirty Dozen than Ocean's Eleven.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Catchphrase Interruptus: Kaytoo tries to say "I've got 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.
    • 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. Note that Krennic almost always has a couple of his guard troopers with him, even when on the bridge of Tarkin's Star Destroyer. But not when he visits Lord Vader...
    • 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.
  • Cheated Death, Died Anyway: When he and Jyn are escaping from Krennic and his Death Troopers up the inside of the Imperial Vault pillar, Cassian gets shot and falls several stories to a platform below, seemingly dead. He still manages to save Jyn from Krennic with a Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind at the top of the control tower. Shortly after, he and Jyn both die in the Death Star firing anyway.
  • 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.
  • Climbing Climax: Krennic chases Jyn to the top of the building.
  • 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 Jedi Temple and its 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. If "limited" includes "a blind man curb-stomping a dozen armed Stormtroopers with a stick."
  • 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.
    • As in the original trilogy, the Rebel Red, Gold, and Blue Squadrons use callsigns during the climactic battle, such as Blue Leader and Red Fivenote 
  • 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.
  • Collapsing Lair: Saw Gerrera's hideout collapses behind the heroes.
  • 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.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation:
    • Jody Houser wrote a six-issue series for Marvel.
    • Alessandro Ferrari wrote a graphic novel aimed at children for IDW Publishing.
  • Coming in Hot: Arriving on Eadu, the U-wing piloted by Cassian and his team flies very low inside canyons to avoid detection by the Imperials. Added to lack of visibility from heavy rain, they end up scraping a reactor against a cliff and finally crash-landing. Nobody is wounded, but the U-wing is not going to fly any more and they have to steal an Imperial ship to leave.
  • 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 Millennium 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.
  • Compromising Call: Kaytoo tries to misdirect three stormtroopers in front of the vault room, but then Cassian calls over the radio foiling the attempt. Kaytoo then decides to take a different approach to deal with the troopers.
  • 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.
    • Played With near the end. A group of rebels are attacked by Darth Vader, and the only way out is stuck. Yet once Vader mows them all down, the door opens immediately. It's almost if some invisible force was keeping it shut...
  • 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.
  • Cosmetically-Advanced Prequel: A mixed bag. They carefully kept the HUD graphics as crude as in the original trilogy. But the effects technology looks much more refined than in A New Hope. Nonetheless, the care taken with the overall aesthetics still better fits with the the Original Trilogy than was the case for the Prequel Trilogy.
  • 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.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Cassian has a stash of tiny tools tucked away in his boot that he uses to break out of a prison cell.
  • Credits Gag: The films always have an opening crawl, right? Not this one. Because this film is the opening crawl to A New Hope. It smash cuts from "A long time ago" to a scary string chord and a shot of space.
  • 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 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.
    • The Devastator'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.
  • Darkest Hour: Kaytoo is dead, Krennic is closing in on Jyn and Cassian, the shield isn't showing any sighs of breaking, Baze and Chirrut are pinned down by Elite Mooks and can't get to the switch that will allow Bodhi to contact the rebels.
  • 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 Versus 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 Versus 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 . Exaggerated when the Death Star decides to join the fun, with a hefty dose of Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • Deadly Dodging: Chirrut opens the fight oh Jedha surrounded by Stormtroopers, and when they start firing he dodges every shot, leading to some of the troopers hitting each others. That's even before he uses one as a Bulletproof Human Shield.
  • Deadly Force Field: Not everyone makes it through Scarif's shield gate before it closes, resulting in some ships being shattered against active Deflector Shields.
  • Deadpan Snarker: At Galen's farm, Krennic is as snarky as they come. Alas, after sixteen years of Death Star construction stress he no longer has this quality.
  • Death by Irony: Krennic oversaw construction of the Death Star and its superlaser and gets vaporized by them.
  • 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.
    • The Imperial Walker gives a pretty epic one to the ground troops after being hit by an RPG. The explosion causes the head to turn away, and then immediately looks back to where the shot was fired from.
  • Deathly Dies Irae: Dies Irae is referenced in "Your Father Would Be Proud" after Jyn and Cassian have transmitted the Death Star plans to the Alliance and are watching the shock wave from the Death Star's superlaser strike bear down on them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 actress during a brief scene where the Princess receives the stolen plans for the Death Star.
  • 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.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Krennic has the guts to send in his gripes regarding how the Empire is shunning him with the Death Star to Darth Vader, of all people. Needless to say, he's nearly Force Choked to death.
  • 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.
    • Given that not a single one of the new characters appears or is even mentioned in the original movies, things didn't look good for the crew of Rogue One. And they weren't.
  • 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).
  • Dramatic Wind: Darth Vader is so awesome, or so dramatic, that he gets to have his cape billow in the wind in outer space. Anakin always was the most dramatic sumbitch in space.
  • 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!
  • Dwindling Party: The titular team, til none remain.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Everyone gets one.
    • Kaytoo 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.
    • Bodhi 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.
  • Dynamic Entry: The Devastator does this at the Battle of Scarif, dropping out of hyperspace right in the path of the Rebel fleet and immediately opening up on it with everything it's got to devastating effect.
  • 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.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: Darth Vader's hallway rampage is preceded by him igniting his lightsaber in a pitch-black hallway, revealing him to the cornered rebels.
  • 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.
  • En Route Sum-Up: It's not actually shown, but during the second Fighter-Launching Sequence, it's announced that the pilots will be briefed en route to Scarif. In this case, it's necessary as the attack is spur-of-the-moment and there's no time for a formal briefing in a conference room.
  • "End Is Nigh" Ending: Invoked. The last two survivors of the titular Rogue One sit and watch as the blastwave caused by the Death Star firing on the planet they're on slowly fills the sky as it spreads in their direction. The action then shifts to the desperate attempts by the Rebel Alliance fleet in orbit to retreat after successfully receiving the priceless Death Star plans from Rogue One on the surface. We don't actually see what became of the planet, but considering a low power blast already caused widespread devastation on another planet...
  • 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 Dies" Ending: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. And then he's finally vaporized by the Death Star's signature laser when Tarkin orders it fired on Scarif to "cover" their losses and coincidentally has 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.
  • Excessive Steam Syndrome: Excessive steam for suspense in the scene where Rogue One opens up to the inspectors on Scarif.
  • 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. Justified in that as a combat droid, he likely has programming designed to, at the very least, allow him to put down covering fire while he works on something else.
  • Exploding Barrels: At least one of the many crates sitting around Scarif's landing pad explodes when being shot at.
  • Explosive Instrumentation:
    • When the two Star Destroyers collide, we see panels exploding on the bridge.
    • Chirrut dies when Death Troopers shoot the console he's operating, causing him to be flung backwards by the explosion, fatally wounded.
  • 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: Saw Gerrera, who doesn't flee when the Advancing Wall of Doom is approaching his place.
  • 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 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.
  • Fantastic Nuke: How the Death Star is used in this film. Because it's never fired at full power, it "merely" causes massive and widespread surface-level destruction to the planets it fires on, instead of a full-out Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Still, the explosions it makes would put any real-life nukes to shame.
  • 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.
  • Final First Hug: Jyn and Cassian embrace each other, for the first and only time before they are consumed by the explosion on Scarif.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Pretty much the entire point of the plot — So much sacrifice and death happened just to get the plans to Princess Leia.
  • 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... even so, the prominent new characters never being seen or named in the chronologically later films serves as a strong hint that they will all die.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Jyn finds out the Empire is doing research on hyperspace tracking. The film that came out right after Rogue One, The Last Jedi, sees the First Order using a device that allows them to do just that 34 years later.
    • When the two are in Jedha, Cassian mentions to Jyn the city is about to blow up. It's a metaphor for the fight he's expecting, but unbeknownst to him, Krennic and Tarkin need something to test the Death Star on. The city blows up, all right.
  • 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. It's also briefly visible much earlier in the base on Yavin, right before Jyn and Cassian take off.
  • Fresh Clue: In the Minor Kidroduction, the stormtroopers find a dropped doll when looking for little Jyn.
  • 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 disaster, as the Imperials aren't yet ready to reveal the superweapon exists.
  • Glass Cannon: Compared to their AT-AT cousins used on Hoth, the AT-ACTs are about as powerful but easier to destroy with fighter-based weapons.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Mothma and Draven play the good/bad roles respectively when persuading Jyn to help them. Draven threatens to throw her back to the Empire while Mothma offers her a chance at freedom.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Bodhi Rook wears goggles. They don't make sense for an interstellar transport pilot, they especially don't make sense when they're goggles appropriate for a chemistry lab. As in the annoying uncomfortable things you wore in high school.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Galen Erso was acutely aware that the Imperials could finish the Death Star without him. So, once captured, he pretends to be broken and does his best to make himself indispensable. This allows him to both delay the project, and to sabotage the Death Star itself with a weak spot. However, his propaganda worked too well, to the point the Rebels starts seeing him as a priority target (even after the Death Star is completed, as they fear he could lead other weapon projects) which results in his death.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The Tantive IV's door closes before we can see Vader slaughtering the last trapped Rebel soldiers.
  • Grenade Hot Potato: Kaytoo catches a grenade in Jedha City, holds onto it with some Casual Danger Dialogue, then Off Hand Backhand throws it to kill a squad of Stormtroopers.
  • 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.
  • Groin Attack:
    • As she flees from the ambush scene in Jedha City, Jyn blasts a trooper right in the goodies and down he goes. Must be a chink in the armor.
    • A Stormtrooper tries to hit Chirrut with his blaster, who has grabbed a hold of a fellow Stormtrooper and was holding him to prevent him from attacking. Not only does the first Stormtrooper fail to hit Chirrut, but he hits his fellow Stormtrooper several times. A couple of the Stormtrooper's shots land right in the goodies.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: While you can see signs of it in the film, the novelization confirms that the troops stationed at Scarif were not expecting an attack there — in fact, many of them only worked there because they thought they'd never see any action. This is lampshaded by an angry Krennic who basically scowls at them for gawking at the explosions. Their performance is weak even for Stormtroopers, and only after Elite Mooks from another planet join in do they start doing real damage.
  • 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 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 Sub Committee: 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 orders Cassian 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.
  • Helpless Window Death: In the finale, Darth Vader mows down an entire room of rebel soldiers, leaving the one holding the Death Star plans hammering frantically on the window of the only exit. A soldier on the other side of the door rushes to his aid, but the door's jammed and can't be opened more than a few inches, leaving him helplessly watching the carnage play out for the next few seconds - until the trapped soldier gives him the plans through the gap just before Vader cuts him down.
  • 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.
    • The entirety of the Rogue One team and the members of Blue Squadron who made it to the surface.
  • 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...
    • Oh, and Darth Vader kills a lot of Rebel troops, too.
  • 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.
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection: The hologram of Galen Erso jitters from time to time.
  • 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.
  • Homage: Again, classic Japanese chanbara cinema provides inspiration to a Star Wars film. Chirrut is modeled on Zatoichi.
  • 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!"
  • How We Got Here: The whole movie is basically this for A New Hope, as it ends literally a few minutes before that film begins
  • 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 as 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-ACT 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 Can Explain: During the final battle, when Bodhi is asked by some stormtroopers to identify himself, he turns around and starts saying "I can ...." but his explanation is cut short by a rebellion attack on the troopers.
  • The Idealist: Mon Mothma has sufficient faith in the government that she believes presenting Galen to the Senate will actually make a difference.
  • I Have Your Wife: Krennic's plan to force Galen's cooperation is to hold Lyra and Jyn hostage. It doesn't work the way he planned it, with Lyra killed and Jyn escaping, but he still kidnaps Galen and forces him to work on the Death Star—which he only does so that he can sabotage it from the inside.
  • 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.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: While on a risky mission to the planet Jedha, Cassian pulls Jyn away from Chirrut with "We're not here to make friends."
  • 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. Chirrut and Baze are killed by Death Troopers, but only because (in Chirrut's case) they hit the console he was standing behind instead of him, and Baze is shot several times but is only killed when he's too wounded to move out of the blast of a grenade set off a few feet away from him.
    • Not so much with the elite Death Troopers, who immediately start sniping down Rebels. At least until Chirrut starts walking through the fray...
    • 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 his own eyes, and was quite literally moments away from boarding it himself.
  • Implied Death Threat: Tarkin gives one to Krennic, stating he would have to answer to another higher power — Vader, or possibly even the Emperor himself —, all the while giving off one hell of a Psychotic Smirk.
    Tarkin: Failure will find you explaining why to a far less... patient audience.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Baze Malbus, with his MWC-35c "Staccato Lightning" repeating cannon, mows down groups of opponents on full auto while missing friends and allies standing among them.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: 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.
  • Improperly Paranoid: Saw is generally correct to be paranoid; the Empire has been hunting him for 19 years, after all. However, in this case he's wrong. The pilot and the message he carries are genuine, and not a plot to capture Saw.
  • In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face: During their nocturnal mission on Eadu, Cassian and Jyn wear hats with support lights that illuminate their faces.
  • 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.
  • Irrevocable Order: When Yavin Base is informed that Cassian's team is in danger from the incoming Rebel attack, General Draven tries to call off the attack even though it's already starting.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Early on, Krennic calls Galen and Lyra's daughter it. Near the end, Cassian unknowingly returns the sentiment by calling Krennic it.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down:
    • Played with at the film's beginning, where a cowardly informant's whining that he couldn't possibly climb to escape incoming Stormtroopers prompts Cassian to shoot him (so that he couldn't be interrogated) before he himself escapes.
    • 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.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: When Galen takes sole responsibility for helping Bohdi defect, Krennic has his troops execute Galen's team while leaving him alive.
  • Jump Scare: In the very opening of the movie, after the iconic "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...." It abruptly cuts to a shot of space with a Scare Chord.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Galen's message to the rebellion and his daughter tells them he put in a weak point in the Death Star, and tells them to break into a highly secured facility to recover the plans and find it. Had the Imperials intercepted this message, it would be enough information to casually look up those plans and find it themselves (which they end up trying anyway). Given that the plan would be ruined if this message was intercepted anyway, there is little reason why Galen couldn't have said where to shoot a torpedo in his initial message and save his daughter a suicide mission. Except of course, that the movie would be over too soon.
  • 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.
  • Karmic Butt-Monkey: The Heavy of the film, Orson Krennic, tends to draw the short end of the stick, getting attacked, humiliated, or suffer from bodily harm whenever he appears. He also gets little-to-no respect from Tarkin and Darth Vader, losing command of the Death Star to Tarkin, gets Force-choked by Vader when he tries to complain about it, and finally gets killed directly by the Death Star's superlaser beam. But since he's an uncharismatic, pompous, arrogant, irrelevant villain who has caused countless atrocities by killing Imperials or innocent people, as well as taking away Jyn's parents and forcing her to fend for herself, it's safe to say he had it coming.
  • 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.
  • Kid Amid the Chaos: After a group of Saw's insurgents attack an Imperial convoy on Jedha, Jyn sees a small child standing in the middle of the carnage caught in the crossfire between the Stormtrooper forces and the rebels screaming in terror. She dashes in to get the child out of harm's way, who is immediately taken by her mother.
  • Killing Intent: On Eadu, when Cassian and Bhodi are away scouting, Chirrut asks Baze if Cassian has 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 superlaser 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. Not only that, but he's only trapped there because he went to confront Jyn personally and got shot by Cassian, leaving him too weak to move or escape in time. If he'd just stayed in the control center until it was clear the battle was lost and then gone to an escape ship, he might have been able to hyperjump away from the planet in time.
    • 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.
    • Krennic's spiteful and hasty execution of the Death Star scientists, and Galen Erso's death in the ensuing confrontation, ensures that the Empire's only knowledge of the Death Star is limited to the Scarif archives. By the time they start to realize there is a dangerous flaw in the system that the Rebels were interested in, the plans, their only way to know, are already in Alliance custody, prompting the chase at the end of the film and the majority of A New Hope.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Saw picks up Jyn at the beginning of the two-hour-plus film, he seems to be speaking to the audience as well as to her...
    Saw: Come. We have a long ride ahead of us.
  • Lethally Expensive: Getting the plans requires all of the eponymous team sacrificing their lives, as well as all of Blue Squadron and a chunk of the rebel fleet.
  • Let's Get Out of Here: Said by Cassian when they run from Saw Gerrera's Collapsing Lair.
  • Light Is Not Good: Darth Vader appears to Krennic in a white halo.
  • List of Transgressions: General Dravin reads a list of Jyn's crimes against the Empire, but as a prelude to recruitment rather than punishment.
  • 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: Played straight with K-2SO but is also subverted with his conclusions like "The chances are quite high."

    Tropes M to R 
  • MacGuffin: The Death Star plans the rebels successfully heist from the Imperium.
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: Inverted in the novelization — while watching Chirrut wiping out an entire squad of Stormtroopers, Jyn marvels at how gracefully he dances around them, while she herself tends to gracelessly throw all her weight into her attacks.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The Rebel Red Shirts when they realize Darth Vader is walking down the hall toward them.
  • Mauve Shirt: EVERYONE. Admiral Raddus, almost every grunt of Rogue One, the Alderanian Consular troops. This is practically a theme of the entire movie: the Rebellion was built not by a few gifted individuals, but by the sacrifices of thousands of individual people we all grow to love, people who gave everything they had for what they believed in.
  • 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 (from Death Troopers, no less, who were previously knocking down rebels like bowling pins and shot one guy the instant he poked his head out of cover) without being hit by any laser and manages to find his objective in the middle of a noisy battlefield 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 every time 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.
    • "I am one with the Force and the Force is with me." Chirrut repeats it as his Survival Mantra through intense situations in the film, even as Baze doubts the validity of his best friend's faith. By the end, Baze has regained enough faith in the Force to chant it with Chirrut as he dies in Baze's arms.
  • Mêlée à Trois: During the ambush of a kyber crystals convoy on Jedha City, Saw Gerrera's partisans attack Imperial soldiers. Jyn and Cassian gets caught in the crossfire; they mostly fight stormtroopers to get out of the danger zone, but at one point Cassian shoots a partisan that is about to throw a grenade in Jyn's direction, and the explosion kills several other partisans. Unsurprisingly, when the duo is caught by them at a later time, the partisans aren't happy with him.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Jyn's necklace which was given to her by her mom in the Minor Kidroduction.
  • Merchandising the Monster: Jyn's abandoned stormtrooper doll is found by one of the soldiers raiding her home. Though it seems more homemade than storebought, that makes it even stranger to a degree.
  • Mildly Military: The Scarif forces evidently haven't had so much as a decent drill in quite a while. Books of this film state that some of the forces on the planet, such as the fleet on the shield station, tried to get themselves ready for an attack, while others sat on their laurels.
    • 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, and that's negated once rebel air support flies in. It takes the Death Troopers to start wiping out the rebels.
  • Mind Probe: Bor Gullet. It takes Bodhi a while to recover.
  • 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.
  • Monster Delay: Word of God stated that they were careful to place Vader's entry quite late into the story, because once he is on screen the audience would only want to see him for the rest of the film.
  • 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.
  • Mugged for Disguise: When Rogue One lands on Scarif, the Imperials enter for inspection. Cassian and Jyn steal their uniforms and enter the facility.
  • Multiple Reference Pun: "Stardust" is Galen Erso's pet name for his daughter Jyn, but he also uses it as the Death Star's codename, because this is what it reduces its targets to. Including, in a bitter twist of fate, Jyn herself, whose nickname becomes tragically realized.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Though it's a Foregone Conclusion that the Death Star plans would eventually end up in the Rebels' hands, this film drives home just how close it really was. Our heroes obtain those plans by the skin of their teeth, and only after a huge sacrifice of men, women and droids who lay down their lives to secure them.
    • Jyn and Cassian send the plans just minutes before the Death Star shows up and destroys the facility, and the original set of its plans.
    • 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, aside from sending his foster daughter into the fight.
  • 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 (see Missing Trailer Scene on the Trivia tab).
    • 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 have 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. Then again, it's debatable if the team would have been able to escape Scarif on their own.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Herod: When Krennic finds out about that Galen had a daughter, Jyn, whom he was sending away to Saw Gerrera, he orders his troopers to find her so that she would not become a Rebel. They fail to catch her, allowing her to lead a successful mission to steal plans for the Death Star.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Krennic is all set to fire the Death Star's superlaser on Jedha at full power, only to be overruled by Tarkin ("We need a statement, not a manifesto."). Grudgingly, Krennic then opts for a single ignition blast which levels Jedha City. Jyn, Cassian, and the others are able to escape the devastation, but if Krennic had been allowed to drop the hammer on the whole planet, the rebels would have had no chance in hell.
    • In tandem with the Rebels killing Galen, Krennic executing Galen's team backfires on the Empire by limiting their available intel on the Death Star's flaw to the single copy of the plans in Scarif's archives, giving the Rebels a chance to race to the plans before the Empire can get them. Tarkin ordering the destruction of Scarif further solidifies this advantage by eliminating the archives and making the only surviving copy of the plans the one that was transmitted to Leia, which we know will journey a little longer before giving the Rebels a successful attack plan that destroys the first Death Star.
  • 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.
    • Played straight when Jyn has to climb up through the inside of the control tower, and has to acrobatically flip upwards while nailing the timing exactly to avoid being cut to pieces by a hatch that rapidly opens and closes with scything teeth.
    • 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 Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Deconstructed. There is only one copy of the Death Star plans and the rebels keep it that way. This is both to the detriment of the rebels, as the Imperials throw in all available resources to pursue this one copy, but also to their benefit as long as they can keep it out of Imperial hands so that the plans can't be analyzed and the flaw fixed before they can exploit it.
  • 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.
  • Oddball in the Series: The film really is a "Star Wars story", not a typical Star Wars film.
  • 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. She then got to the top of the several hundred feet of ladder in about a minute.
    • Cassian manages to climb all the way up to the top of the control tower despite being heavily injured, and makes it up there in seemingly less time than either Jyn (who had a head start) and Krennic (who just took the elevator.)
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • 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.
      K-2SO: Did you know that wasn't me?
      Jyn: Oh...of course.
    • 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.
    • Krennic gets a silent, understated version of this when he looks up and sees his own Death Star in orbit, the main dish aimed directly at him.
    • Toward the end, the looks on the faces of the cornered rebel soldiers, when Darth Vader lights up his red lightsaber and they realize they're facing the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, just scream "We're so screwed!"
  • Oh, My Gods!: "May the Force be with you" has always had elements of this, but Admiral Raddus's use of it after the Death Star fires on Scarif, killing all surviving members of Rogue One, may be the most clear-cut example yet:
    Raddus: Rogue One... may the Force be with you.
  • 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: Averted. 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.
    • Subverted when the Death Star fires on Scarif. There are no escape ships left, and even if they were, Jyn and Cassian are probably too exhausted and wounded to get to them anyway, so there's nothing for them to do but sit back and wait for the end.
  • Parallel Conflict Sequence: In true Star Wars manner, the Final Battle is fought in three places: by Cassian, Jyn and Kaytoo inside the Scarif tower, by the ragtag rebellion troop on Scarif ground, and a Space Battle in orbit commanded by Admiral Raddus.
  • 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.
  • Please Wake Up: Jyn after her father died in her arms.
  • Plot Armor: Seemingly played straight when Baze, Cassian, and K2 don't die instantly from being shot by blaster fire (in the case of the former two from Death Troopers) when all other Rebels who got shot instantly fall down dead. It seems to be almost invoked when Chirrut marches directly across an open battlefield without being shot by either side. The plot armor is brutally revoked the second the characters have fulfilled their objectives — Chirrut gets blown up by an explosion the instant he's completed his mission.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: To add drama to the data extraction caper, the power goes out in the vault room after they located the Stardust file.
  • 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 Statue Pairs: The giant fallen and half-buried statues of Jedi when approaching the temple city of Jedha.
  • 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.
  • Previews Pulse: In the second half of the teaser.
  • Production Throwback: Darth Vader's castle was in early drafts of the original Star Wars trilogy, but was not shown in the films.
  • Properly Paranoid: After years of fighting the Empire and now the Rebellion too, with no-one on his side other than his own rebel cell, Saw Gerrera is deservedly wary of everybody. It takes some convincing on Jyn's part for him to accept that her arrival isn't part of a plot to kill him.
  • Psychic Strangle: Vader appears, so naturally someone's getting choked.
    • Krennic gets a downplayed version when he's choked but not lifted or killed after Vader tires of his blatant petty ambition; but it also ups the ante from The Empire Strikes Back by establishing that not only does he Vader not need to be in the same room as his target, he doesn't even need to look at his target. As long as he knows where you are, he can Force-choke you.
    • It's played straighter as Vader cuts his way through a bunch of Rebel soldiers. Incidentally, this is the first time that Vader Force-chokes an actual enemy in a Star Wars movie. Every other instance in the movies where the armored Vader Force-chokes someone, that someone is an Imperial.
  • Pun:
    • Vader's wordplay after Force-choking Krennic. The real pun is the word "aspirations" — to aspirate means to breathe. Vader is not only warning against vain ambition, but also insinuating that Krennic is so incompetent, he's choking on his own breath.
      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 send 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.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Every main character dies and the Rebel force on Scarif is wiped out to a man, but the Rebels successfully manage to steal the Death Star plans and Princess Leia escapes with them onboard her shuttle, with the Empire in hot pursuit.
  • "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.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The attack on Scarif is absurd in the extreme. Yes, the data cache is extremely valuable, which is why the Empire has a substantial garrison, including two Star Destroyers and huge squadron of TIE fighters, as well as elite troops on the surface. It would be next to impossible to physically remove all the data tapes before reinforcements arrived, and the size of the files ensure they could never be transmitted in time either. Thus, their effort actually works. The attack begins with a ridiculously small force that is able to infiltrate the station, but has no hope of achieving its goal. Until a rebel fleet unexpectedly arrives. The officers on the ground are absolutely stunned when Rogue One's diversion begins on the ground and Krennec has to scream at them to SCRAMBLE THE TROOPS. When the Rebel fleet arrives, the Star Destroyers respond with the same stunned disbelief, allowing a collection of light cruisers and a single heavy cruiser to take them down.
  • 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.
    • A New Hope refers to the plans as "data tapes" (presumably because the film was made in 1977). Here, we see the plans and they are on something more like a high-tech USB stick.
    • The Empire Strikes Back introduced Rogue Squadron as a fighter group under Luke's command on Hoth, later transferred to Wedge's command when Luke went off to do his own thing. Here it is transformed into a Legacy Character, a permanent homage To Absent Friends and, presumably, whether flying in a Missing Man Formation or not, with no pilot taking the Rogue One designation.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Tarkin suggests that the Death Star be tested on Jedha to silence the defecting pilot who was spreading rumors about it. This only creates more attention, and the Empire has to invent a cover story for the city's destruction.
  • Revenge: Chirrut and Baze defended Jedha as Guardians of the Whills. After the Empire obliterated the city with the Death Star, the both of them taking part in the mission to find the Death Star's plans can be interpreted as such, as they have nothing to lose.
  • 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. Unfortunately this fails to rally the rebel leaders... but does help a small platoon of rebels to come with her to Scarif.
    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!
  • 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.
  • Scare Chord: The movie opens with one immediately after the usual "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..." intro. Considering how it'd usually be the place of the typical Star Wars fanfare, it makes for both an effective Jump Scare and a sign that this film won't be a typical Star Wars story.
  • 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.
  • Schrödinger's Canon:
    • When Cassian and his informant are interrupted by stormtroopers, one of the troops asks to "see some scandocs." "Scandoc" was a term used widely in the Star Wars d6 role-playing game.
    • The film also observes false a small but important piece of trivia from the Legends continuity. Imperial-class Star Destroyers were incapable of entering a planets atmosphere, and so had no repulsorlift drives (only useful for pressing against planet's gravity well). Smaller ships, like the Victory-class Star Destroyer, were needed if enemy forces needed to be pursued lower than high orbit. Rogue One shows an Imperial-class Star Destroyer hovering casually over Jedha City.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Mostly involving the Death Star.
    • When Tarkin watches as the main dish is pulled into place. Given the size of the dish (a Star Destroyer looks like a toy in front of it) and that we see it move, they must be retracting at hundreds of meters per second — unlikely even by Imperial Engineering standards. Still, Rule of Cool.
    • The shockwaves from the Death Star's low-power shots against Jedha and Scarif move much too slowly. A decent approximation for the effect is analysis of the Chicxulub meteorite impact: the shockwaves from that blast propagated at around 5 kilometers per second, meaning that, given the Jedha moon's canonical diameter of 11,263 km and a strike at a calculated effective horizon of 4.5 km, the protagonists would have felt an earthquake of over 11 points on the Richter scale less than a second after the shot was fired, which probably would have collapsed Saw Gerrera's hideout instantly.
    • For the Death Star to appear as big as it does rising over Scarif's horizon, it would have to be approximately the size of another entire planet, not a "small moon", in which case the gravitational/tidal effects from being so close by should do nearly as much damage as a planet-busting laser (to both planet and station). The other alternative would be that Scarif is much smaller than most planets, but then, to have normal gravity, it would have to be inordinately dense, introducing other problems. Long story short, the station is portrayed as much too big. (But it is an awesome visual).
  • 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 show 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 Blue 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. This in fact explains why Vader is annoyed by the test led by Krennic and Tarkin on Jedha City, which requires a cover-up to keep the space station secret for a little longer.
  • 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 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 was 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 Versus 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.
  • The Slow Walk: Baze, after picking up the Survival Mantra from Chirrut, starts slowly walking towards the enemy, taking a few of them out before succumbing to his wounds.
  • Shoot the Builder: 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.
  • Skeptic No Longer:
    • Baze Malbus, the cynic who has lost his faith in the Force, repeats Chirrut's prayer with him as his friend dies, before marching towards an entire squad of Death Troopers.
    • In the novelization, Krennic doesn't think much of the Force either, nor does he give much thought to Darth Vader's "dead Sith cult" — at least, until Vader puts the Force Choke on him.
      Mad cultist or not, the Sith Lord's sorcery was real.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Trying to outdo one another, Jyn and Kaytoo spend a good deal of interaction with each other trading blows.
  • 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.
  • Space Jews: The faction of the Rebel Alliance who the others shun as too extremist is based on a desert world with a reputation for religious fervor, that is the source of an important mineral that the Empire wants to seize. Subtle.
  • Spanner in the Works: The entire Erso family, whose collective actions lead to the destruction of the Death Star, which became the first domino to topple that would subsequently snowball into the gradual downfall of the Emperor and the Empire with him.
  • Spies Are Despicable: The film for the first time shows a dirtier, more morally gray side to the Rebellion, which is largely confined to the Rebellion's intelligence operatives, like Cassian and his superiors, who are willing to murder even allies in cold blood or assassinate non-combatants in the hope that it will cause any setback for the Empire.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: The film essentially feels like the thematic opposite 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 seriously dire straits, 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 celebrating, the 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 by successfully going Lighter and Softer than was normal for the 1970s.
  • 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.
  • Starts Stealthily, Ends Loudly: The rebels successfully infiltrate the base on Scarif — and proceed to plant explosives everywhere. Guess what happens next...
  • 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 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 (though not the truly huge chin-mounted ones that the designed-specifically-for-combat AT-ATs have) and are 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.
    • Grand Moff Tarkin has a moon-sized space station capable of laying waste to entire worlds.
    • Director Krennic, being a relative underling compared to these two, mostly spends the film bouncing from one base to another as he tries to plug the security leak he's only just learned about, going from the Death Star, to the Khyber Refinery on Eadu, and finally to the Archives on Scarif.
  • 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.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Krennic's reaction to the fact most of the Imperial staff on Scarif just stands around and stares as the Rebels start detonating explosives around the base's perimeter. It takes Krennic bellowing at them to actually elicit a response to the attack.
    Krennic: Are we blind?! Deploy the garrison! MOVE!
  • 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.
    • The security on the Scarif base is terrible, considering it contains a top-secret Imperial archive:
      • They let an unscheduled ship just go through the shield wall without further inquiries.
      • Jyn, Cassian, and Kaytoo can just walk into the base without being checked.
  • 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.
    • The Crew of Blue Squadron's U-wing count, as their pilot specifically aims her crash into a group of stormtroopers.
  • Talking to the Dead: After successfully establishing a connection to the Profundity so the team can transmit the Death Star plans, Bodhi says "This is for you, Galen."
  • Team Title: "Rogue One" becomes the callsign of the main characters' group.
  • Tentacled Terror: Bor 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.
  • 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. Or cares.
    • 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 compared to characters who were written to surpass him in terms of intimidation or combat feats. 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.
  • Unknown Rival: Krennic doesn't know who Jyn is and even asks who she is at the end. (This is largely because she was a little girl the last time he saw her.)
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Jyn and Cassian as the story progresses, most notably culminating (as far as viewers get to see) in a long Held Gaze and a dying embrace.
  • 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.
  • Visual Pun: Darth Vader's wordplay to Director Krennic — "Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director." A good piece of advice to any over-ambitious Imperial, which becomes quite literal considering the Sith Lord is Force-choking Krennic while delivering it.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Chirrut Imwê and Baze Malbus, former Guardians of the Temple on Jedha.
  • Vocal Evolution: Expected with the aging of James Earl Jones. However, while it happened gradually across the entire franchise, the difference can be a bit jarring between Vader's extremely deep and even voice here and the higher-pitched and angrier one he has in A New Hope, which takes place hours after this film. It can be chalked up to Vader awakening from year-long depression while chasing the Tantive IV and finally summoning his anger.
  • 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 onward. 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 Line: More of a sound than a line, but still counts. The Rebels aboard Raddus' flagship get trapped behind a closed door as the power goes off. Then they hear someone breathing...
  • Wham Shot:
    • The rebels are trying to escape with the beamed up plans, but the closest door gets stuck and the lights go out. Then Vader's lightsaber turns on.
    • The Tantive IV has successfully escaped from Vader and his troops and Captain Antilles is walking through the corridors. Then he opens a door and says, "Your highness", as the camera pans to show Princess Leia inside.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When the heroes first arrive in Jedha City, Cassian says he's going to meet a contact who will lead them to Saw Guererra. They arrive at the temple, Cassian departs briefly, Jyn meets Chirrut... and Cassian returns, making no mention ever again of his mysterious contact.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After the attack on the Eadu Imperial facility, Jyn Erso calls out Cassian Andor after she finds out the latter went out to kill Galen Erso, going as far to say he might as well be a Stormtrooper.
  • 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 everyone 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.
    • 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.
  • 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. Though the plans make it off the ship, the squad in the hall is barely an obstacle to the Sith lord.
  • Zeerust Canon: The film maintains the in-universe low-tech graphics and aesthetics from the 1970s and 1980s.

"Your Highness. The transmission we received. What is it they've sent us?"

Alternative Title(s): Rogue One A Star Wars Story


Immediate Prequel

Rogue One leaves off right where the original Star Wars film, A New Hope, begins.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / ImmediateSequel

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