7 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' questions you were too afraid to ask

Kelly Lawler

Get ready to return to a galaxy far, far away. Just not exactly the way you thought you were.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story revisits the world of Jedis, Stormtroopers and lightsabers, taking a side journey to a story removed from last year's box-office smash, The Force Awakens.

Despite the number of trailers and talk show appearances by the cast, the basic details of Rogue One are still hard to grasp for a casual Star Wars fan.

'Rogue One' rebels against the 'Star Wars' mold

What is Rogue One?

It's a Star Wars movie that's independent of the seven movies we've seen so far. The easiest way to describe it: "Hey, remember the beginning of the very first Star Wars (1977) movie? When they said a group of Rebels had stolen the plans to the Death Star? That's this movie."

So it's a prequel?

Yes. It takes place just before the original Star Wars. For those of you keeping track of the chronological order, it starts with the prequel trilogy: Episode I: The Phantom Menace then Episode II: Attack of the Clones then Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Then there's a long time jump to Rogue One, which is right before the original, Episode IV: A New Hope. Then we get the rest of the "Original Trilogy" as fans call it, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back followed by Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. A new trilogy started last year with The Force Awakens, which is Episode VII.

'Rogue One' premieres to raves, relief and an X-wing

What does this have to do with last year's movie?

Absolutely nothing. It's just another movie in the Star Wars universe, the way that Doctor Strange and Captain America: The First Avenger are both set in the Marvel universe, but aren't directly connected.

The cast of 'Rogue One.'

Are there going to be more Star Wars "stories"?

Yes, because Disney wants a Star Wars movie every year. Episode VIII, which will pick up with Rey (Daisy Ridley), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the rest of the folks we met in The Force Awakens, hits theaters in 2017. Rogue One is filling the gap this year. In 2018, we'll get another "story" about a young Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich). And then Rey and friends will return in Episode IX in 2019.

We saw part of 'Rogue One': Here's what we learned

If I want to see Rogue One, do I have to watch the other seven movies?

You may want to watch A New Hope, which will help you understand why the heroes are risking life and limb to get the Death Star plans. It's also helpful to know the basics: The Empire is evil and a group called the Rebel Alliance is trying to take them down.

Is anyone we know trying to steal the Death Star plans?

Most of the cast consists of new characters. A rebellious woman named Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) finds herself (and her family) at the center of the mission to steal the plans. Supporting players include Rebel Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang), Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) and the droid K-2SO (voiced and performed via motion capture by Alan Tudyk). But as the trailers have made you aware, famous baddie Darth Vader will appear, with James Earl Jones returning. Another familiar character is returning, Rebel leader Mon Mothma, played now by Genevieve O’Reilly. The prequels even get a character, with Jimmy Smits returning as Leia's adoptive father, Bail Organa.

Darth Vader looms large again as a big-screen presence in 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.'

Will we get a Rogue Two?

Probably not. The "One" doesn't refer to the movie's place in a series; it's a military call sign used by the rebels. Director Gareth Edwards explained to Empire that Rogue One isn't part of the saga (or the Anakin Skywalker story): "So it's the 'rogue' one, you know?"