Star Wars Rogue One–What to Binge on Before You Watch
That's no moon — it's the immense ball of hype surrounding Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This much-anticipated film focuses on a group of Rebels that steals the plans for the Death Star and sets the stage for the original trilogy. Rogue One ties into almost every corner of the vast Star Wars universe. Here's what you should binge on before it hits theaters Dec. 16.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Set between Episodes II and III, The Clone Wars was a long-running animated series focused on the adventures of Anakin Skywalker and his then-Padawan Ahsoka Tano. Of particular relevance to Rogue One are episodes 2-5 of season 5, which introduce Saw Gerrera, a grizzled soldier who becomes a key member of the Rebel Alliance. But you should really watch all of this fun, family-friendly series if you can. Watch Now: Netflix | Google Play | iTunes | Amazon Video
Star Wars: Rebels
The follow-up to The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels fills an important gap between Episodes III and IV by highlighting a time period when both the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire were just coming into their own. Like Clone Wars, Rebels brings a charming new cast of characters to the Star Wars universe, and considering when it takes place, it's only a matter of time before the adventures of Ezra Bridger and company overlap with the events of Rogue One. Watch Now: Google Play | iTunes | Amazon Video
The Original Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI)
If you've never seen the original Star Wars films, there's never been a better time to do so. While Rogue One takes place before the classic trilogy, the three films explain the struggle between the Rebellion and the Empire, and the huge impact of stealing the Death Star plans. You could also opt to watch these movies after Rogue One, considering the movie sets up the events of Episode IV: A New Hope.
The Prequel Trilogy (Episodes I-III)
The Star Wars prequel trilogy is polarizing, thanks to an overabundance of computed-generated imagery and some less-than-stellar acting. Still, these films feature some spectacular battle scenes (particularly the lightsaber fights), and it's worth watching them to witness the story of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. In fact, Episode III might be the best movie to watch before you head to the theaters for Rogue One, considering how it ends.
Star Wars Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
The official prequel novel to the new film, Catalyst focuses on the relationship between Rogue One baddie Orson Krennic and Galen Erso, a brilliant scientist who becomes tangled up in the Empire's plans to build the Death Star. Galen is the father of Rogue One protagonist Jyn Erso, and plays a key role in the film, so there's a lot of important backstory to be discovered here.
Star Wars: Ahsoka
This novel follows the adventures of Clone Wars protagonist Ahsoka Tano after the harrowing execution of the Jedi in Episode III. You'll learn how Ahsoka gets involved with the Rebel Alliance during the pre-Death Star period, and how she becomes an ally to Bail Organa, Princess Leia's adoptive father, who plays a role in Rogue One.
Star Wars: Death Star
The Death Star is basically its own character in Star Wars lore, and Star Wars: Death Star provides a detailed look at the space station's conception, construction and operation. Although this is a "Legends" story (meaning it's no longer part of the official canon), this novel's focus on some of the Empire's key players makes it relevant to Rogue One.
Star Wars: Tarkin
Director Krennic may command the Death Star in Rogue One, but one way or another, it's the iconic Grand Moff Tarkin who eventually takes over the deadly space station. This novel provides some much-needed backstory for one of the most mysterious characters in Star Wars, while also taking a deeper look into the construction of the Death Star. Tarkin will reportedly play a role in Rogue One.
Star Wars: Darth Vader
Darth Vader will play an important part in Rogue One, and if you want to know more about what the Sith Lord was up to between movies, check out his official Marvel comic. Set between Episodes IV and V, this series exposes the shred of humanity left in the stoic villain while also providing a deeper dive into how the Empire dealt with the destruction of the Death Star.
Star Wars Battlefront: Ultimate Edition
Star Wars Battlefront is the closest you'll get to a genuine Rogue One video game, as the latest expansion pack lets you battle on the beaches of Scarif with Jyn Erso and Director Krennic. EA's massive multiplayer shooter also lets you fight in iconic locales, like Tatooine, Endor, Hoth and the Death Star. The new Ultimate Edition gives you access to all downloadable content right out of the box.
Star Wars: Dark Forces
It's not part of the official Star Wars canon anymore, but Dark Forces is a great game for getting in a Rogue One state of mind. Heck, the first mission in this retro first-person shooter has you steal the Death Star plans as mercenary Kyle Katarn. Dark Forces is one of the most revered Star Wars games of all time, and it's on Steam for just a few bucks.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Though it takes place a whole generation after Rogue One, the latest core Star Wars film echoes many of the same themes. You've got a scrappy rebellion fighting an oppressive regime, a lovable new droid companion, and a badass British woman taking on a bunch of really mean dudes in drab outfits. Rogue One could even connect to the new trilogy in some surprising ways.