- The Washington Times - Friday, August 12, 2016

Moviegoers are flocking to the official “Star Wars” YouTube channel to check out the new trailer for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

The famous silhouette of Darth Vader appears in the new commercial for Disney’s upcoming film, which arrives in theaters Dec. 16. The ad aired during NBC’s coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games from Rio on Thursday night and has already amassed more than 4 million views.

The billion-dollar franchise scored a hit last year with the release of J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens,” and Disney executives hope to continue the momentum with director Gareth Edwards at the helm.

The new film is set prior to 1977’s “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.”

“The pressure is so high,” Mr. Edwards said in behind-the-scenes footage posted July 15 on the official Star Wars HQ YouTube page. “I’ve been making a film that’s right-touching my favorite movie of all time. If you’re too respectful of it and you don’t do anything new and different, or taking risks, then what are you bringing to the table?”

James Earl Jones will return to voice Darth Vader. The film also stars Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen and Riz Ahmed.

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