We’ve sensed a presence we haven’t felt since …

That black shape standing in the middle of the red schematics for the Death Star is none other than Darth Vader, the Dark lord of the Sith, at the height of his power just before the Rebel begins both his downfall and his redemption.

This is the stand-out image of the new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which takes place just prior to the events of the original Star Wars and chronicles the Rebel effort to steal the plans that will allow them to eventually destroy the moon-sized battlestation.

The film opens Dec. 16, and this shot is slightly different from the one die-hard fans were treated to at Star Wars Celebration in London last month, where a reel of footage that wasn’t broadcast outside the auditorium showed Vader’s reflection as he stood before a massive orange fireball.

James Earl Jones is returning as the voice of Vader, who will loom large as the Emperor’s right hand — a position other figures within the Empire would love to take, among them Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), the head of the Death Star project under the Advanced Weapons Research division of the dictatorship.

The new trailer, which first aired during NBC’s coverage of the Olympic games, offered another glimpse at the first stand-alone Star Wars film, which breaks from the saga trilogy format to tell side stories that take place within the broader galactic civil war.

Check here for EW’s analysis gallery diving into the David vs. Goliath theme this footage is planting in the mind of the viewer like a Jedi mind trick…

For more Star Wars news, follow @Breznican.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Movie