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New Star Wars: Rogue One photos give us a closer look at Darth Vader and an intense space battle

What could be better than a few new Star Wars: Rogue One (opens in new tab) photos? How about 15 of them…

EW (opens in new tab) have revealed some brand-new shots from the Star Wars spin-off, including Darth Vader in all his glory, a look at the U-wing, and an action shot from a space battle. Check them out below.

Let’s take a look at Darth Vader first. Not seen on-screen since 1983’s Return of the Jedi (I’m ignoring the end of Episode 3), the Sith Lord will come into conflict with fellow Imperial baddie, special weapons director Orson Krennic (played by Ben Mendelsohn). According to Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s head of story development, Vader doesn’t see the need for conventional weapons: “He’s tapped into something on another level… He’s got a broader perspective.” This could create friction with Krennic’s entirely different point of view. 

This internal conflict isn’t one that’s really been brought up before so it will be interesting to see how that plays out. (Spoiler: Vader probably wins)

Also, it’s hard to tell when he’s wearing a mask but it looks like Darth Vader is giving Krennic some serious side-eye.

Star Wars isn’t Star Wars without a mile-a-minute, heart-pounding space battle – and Rogue One is no different. In the above shot you can see a Rebel X-wing fighter swooping over a space station. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this scene feature towards the end of the film because, let’s face it, it would be hard to top that. Expect plenty of explosions, cockpit banter, and those pew-pew noises we know and love.

Rogue One takes place within a timeline rarely explored in Star Wars canon so it’s cool to see completely new things (opens in new tab) introduced into a galaxy far, far away. Take the U-wing for example. It blends together styles from previous fighter designs (check out those X-wing engines!) to create an altogether new piece of serious Imperial ass-kicking kit.

John Knoll, visual-effects supervisor on Rogue One, compares the rebel production line to automobile companies: “It’s just if you look at cars… you see design themes carried across multiple different production lines.” Just don’t expect to see a four-door hatchback-Wing in the near future.

For the rest of the photos, check out EW’s (opens in new tab)exclusive gallery.

Directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, and Mads Mikkelsen, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is released in the UK on December 15 and the US on December 16.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.