I thought back to a conversation I had with my daughter about this movie and came up with this easy guide for parents to talk to their kids about Rogue One. All based on the trailer, Star Wars cannon and the basic concept of time.
When does this movie happen? Rogue one takes place somewhere between the time of Episode 3 (Revenge of the Sith) and Episode 4 (A New Hope). How do I know this? They are building the first Death Star, and probably working on the second one as well, which became fully operational in A New Hope. Don't think it was fully operational, ask you friends on Alderaan. Too soon? And Darth Vader is in it.
Is that Rey?
So who is that woman who looks like Rey? That character is Jyn Erso. And yes it's confusing to have back to back Star Wars movies with a dark haired, feisty and seemingly independent woman as the protagonist. But they are not the same person.
Oh my god they cast Mon Mothma awesomely. (Your kids will never ask this but your nerd friends will) That is very true. Genevieve O'Reilly played the same character in Episode 3. Oddly enough both O'Reilly and Caroline Blakiston, who played the older Mon Mothma in the Star Wars saga, are blonde in real life.
So where is Rey?Rey was born somewhere in the 30 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. This movie takes place somewhere in the 20 years before A New Hope. So if that character was Rey, she would have been in her 80s during the Force Awakens.
What about Finn?See "So Where is Rey?" And every African American actor that you will see on screen isn't Finn's dad. Finn may have no relation to anyone we have ever met in the Star Wars universe.
Are Luke and Leia going to be in it? My guess would be no. Since Darth Vader is there, it takes place after Luke and Leia were born. So they exist. You would assume that there won't be any reason to go to Tatooine, so there won't be a young Luke cameo. But Jimmy Smits as Bale Organa is in the movie so there may be a young Princess Leia cameo.
These are all theories. See for yourself when Rogue One is released in December.