“If I had known since I was four that I was going to be shooting a Star Wars film I would have planned it all my life,” said Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), director of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The latest installment of the Star Wars franchise is just as big and grand as last year’s The Force Awakens. “It’s like the world’s greatest toy set, it’s a bit like being a kid again with the Star Wars figures,” says Edwards. With hundreds of storm troopers, space vehicles, and epic explosions, the set and effects make for the biggest toy set Star Wars has seen.

Edwards also shared new footage which includes stunning CGI mixed in with real special effects and a beautiful tropical island location. One frame that Edwards shows is a side shot of the Death Star that is an exact replica from 1977’s first Star Wars film A New Hope. Edwards explains that “Rogue One takes place very close to Episode IV,” as the plot derives from the opening text of the very first film which is “essentially our movie.”

This marks the first time that Star Wars has made a feature film revolving around a side story. Rogue One will have no familiar main characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, or Han Solo. It is its’ own chapter and will feature an entirely new cast of characters. “It is an ensemble movie but at the heart of it is a strong woman,” Edwards says. The plot follows a group of rebels who embark on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the evil empire’s terrible weapon. “Through their journey we see the formation of rebel alliance and stealing of the Death Star Plans.”

The cast includes Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Forrest Whitaker, and Felicity Jones who says, “You can feel everyone in the crew and cast kind of stops and just takes that in and you remember, oh actually, we’re in Star Wars.”

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Edwards says, and admits that directing the new chapter of Star Wars was “the greatest job in the world.”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story comes out in theaters on Friday, December 16th.

Here is the featurette: