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‘Star Wars’ Spin-off Gets an Official Title; ‘Episode VIII’ Gets an Official Release Date!

While we’ve known for some time now that we will be getting a Star Wars spin-off next year, followed by Episode VIII the following year from Rian Johnson, we haven’t really heard anything since. We’ve seen directors come on board, but that’s it. The rumor and speculation mill have been going endlessly, trying to figure out what the first spin-off will be about. And while the top choice has been that it will focus on a group of bounty hunters, today we got official word from an official title for Gareth Edwards spin-off! Along with an official release date for The Force Awakens sequel!

Buckle up people, starting this December we will be getting three Star Wars movies in less than two years! It was announced earlier this morning that the spin-off movie, directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), is officially titled Star Wars: Rogue One, and that it will start shooting this summer in London with Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) starring. For you Star Wars geeks, you should know what Rogue One means. But just in case, here’s a little something on it.

Rogue Squadron

 

Rogue One is the callsign for the leader of Rogue Squadron, the elite starfighter group for the Rebel Alliance. You may remember them from the original trilogy movies, the X-Wing pilots that led the Alliance into battle. For weeks and weeks now, it’s been highly speculated that this movie would focus on a group of bounty hunters who are after the plans to the first Death Star prior to A New Hope. While the bounty hunters could still be a factor, it looks like the movie might focus on the elite star-fighters, specifically Rogue One. And I’ve got to say, freaking awesome.

Along with the news of the of the spin-off, it was officially announced that the sequel to this years The Force Awakens will be released in May of 2017! Which will be returning Star Wars to it’s usual month of release.

Here’s the official announcement:

“This morning at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, across the street from Lucasfilm, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger hosted a shareholder meeting where he announced news regarding the first Star Wars stand-alone movie as well as Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Rogue One is the title for the first film in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga. Rogue One will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and written by Oscar nominee Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About a Boy, Antz). The first actress cast is Felicity Jones, who garnered an Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim for her performance in The Theory of Everything. The idea for the story of Rogue One came from John Knoll, an Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic. He will executive produce along with Simon Emanuel (The Dark Knight Rises, Fast & Furious 6) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds). Kathleen Kennedy and Tony To (Band of Brothers, The Pacific) are on board to produce and John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will co-produce. The film starts shooting this summer in London and is due for release on December 16, 2016.

In addition, Iger confirmed that Rian Johnson will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII. The film, which continues the saga after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is set for release on May 26, 2017 — forty years and a day after the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. Johnson is widely considered one of cinema’s most gifted young filmmakers, having directed the modern sci-fi classic, Looper, as well as Brick and The Brothers Bloom. He was also behind the camera for three episodes of the critically-acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad, including “Ozymandias,” which series creator Vince Gilligan named as the best installment of the show. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, producer of Looper, Don Jon, Brick, and The Brothers Bloom, are on board to produce.”

Hell yeah, the galaxy far, far away is back in a big way!

Star Wars: Rogue One will be released on December 16th, 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards starring Felicity Jones.

Star Wars: Episode VIII has a release date in May of 2017. Written and directed by Rian Johnson.

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