Ever since it was announced that Disney and Lucas Film would release a Star Wars spin-off movie every other year in between the original saga, fans have been wondering what those spin-off films would be. The general assumption has been the first spin-off, to be directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters), would be a Bounty Hunter movie with the rebels obtaining the plans for the original Death Star (only Star Wars fans might understand what I’m saying). It hasn’t been confirmed what the plot of the movie is but we do have an official title which will be Rogue One. The only other information we know so far is Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) will star in the film.
According to StarWars.com (I first heard it on SchmoesKnow.com) the information was announced in a call to shareholders by Bob Iger, CEO of Disney. Here is the official announcement via StarWars.com and SchmoesKnow.com:
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.
I wouldn’t say that I’m a “die hard” Star Wars fan but I am a big fan and have love for the franchise that stems from my childhood. With that said, this news is great to hear and it really excites me to know that Disney and Lucas are attempting to give us a Star Wars film every year. The best thing about this spin-off for me so far is that it will star Felicity Jones. I didn’t know much about her acting abilities before I saw The Theory of Everything but she was spectacular in it and it makes me optimistic to see that they are casting such great talent.
Along with the news for Rogue One Iger also announced a release date for the sequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode VII) which for now is simply Star Wars Episode VIII. The film will be released on May 26, 2017. Check out the official announcement for the release date:
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.
The cool thing about this is that one would expect Episode VIII to come out in December of 2017. With a May release date we will be getting the sequel to Episode VII about a year and a half out from it’s release date. That means in eighteen months we will have three Star Wars movies! That’s amazing! I can’t wait for this all to get started later this year with The Force Awakens which will hit theaters on December 18, 2015.
What do you all think of this news? What could the title Rogue One mean? Are you excited to get all of these Star Wars movies so close to one another? Let us know in the comment section.