ByAli Watts, writer at

Gareth Edwards will work with a new script scribbler. We’ve felt a minor disturbance in the force. As if one voice cried out, “See ya!” and then was suddenly silenced. Okay, so it’s not quite the shockwave from the destruction of Alderaan, and happens a lot on big films, but writer Gary Whitta has departed the first of the new Star Wars stand-alone movies.

Whitta had been working on crafting the film with Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards, with the pair figuring out the initial new entry in the franchise after J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens. They’ve been collaborating since May last year and Whitta had written a first draft that will now likely be re-scripted by someone else under Edwards’ supervision. Nothing has been revealed about the project’s subject matter, though speculation has turned to adventures featuring single characters such as Boba Fett from around the Star Wars universe.

It would appear to be an uncontroversial split between Whitta and the film, with both sides putting out positive press releases. “Gary has been a wonderful, inspired contributor and I enjoyed working with him tremendously,” said Edwards. “I’m so grateful for all of his contributions.”

For his own PART, Whitta commented, “The year I spent working with Lucasfilm on this Star Wars film has been by far the most REWARDING period of my entire career. As a lifelong fan I’m deeply grateful to have had the rare opportunity to contribute to a new chapter in its ongoing cinematic legacy. The film is going to be amazing." He’ll be moving on to other things, including an adaptation of Mark Millar’s Starlight comic-book series.

Whatever it ends up featuring, the Star Wars stand-alone is scheduled to arrive on December 16, 2016.

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