We have a name for the first Star Wars stand-alone film. It will be called Rogue One, referencing the infamous Rogue Squadron from the original trilogy.
In other words, finally. We at last know what this movie will actually be about.
Gareth Edwards (Godzilla 2014 and that terrible movie, Monsters) will be directing the film. And yes, this is the spinoff movie Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything, Like Crazy) will be starring in.
I maintain that Felicity looks too much like Daisy Ridley (Force Awakens) to not have some kind of relation to her.
It was also released today that Rian Johnson will be writing and directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, which will open May 26, 2017. Pretty impressive considering the last saga had movies every three years instead of one and a half.
The news was broken by Lucasfilm and Disney, during a shareholder meeting in San Francisco. Starwars.com released the official announcement earlier today.
What we know so far...
According to Lucasfilm, Rogue One will be "the first film in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga."
Interesting. That basically means Disney is stretching the Star Wars universe in brand new ways, which is a first for the big-screen franchise. Honestly, I'm not complaining until I see a trailer.
The movie will be written by Chris Weitz, who also wrote the upcoming live-action Cinderella rehash opening this weekend.
Here's one of the most interesting announcements, though: the idea for Rogue One actually came from John Knoll, one of the most celebrated visual effects supervisors and CCOs in the industry. As you can imagine, the idea itself isn't out there yet.
Knoll will be one of the executive producers along with Simon Emanuel and Jason McGatlin.
Rogue One will begin shooting in London this summer (so expect a lot of imperial accents), and is set to release on December 16, 2016. That's almost exactly one year after The Force Awakens.
Disney is no slouch, obviously.
So what will Rogue One really be about? Personally, I believe The Force Awakens will give us a much better idea of the world we're jumping into come December, but as the name implies, we can surmise that it focuses on the Rebel Alliance.
And if previous rumors are to be believed, this is likely taking place before the events of the original trilogy, and would therefore be a prequel of sorts for the Rogue Squadron we meet in A New Hope (hence the "One" moniker).
I'll admit it. I'm way more excited about this than any Boba Fett spinoff.