Everything We Know So Far About 'Star Wars: Rogue One'
The first 'Star Wars' stand-alone movie was given a title Thursday morning.
We found out Thursday morning that the first stand-alone Star Wars movie will be called Rogue One, and it will hit theaters December, 2016. To be clear, this will be the first Star Wars movie that isn't directly a part of the continuity of the official "Episodes." Episode VII will still drop later this year, and Rogue One will be a parallel story in the same world. So what do we know about it? Here's where we stand so far.
1. The X-Wing Pilots Will Get Their Due
In the original Star Wars it was Rogue Squadron that Luke joined to take down the Death Star. Led by "Rogue Leader" Wedge Antilles in that movie, Rogue Squadron has taken on mythic proportions in the Stars Wars extended universe. Based on the new title, it's safe to assume we'll be spending a lot of time in an X-Wing cockpit. We also know that in the Star Wars movies each member of Rogue Squadron was assigned a number. Luke was "Rogue Five" for instance. So this movie will likely either focus on the leader of the group or the number one non-leader pilot. Which brings us to...
2. We'll Finally See a Female X-Wing Pilot
More than 30 years after the female pilots were egregiously edited out of Return of the Jedi, it appears Felicity Jones will be cast as a hotshot fighter pilot this time around. Even before the title was announced, Jones was cast in the movie's lead, and if she's the title character, that'll make her one of the Rebels' most feared pilots. Jones is coming in off an Oscar-nominated turn in The Theory of Everything. As you'll see below, basically everyone working on this property is white hot right now.
3. From the Guy Who Brought You Godzilla
In 2010, Gareth Edwards made a big splash with Monsters, an indie movie about giant monsters that was made for $800,000. The movie looks better than what the studios often achieve with a hundred times that much, and led to him directing 2014's Godzilla remake. Thoroughly impressed, Disney and JJ Abrams brought Edwards on board to work on this first Star Wars stand-alone movie shortly after Godzilla's release. More recently it's been announced that Chronicle filmmaker Josh Trank, who's currently working on the Fantastic 4 reboot, will direct the second Star Wars stand-alone movie. Both those directors are known for grittier filming techniques like desaturating images and occasionally going handheld. It'll be interesting to see if they bring any of that style to a franchise as polished and family friendly as Star Wars.
4. And the Writer Who Wrote Cinderella
Screenwriter Chris Weitz is busy working on the TV show About a Boy right now, and he's got a movie opening this weekend — Disney's live-action adaptation of Cinderella. Clearly Weitz is on a hot streak right now, so we hope he'll bring some of that mojo along with him as he bashes out the script for Rogue One.