During a Disney Shareholder held on March 12, Lucasfilm announced that Rogue One, the first Star Wars spinoff movie, will be released on December 16, 2016.
We’ve known there will be 3 spinoff movies to coincide with the release of 3 trilogy movies, with these taking place in-between main STAR WARS releases. Now we have a title and release date for the first, as well as more information regarding the production. The film will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters), and written by Chris Weitz (Cinderella, Antz). Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Theory of Everything) was also announced as the first cast member signed on to the movie.
For those not versed in Star Wars lore, Rogue One is the callsign given to the leader of the elite Rebel Alliance flight squad known as Rogue Squadron. Wedge Antilles and Luke Skywalker have both been given the callsign in the past. This probably means we can look forward to a movie with plenty of spaceship dogfighting.
Details about the plot remain under wraps, but the idea for Rogue One is said to come from John Knoll, an Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic. Knoll will executive produce Rogue One, alongside 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) will produce and John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will co-produce.
Also, Rian Johnson has been confirmed as the writer and director of “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” the next installment in the sequel trilogy that starts with “The Force Awakens.” That film has a release date of May 26, 2017, which is 40 years and a day after the original “Star Wars” premiered in theaters. This is a surprising move to have STAR WARS movies 6 months apart and only 18 months after its prequel.
Rogue One starts filming in London this summer, until then, let us remember Porkins, our favorite Rogue Squadron member.