STAR WATCH

Star Wars Stand­alone I has a ti­tle – and Episode VIII has a new re­lease date

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

The first St and alone star

Wars movie – due in De­cem­ber 2016 and di­rected by Godzilla’s Gareth Ed­wards – fi­nally has a ti­tle: Rogue One. No of­fi­cial plot info yet, but we do know it’s based on a story idea from ILM ef­fects supremo and pro­ducer John Knoll. Logic would sug­gest it’s about a Rebel Al­liance pi­lot, which may dash ru­mours it’ll be a Yoda, Boba Fett or Han Solo ori­gin story. The The­ory Of Ev­ery­thing star Felic­ity Jones is con­firmed for a star­ring role. Could she be the epony­mous space­ship jockey?

Dis­ney CEO Bob Iger used the share­holder meet­ing where he made the big re­veal to also con­firm news we thought we al­ready knew – Looper direc­tor Rian John­son will helm and write Episode VIII. The big news, how­ever, is that the movie’s re­lease date will be 26 May 2017 – 40 years and a day af­ter the re­lease of the orig­i­nal. That means we’ll be get­ting three new Star Wars movies in less than 18 months.

Over on The Force Awak­ens, it turns out key in­tel will be out in the open well be­fore the movie hits cine­mas – and we’re not talk­ing about scur­rilous gos­sip. En­ter­tain­ment Weekly re­ports that Lu­cas­film Press and Dis­ney Pub­lish­ing World­wide will, this au­tumn, pub­lish at least 20 books and comics set in the 32 years be­tween Re­turn Of The Jedi and the new movie. Known as “Jour­ney To Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens”, the fleet of books plays a key role in rewrit­ing the his­tory of the Ex­panded Uni­verse.

Pulling ev­ery­thing to­gether has been a ma­jor mission, in­volv­ing nu­mer­ous writ­ers and the Lu­cas­film Story Group – the brain­trust charged with main­tain­ing the re­vised canon. “The Force Awak­ens is an ex­traor­di­nar­ily heav­ily guarded sto­ry­line. To track it, a lot of top- se­cret meet­ings were hap­pen­ing,” ex­plained An­drew Suger­man, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Dis­ney Pub­lish­ing World­wide. “[ We] had to be true to the sanc­tity of the film while mak­ing sure that we find th­ese mo­ments to in­tro­duce hints, clues, and puz­zle pieces.”

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