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