The name of the first Star Wars stand-alone film is…

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Rogue One.

Curious, no?

The news was a part of a handful of announcements from Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger during a shareholders meeting at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Rogue One is the first of several spin-off Star Wars movies outside of the upcoming trilogy of Star Wars films. It’s set to be directed by Gareth Edwards of Monsters and Godzilla (2014) fame from a script by Chris Weltz (who wrote the upcoming live-action Cinderella movie).

But it’s not just the title which is exciting news, but the first piece of casting:

Star Wars Rogue OneFelicity Jones, Academy Award nominated actress for The Theory of Everything. Already, that’s pretty exciting news. Not just because of the caliber of actress she is, but the fact that being the first cast, it hopefully isn’t too optimistic to believe she is going to be the star/one of the stars. The newer Star Wars movies and general canon seem to be opening up on representation, so it would be nice to see whether we could have a female-driven Star Wars movie.

Filming for Rogue One begins in the summer in London with a projected release date on December 16 2016. So we’re still a way away from seeing any production work for it, but you can bet there’ll be even more exciting pieces of casting announced in that time. Plus, hey, The Force Awakens is getting closer and closer for your big-screen Star Wars fix.

After Rogue One, however, there won’t be too long of a wait until the next Star Wars movie. Also confirmed today was the fact that Rian Johnson – director of Looper and the criminally under-seen Brick and The Brothers Bloom – shall be both writing and directing Star Wars: Episode VIII. The middle film of the new main trilogy of the Star Wars film canon, one can only hope it shall deliver Empire Strikes Back-level brilliance.

The release date for Star Wars: Episode VIII – of course, we won’t know the title for a while – is May 26, 2017. Only five months after Rogue One, and forty years and a day after the release of the film that started it all: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Even the smallest snippets of Star Wars news sparks excitement in Star Wars fans, so how about that title? Is Felicity Jones a strong choice for a galaxy far, far away? Who could she play? And even with all this excitement for Episode VIII and Rogue One, you surely haven’t forgotten that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is less than a year away.

Drop all your comments and speculation below, and may the force be with you.


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