‘Star Wars’ Stand-Alone ‘Rogue One’ To Be Released With Felicity Jones Taking The Lead

Anyone over 45 can remember being blown away by the opening credits of Star Wars when the pounding theme tune grabbed your attention.

The theme tune and opening credits still remain and Disney and Lucasfilms have announced the release of Rogue One as a spin off, or what they are calling a stand alone that will fill the space and time between the Star Wars Films.

Rogue One is the title for the first film in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga.

Rogue One will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and will be written by Oscar nominee Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About aBoy, Antz). The first actress cast is Felicity Jones, who garnered an Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim for her performance in The Theory of Everything.

The idea for the story of Rogue One came from John Knoll, an Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic. He will executive produce along with 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) are on board to produce and John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will co-produce. The film starts shooting this summer in London and is due for release on December 16, 2016.

Lucas Films / Press Release

Star Wars has travelled a long way from the X-Wing models on zip wires and painted backgrounds to Rogue One, but we can easily overlook and forgive the early special affects because it’s Star Wars.

Rogue One will be released between the next two chapters of the Star Wars story line, December’s The Force Awakens and the newly-announced Episode VIII, which is set for release May 26, 2017.

Rogue One is set to be the first in a series of films inspired by, or as direct adaptation from the books that explore the wider galaxy far away. Rogue One is introducing new characters and connecting some of the missing dots in the broader Star Wars film series. The Guardian explains the new book project.

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, an awful lot happened between the end of 1983’s Return of the Jedi and the beginning of much-hyped Star Wars sequel The Force Awakens. Disney is to release at least 20 books this autumn with the aim of filling the gap between the two films ahead of the release of J.J. Abrams’s much-hyped big screen revival of the long-running space opera.”

The reaction to the trailer and press release for Rogue One speak for themselves, and with the over 1.6 million hits on the official trailer for the The Force Awakens, we all wait in growing anticipation for the next installment of Star Wars.

[Credit: Photograph Christopher Polk/Getty Images]