‘Star Wars’ Spinoff, ‘Rogue One,’ Scheduled To Hit Theaters On December 16

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to debut in theaters on December 16, 2016. This is good news for Star Wars fans as they will be getting some “far, far away” goodness to tide them over until Star Wars: Episode VIII is released in 2017. The exact release date of Episode VIII will be in December of 2017, matching the release schedule of The Force Awakens. It looks good that Rogue One will also be out before Christmas.

Not much is yet known about the new Star Wars spinoff. Disney and Lucasfilm have been keeping a tight lid on details, which seems a bit usual for a film due out in less than a year. There is a teaser trailer for the film, but as of yet, only Disney stockholders have seen it, reports Newsweek. The delay seems to be a mystery since even Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a trailer showing more than a year before its release. One would think that producers would want to spend even more time building hype for Rogue One since it is likely a much less-anticipated film than was Episode VII.

However, that is not to say that Rogue One is not highly anticipated. The few details that have surfaced have fans drooling for the Star Wars sub-story. Here is what is known so far, according to Wookieepedia.

Star Wars Rogue One placement within the Star Wars films' timeline.
[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney]
The story will be set in a time that occurs between the Star Wars Episodes III (Revenge of the Sith) and IV (A New Hope). The plot will revolve around a group of rebel fighters. Their mission will be to retrieve the plans to the Death Star. These would be the same plans that were given to Princess Leia and which Darth Vader tried so hard to extract in Episode IV. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) and Forrest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) are listed as cast members among other lesser known actors and actresses.

There are also some rumors as to other elements of the film that were revealed. The elements are from the trailer that stockholders were shown, but since the source is secondhand and since the trailer has not been released to the public, these can only be considered rumors at this point.

According to the Newsweek source, Matthew Hansen, there may be stormtroopers clad in black armor referred to as Death Troopers. One has to wonder if their aim with a blaster lives up to their name since stormtrooper inaccuracy has been a long running joke in the Star Wars community.

“Two AT-ATs had a slightly different look with the door panel on the side of the body painted a lighter beige color,” remarked Hansen.

Overall, the look of the film seems to be a “classic Star Wars” theme.

Rogue One is the first film in what is being called the Star Wars Anthology Series. There are two other films in this series that are slated for production. One will be about Han Solo, and the other one is still to be determined. Little else is known about the series.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is being directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and writers include Chris Weitz (American Pie), Gary Whitta (TellTale’s The Walking Dead), and John Knoll, who is the primary writer behind the story. Wookieepedia described how Knoll came up with the idea made it come to fruition.

“Knoll came up with the idea for Rogue One when he began to think about the kinds of stories he would like to see told in the Star Wars franchise. Once he had developed an idea, he pitched it to people within Lucasfilm, including Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo, who was enthusiastic about the idea.”

Although there is allegedly an “Official” Rogue One Trailer posted on YouTube, the authenticity of the trailer is questionable. To begin with the title/logo as the trailer opens is Star Wars: Rogue One Anthology. This does not match what has already been revealed as the title’s logo and name. Furthermore, the trailer seems to be a mosaic of scenes from the previous films and even some scenes from Star Wars’ computer and console games spliced together in no particular order. Adding more to the questionability of the trailer is the fact that it was posted on Hipop TV’s account, which has no affiliation with Disney or Lucasfilm. More likely the trailer is a fan-made film claiming to be an official trailer.

With the film still nine months away, hopefully Disney/Lucasfilm will soon release some truly official trailers. There are many rabid Star Wars fans that would show up extra early to their next movie night if they knew they were going to get a chance at seeing a sneak peek of Rogue One.

[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney]