Today we have our first glimpse as to the future of the Star Wars Galaxy. Disney CEO Bob Iger announced this morning at a shareholders meeting plans for the next two Star Wars films.
First up is the first non-episodic installment, Rogue One. When Disney first bought LucasFilm they came out with a release plan. Every other year we would get another episodic installment (Episode VII, VIII, IX) while in between we would get films to explore the universe.
Obviously it is far to early to tell just when Rogue One will take place. Ideally, it will take place be between VII and VIII with characters that will appear in one or both of those episodes. While details are light, we do have our first official casting announcement. It appears that The Theory of Everything star, Felicity Jones, will be at least a lead role. This far ahead of the December 16, 2016 release date seems to point at this fact.
Now what would this article be without some speculation. Rogue One is traditionally the title given to the leader of the Rogue Squadron, some of the best fighter pilots in the galaxy. While Disney has stated that they aren’t counting anything but the movies/tv shows as canon, there is one particular book series that fans wanted on the big screen.
The Star Wars: X-Wing book series is held in pretty high regards. Many fans wanted to see it adapted. It could be we are getting that dream. The books generally take place in the years right after Episode VI but that is a small detail. Disney could very easily take the basic concept and place it in the new timeline. I mean, I wouldn’t mind seeing a fighter pilot movie based in the Star Wars universe, especially with the new power balance in The Force Awakens.
The other exciting piece of news is the announcement of the release date for Episode VIII. True to form, we will see Episode VIII hit theaters a year after Rogue One a year later May 26, 2017. Fun fact: that is also 40 years and a day after A New Hope was released in 1977. No other information was given beyond the director for Episode VIII so better hunker down and get ready for the long wait.
Gareth Edwards will be directing Rogue One while Rian Johnson is writing and directing Episode VIII. With some real talent behind these two, it seems Disney is headed in the right direction.