With Star Wars The Force Awakens still in cinemas and smashing box office records, it’s time to take a look ahead to Rogue One and the possibility of a notable release date for Episode VIII.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Described by Lucasfilm as a heist movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the tale of a band of resistance fighters who plot to steal the plans of the Death Star in a attempt to thwart the Empire before it becomes too powerful. Set before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope the story is pitched as being grittier than anything seen in the Star Wars cinematic universe to date.
Directing the film is Gareth Edwards who made his name with the fantastic low budget sci-fi movie Monsters. He then went on to bring Godzilla back to the big screen. The filmmakers have assembled a quality cast too with Academy nominated actress, Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything), taking a lead role, the Emmy nominated Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Diego Luna (Milk / Elysium), Donnie Yen (Ip Man / Blade II), Forrest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt / Casino Royale), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) and Alan Tudyk (Firefly / Serenity / Con Man) who will reportedly perform as a motion caption character.
One the official Star Wars website, producer Kathleen Kennedy describes Rogue One. “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for ‘Rogue One.’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be the first in a series of stand-alone films independent of the main saga whilst taking place in the same universe.
With a new Star Wars movie due every year for the foreseeable future interest may wane, but right now off the back of the success of The Force Awakens a poll run by online ticketing service Fandango found that as of now, Rogue One is the most hotly anticipated film of 2016 (As reported by Variety).
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is due in cinemas on December 16th 2016.
Star Wars Episode VIII
Star Wars Episode VIII isn’t due out until 2017, but there has already been some debate about when in the year it will reach theatres. With both The Force Awakens and Rogue One being scheduled for a December release it would make sense for Episode VIII to follow suit, until you realise the unique opportunity that will present itself in 2017.
With the current trend in the UK for films to debut on a Thursday (The Force Awakens arrived in UK cinemas a day ahead of the US for this reason) it would seem fitting that Episode VIII should reach theatres on May the 26th 2017, exactly forty years to the day after Star Wars: A New Hope made its big screen debut. Releasing the movie in May would no doubt add pressure on the filmmakers to get the movie completed in a shorter timeframe, but the romantic in me certainly hopes that they do.