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Star Wars spin-off titled and Episode VIII release date announced

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Disney last revealed the title for Gareth Edwards' (Godzilla) Star Wars spin off - Star Wars: Rogue One. Not only that, they've now confirmed earlier rumours that the brilliant Felicity Jones has been cast in the film and will be taking on a central role. Given the spin-offs are meant to focus on existing characters in the franchise and develop their back stories we reckon she'll be a pre-Episode IV Princess Leia.

The other major announcement was the news that Rian Johnson is now completely locked in to write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII and that the film has been brought foward to 26th May 2017 release date - a date significant as it's just one day off the 40th Anniversary of the first Star Wars film and returns the series to its traditional summer schedule.

Star Wars: Rogue One will be released into cinemas worldwide on 16th December 2016.

ROGUE ONE IS THE FIRST STAR WARS STAND-ALONE FILM, RIAN JOHNSON TO WRITE AND DIRECT STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII
THE TITLE FOR DIRECTOR GARETH EDWARDS' STAND-ALONE MOVIE, FEATURING ACTRESS FELICITY JONES, IS REVEALED, AND RIAN JOHNSON IS CONFIRMED FOR STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII -- COMING TO THEATERS MAY 26, 2017.
“Always in motion is the future,” Yoda said. The future of the Star Wars cinematic galaxy, however, is taking shape.


This morning at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, across the street from Lucasfilm, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger hosted a shareholder meeting where he announced news regarding the first Star Wars stand-alone movie as well as Star Wars: Episode VIII.

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 written by Oscar nominee Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About a Boy, 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.

In addition, Iger confirmed that Rian Johnson will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII. The film, which continues the saga after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is set for release on May 26, 2017 — forty years and a day after the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. Johnson is widely considered one of cinema’s most gifted young filmmakers, having directed the modern sci-fi classic, Looper, as well as Brick and The Brothers Bloom. He was also behind the camera for three episodes of the critically-acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad, including “Ozymandias,” which series creator Vince Gilligan named as the best installment of the show. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, producer of Looper, Don Jon, Brick, and The Brothers Bloom, are on board to produce, and J.J. Abrams will serve as executive producer.

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Last updated: 06/08/2018 17:16:46

Star Wars

Star Wars is a science fiction film series created by George Lucas. It debuted in 1977 and the first film was quickly retitled to Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. It was followed by two sequels - The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983. A trilogy of prequel films were launched in 1999 with The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. In 2015 Star Wars returned to the screens for a new trilogy under the control of Disney with The Force Awakens directed by J J Abrams.

A series of spin-offs were launched in 2016 with Gareth Edwards' Rogue One and 2017 will see the second film in the new trilogy, Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi.

Another spin-off will be released in 2018 - Solo - which tells the story of Han Solo before the original Star Wars film and 2019 will round off the third trilogy with the untitled Episode IX.

A fourth trilogy of films has been announced for release after 2020 which will be overseen by Rian Johnson and they will feature entirely new characters and an entirely separate story.

In addition, there are the TV series The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels and a new as yet untitled live action series due to debut some time after 2020.

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