With all the hype behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the spin off films helmed by Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank seem to have fallen a bit out of the limelight. Well, no longer. In a panel today at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, Gareth Edwards has released new information about his spin off film, Star Wars: Rogue One, the first of what will be known as the “Anthology Films.”
When is Rogue One set?
Between Revenge of the Sith (Episode III) and A New Hope (Episode IV). The Jedi Knights have been exterminated or forced into hiding and the Empire reigns supreme, ready to cement their hold on the galaxy with a certain space station you may have heard of: The Death Star.
Does the Death Star factor into the movie?
Oh, indeed it does. Or, rather, the Death Star plans factor in quite heavily. The premise of the film follows a band of resistance fighters (presumably part of the Rebel Alliance) uniting to steal the space station’s blue prints. Director Gareth Edwards says that the resistance fighters are ordinary people, very much feeling the void left behind when the Jedi fell, “It comes down to a group of individuals that don’t have magic powers, that have to bring hope to the galaxy. It’s about the fact that god’s not coming to save us, and we’re on our own. The absence of the Jedi is omnipresent in the film. It hangs over the whole movie.”
Awesome. What kind of film will it be?
The tone they’re shooting for is Star Wars meets Zero Dark Thirty. The film also shares a director of photography with Zero Dark Thirty, Greig Fraser, further cementing the connection. So, think black ops in the Star Wars universe. Director Gareth Edwards says that Rogue One will aim for the most realism of any Star Wars film, taking inspiration from war films such as Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, and the aforementioned Zero Dark Thirty. So, this is very much a war movie set in the Star Wars universe. Based on the picture above and the footage shown, it’s going to be gritty and dark… which makes sense given the director is the same man who brought us last year’s Godzilla.
I heard there was footage screened at the panel.
There was. It featured Obi-Wan Kenobi’s famous speech about the Jedi Knights being guardians of peace before the Empire before showing us a jungle planet. A Tie Fighter zooms overhead before the camera turns to reveal the Death Star above. We hear panicked voiced over a raider before cutting to the title card. UPDATE: Here’s a leaked version of the footage:
Wait, wasn’t the Death Star constructed by Geonosians above their home world?
Yes, overseen by Grand Moff Tarkin. That still may factor into the film, but the Death Star does have a hyperdrive. It’s very possible it could have moved to another planet late during construction.
What about Kyle Katarn? Will he feature into the story?
Unfortunately that seems unlikely. While we all love the story of Kyle infiltrating an Imperial base in the classic game Dark Forces, it seems Rogue One is aiming for a very different story centering around a team. It’s possible Kyle is part of that team, but it’s more likely they will opt for an original cast so they don’t step on the old continuity’s toes.
What is the cast, then?
All we know Felicity Jones will play a Rebel Soldier. More cast announcements should come soon as they get closer to production.
When will the movie be released?
December 16th, 2016.