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First “Star Wars” Standalone Film Details, Episode VIII Release Date Revealed

swars-social shared major, official details Thursday of the next two “Star Wars” films set to follow this year’s “The Force Awakens.” The title of the first planned “Star Wars” standalone spinoff film has been revealed as “Rogue One,” to be directed by the previously announced Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”) and written by Chris Weitz (reported in January as joining the film). Felicity Jones, a recent Academy Award nominee for The Theory of Everything and reported last month to be in talks to star in the film, is official as the first performer cast in the standalone, which has a release date of Dec. 16, 2016. Production is planned to start this summer in London.

While no “Rogue One” plot details have yet been revealed, relayed that the idea for the story came from John Knoll, Chief Creative Officer of Industrial Light & Magic. He’s set to executive produce, along with Simon Emanuel and Jason McGatlin. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Tony To will produce, and John Swartz is on board as a co-producer.

Also, “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” the next installment in the sequel trilogy that starts with “The Force Awakens,” now has a release date of May 26, 2017, which is 40 years and a day after the original “Star Wars” premiered in theaters. Rian Johnson, attached to the film since last year, was confirmed to write and direct.

The announcements were made by Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger at a shareholder meeting held at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, near Lucasfilm headquarters. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is scheduled for release on Dec. 18, 2015.


  • BeastieRunner

    Please be about Wedge Antilles!

  • Rogue2

    omg, this could be the greatest news ever

  • LightningBug

    No JJ for episode 8? Oh well. Looper was cool, so hopefully Johnson is up for something as big as Star Wars.

  • Nathan

    Wow, Episode VIII only 1 1/2 years after Episode VII. Disney knows a cash cow when they have one.

  • TheTingler

    Yeah, that worries me too. This is supposed to be a major thing. All the other movies were three years apart. That’s a ridiculously short amount of time.

  • Ben Phillips

    December? Seriously? Wow, I don’t know why but I thought it’d be away further of a wait. Man that’s awesome.

  • Ken

    Looper was one of the best sci-fi movies in the last 5-10 years that wasn’t a franchise. Johnson’s gonna nail it.

  • Ken

    They’re trying the Marvel formula; in that context it’s really not that long. But for a franchise like Star Wars I’d practically prefer a longer gap – that would almost give each film a little more weight. But yeah, let’s hope it works.

  • TheTingler

    I’m not sure it is Marvel formula – if you consider the main Star Wars episodes as Avengers movies i.e. “the big ones” and the standalone projects as the in-between phase movies, there was three years between Avengers 1 and 2.

    Churned out full proper episodes devalues them… plus they’re not making them back-to-back, it takes time to make movies.

  • Ken

    The general business strategy is the same in the sense that Disney is “universe building” with a series of main films interspersed with spinoffs that allow for a timetable of film releases every 6 months to a year. Also like Marvel films, this is only possible with multiple production teams working on each film, which de-necessitates back-to-back shooting.

  • Statham

    Please. Like Lucas wouldn’t have put them out sooner if he didn’t insist on a crazily hands-on approach to every last thing. And it’s hardly that big of a deal. Peter Jackson made the Hobbit/LOTR trilogies all in one and released them across three years, as much as you can debate whether or not the Hobbit as a trilogy worked.