- Star Wars: Rogue One release date: December 16, 2016
- Director: Gareth Edwards
- Cast: Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, James Earl Jones
- Writer: Gary Whitta, Chris Weitz
Update October 6, 2016: The final Star Wars: Rogue One trailer will launch with Doctor Strange
Yep, revealed by the head of Disney's Russian sub-division at a recent industry expo, it turns out that the Disney cross-marketing machine is in full effect. The Mouse-owned Marvel's next film, Doctor Strange, is released on October 25 (UK) and November 4 (US), and will come with the next, and final, Star Wars: Rogue One trailer attached.
Will we get a ramped-up hype blow-out this time then? Apparently not, pleasingly. Elena Brodskaya, the exec giving the Disney presentation, pledged that "the company will keep the movie's secrets" until the film's release. Isn't that a bloody nice change, in the age of trailers-as-two-minute-cuts-of-the-whole-damn-thing?
Star Wars: Rogue One will tell a new Jedi-less story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of Disney's spin-off Star Wars anthology movies and will feature a whole new cast, a whole new story, and a whole new Star Wars adventure for fans to enjoy. Centered around the Rebel team who stole the plans for the original Death Star between Episode 3 and Episode 4, Rogue One will hit cinemas on December 16, 2016. To keep your going until then, here's everything we know about Star Wars: Rogue One so far, including the cast, crew, trailers, poster and more.
Star Wars: Rogue One is, however, focused around one of the first, Force-using planets
We already knew Jedha was going to be an important part of the Star Wars spin-off movie Rogue One, but Disney have now released some more details about the planet via StarWars.com:
A small desert moon frosted by a permanent winter, Jedha is home to one of the first civilizations to explore the nature of the Force. At one time a world important to the Jedi Order, Jedha serves as a holy site for pilgrims from across the galaxy who seek spiritual guidance. Now, the Empire occupies Jedha, and a prolonged battle between Imperial forces and scattered Rebels carries on in the timeworn streets.
Star Wars: Rogue One release date is less than 3 months away
It might be a hell of a long time before we revisit Rey in Star Wars 8, but you won't have to wait much longer to get your Force fix. Star Wars: Rogue One is hitting cinemas THIS YEAR on December 16, 2016 - around 12 months after The Force Awakens premiered - which mean you have less than 4 months to wait.
Star Wars: Rogue One trailer suggests an instant Star Wars classic (and a bunch of character details)
The second Rogue One trailer has even more action, expands on some of the characters' backstory, and, most importantly, gives us a first look at a certain heavy breather. Watch it below.
The international trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One has been released hot on the heels of the second trailer and although a lot of the footage is the same, it does reveal a few more details about Galen Erso's role in the movie. It appears the Rebels only know about the Death Star because of a message sent by Jyn Erso's father, Galen, who will be played by Mads Mikkelsen. Read the full story here.
Star Wars: Rogue One story centres around the Death Star
Rogue One will be set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and will follow a group of Rebels and bounty hunters as they attempt to steal the plans to the original Death Star - the plans that eventually end up in the hands of two unlikely droids, and ultimately lead to a kid called Luke firing the king of twitch-shots right up a space station’s exhaust pipe.
We know that Felicity Jones' Jyn is recruited by the Rebels to undertake the mission, despite – or more likely because of – her ruthless, criminal past. The villain of the piece, Director Orson Krennic, is played by Ben Mendelsohn and is the head of the Empire Weapons devision aaand just happens to be responsible for the Death Star.
Sticking with Star Wars canon the Empire's experimental weapons facility and Death Star production is all being run on Scarif, a paradise planet (think beaches and palm trees) and Rogue One will be the first time we see the place on screen. A recent poster (belo) confirms that one of the climatic battles seems to take place here.
Vadar has a role in the movie and he and Krennic seem to be rivals for the Emperor's affections. But, while a recent Star Wars Celebration exclusive trailer showed the big man off (complete with original voice actor James Earl Jones), he's said to have a small but very impactful role in the movie.
One new thing confirmed from Celebration is that some of the movie will show a young Erso, with her father played by Mad Mikkelsen. This might explain how we could get a young Han Solo cameo after rumours the casting for that stand alone movie was fast tracked to get a teen Solo in Rogue One.
Star Wars: Rogue One poster collection brings sci-fi beauty and war-torn poignancy
There are now a fair old mix of Star Wars: Rogue One posters doing the rounds, thanks to an array of international variants having hit the internet. Since the initial, minimalist stoicism of the first, plain black poster, things have become decidedly more exotic. We've had the standard 'cast in dramatic pose' poster, of course, but the latest ones are a great deal more picturesque, yet rather affecting with it.
One shows the beautiful, tropical planet from the trailers, its sun-blessed beaches cut across by a soon-to-clash meeting of Rebels and Imperials, with the Death Star looming ominously in the background. The second, even better one, repeats a similar setting, but with a single, fallen Rebel helmet lying upturned in the foreground - with definite allusions to Full Metal Jacket - as an imposing force of Stormtroopers and AT-ATs march inexorably toward it. Rogue One is going for a serious war vibe to go along with the stars this time - a side of the story ironically all-too-rarely seen in the series - and the posters are going all-out with it.
Star Wars: Rogue One cast taps into The Theory of Everything
Post Star Wars Celebration Europe we now have a much better idea of who the Rogue One cast are and the roles they play. Here's a breakdown.
Jyn Erso - Felicity Jones
Felicity Jones plays a street criminal that seems to turn her life around by joining the Rebellion to lead a team to steal the Death Star Plans from the Empire.
Cassian Andor - Diego Luna
Andor is a Rebel Alliance Intelligence officer and appears to be the experienced soldier in the team with talk of his “his ability to keep a cool head under fire and complete his missions with minimal resources”.
Bodhi Rook - Riz Ahmed
Bodhi’s an interesting character as he is, at least at one point in the movie, an Empire pilot. At a Star Wars Celebration panel it was suggested this was more of a job - like a freight hauler - than a vocation, but it introduces an intruiging dynamic. He's apparenlty very anxious.
Orson Krennic - Ben Mendelsohn
The villain of the film is the Imperial Military Director in charge of the weapons devision and obsessed with completing the Death Star. He’s described as “cruel but brilliant” and appears to have beef with Vader over his standing with the Emperor.
Chirrut Îmwe - Donnie Yen
This character is the non-Jedi Jedi of the piece. Rogue One is set in a time where the Jedi are myths and while this blind warrior believes in the Force and fights like he can use it, he’s really just highly trained and disciplined.
Baze Malbus - Jiang Wen
Baze is a counter point to his friend Chirrut. He’s a freelance assassin who’s experienced the Empire first hand from his occupied home world. He’s also the opposite to his more spiritual partner, favouring a heavy repeater cannon.
Saw Gerrera - Forest Whitaker
Whitaker plays a preexisting character introduced in the animated Clone Wars series. He’s a long standing Resistance member, although some of his tactics are considered extreme by the Rebellion and Empire alike.
K-2SO - Alan Tudyk
Every Star Wars movie needs a good droid and Tudyk plays an Imperial enforcer droid reprogrammed by the Rebellion. Not all that well by the looks of things either, as he’s prone to talk back and not follow orders. Which might be why he bonds with Jyn.
Galen Erso - Mads Mikkelsen
Quite how big a part Mads will play as Jyn Erso's father, or how much we’ll see of a young Jyn remains to be seen. But with such a prominant actor in the role expect him to have a pivotal role.
Star Wars: Rogue One - Darth Vader to make an appearance?
Will Darth appear? Basically… yes. Although don't expect to see him all over the place. A Star Wars Celebration exclusive teaser revealed the character but Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has stated that Darth Vader will "loom large at a key strategic moment" but be "in the movie sparingly.”
Star Wars: Rogue One director knows his Monsters well
British director, screenwriter, cinematographer, production designer, and visual effects artist Gareth Edwards is directing Rogue One. Previously known for indie alien ‘invasion’ fable Monsters, and later the 2014 Godzilla remake, Edwards’ multi-disciplinary background makes him a great fit for an effects-heavy project as big as Star Wars, as does his lifelong fandom, confirmed by his words to StarWars.com. "Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life - join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm," said Edwards in an official statement.
The tone of his previous work also bodes very well for Rogue One’s grittier, more militaristic tone. Monsters especially blends beautiful sci-fi spectacle with an altogether more believable, character-driven, street-level perspective, and that feel certainly looks to have made it through to Rogue One, from what we’ve seen in the first trailer. More of that coming up in a moment.
Star Wars: Rogue One writer has already been switched
The original script was penned by The Book of Eli scribe (and ex-PC Gamer Editor-in-Chief) Gary Whitta, who had been working on the film with Edwards since May 2014. But as of January 9, 2015 he has left the project after completing the first draft. Not that that’s any reason to worry. It’s entirely normal these days for a film to change writers for every new rewrite, particularly when the first writer is in demand. That certainly happened with The Force Awakens, with original writer Michael Arndt eventually stepping aside to let JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan tweak his initial run.
Whitta has been replaced by Chris Weitz, best known for the Oscar-nominated screenplay for About a Boy. He also co-wrote Antz and directed Twilight: New Moon, but let’s not hold the latter against him. In Star Wars, he’s working with much better source material.
Star Wars: Rouge One concept art is still a big secret
While nothing’s been publicly seen, several pieces of Rogue One’s concept art have been described from backstage events like Disney shareholders’ meetings. What we’ve heard mostly ties into what we’ve seen in the trailer, pertaining to a gritty, less saturated view of the Star Wars universe and plenty of ground-level military action.
Though another piece of art purportedly depicts an even more harrowing situation, with a young girl separated from her parents by a fence, as Stormtroopers – equipped with backpacks and ‘tubular rifles’ - bear down on them. There’s some heavy holocaust imagery going on right there, which fits in with the tone of what we’ve seen so far, and the reports that those black-armoured Stormtroopers are a newly revealed class of death squad unit. Seems that after nearly 40 years of vagueries, we might finally be about to see how oppressive life under the Empire really was.
Star Wars: Rogue One soundtrack will NOT feature John Williams
Here’s a biggie. This is going to be the first Star Wars film not scored by John Williams. That initially feels as jarring as Batman without a cape, or Zack Snyder with a mature, artistic sensibility. Fear not though. This is not necessarily a bad thing at all. Not composing the soundtrack to every Star Wars film (that’s one a year now) will give Williams the time to properly focus on the main trilogy, and also ensure that the Star Wars Story spin-offs can maintain whatever identity each one needs for the tale it’s telling.
And besides, Williams isn’t being replaced by some mere grunt off the street, equipped with nothing more than a £30 Casio keyboard and some dreams. Rogue One is being scored by Alexandre Desplat, a composer with a hell of a track record, taking in the works of Wes Anderson, the Harry Potter series, and half the recent Oscar-baiting films you can think of, from The King’s Speech, to Argo, to The Tree of Life, to The Imitation Game and The Danish Girl. He’ll do just fine.