Felicity Jones cast in Star Wars spin-off film Rogue One

It has also been announced that JJ Abrams will not be helming Star Wars Episode VIII

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Confirmed, details of the first Star Wars spin-off film have been. 

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The first standalone Star Wars film has been revealed as Star Wars: Rogue One, and will star The Theory of Everything actress Felicity Jones. Directed by Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards and written by Cinderella’s Chris Weitz, it will be the first big-screen adventure to explore characters and events beyond the core Star Wars films. 

Although no details have been released of the plot, Rogue One could possibly refer to Rogue Squadron, an elite squadron of X-Wing star fighters who star in a series of Expanded Universe books. However, ever since Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars franchise from Lucasfilm, the Expanded Universe has been discounted as canon, so it’s unlikely the film will draw upon any of the novels.

As confirmed by Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger at a shareholder meeting, the film will start shooting this summer in London and is due for release on December 16, 2016.

In addition to the spin-off film, Iger also announced that JJ Abrams will not be helping Episode VIII after The Force Awakens. That job will instead be going to Looper’s Rian Johnson, who will both write and direct ahead of a 26th May 2017 release date. 

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Star Wars The Force Awakens will be released in cinemas on December 18th.