'Rogue One' is first Star Wars spin-off, Episode VIII release date set

Star Wars Rogue 1 and Episode VIII Felicity Jones Gareth Evans
Photo credit: Starwars.com

Between Marvel Studios cranking out fanboy joy twice a year; Warner Bros/DC trying to catch up starting next year and new Star Wars films there may not be a better time to be a fan of big blockbusters. This bit of news from Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger definitely won’t diminish any of my enthusiasm.

In a shareholder meeting (note: the lamest way to announce big Star Wars news), Iger revealed the title of the first Star Wars stand alone and the release date for Star Wars: Episode VIII in this statement released from Starwars.com.

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. The film starts shooting this summer in London and is due for release on Dec. 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.  Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, producer of LooperDon JonBrick, and The Brothers Bloom, are on board to produce, and J.J. Abrams will serve as executive producer.

Credit: starwars.wikia.com

I’m very intrigued about “Rogue One” and the thought of the series diving more in to the Rebel Alliance Rogue Squadron. I’ve also become a big fan of Jones so I’m kinda torn about which one I’m more excited for but with this ambitious release schedule at least for the next three years I can count on at least one Star Wars and two DC and Marvel films.

Yep. It’s a great time to be a movie fan.