We haven’t covered much recently about the happenings in the Star Wars universe, but some news has dropped on several fronts and we want to keep you updated, in case you haven’t seen it anywhere else.
The first stand-alone movie has found a title, a director, and an actress, and we’re pretty excited. The title, Rogue One, opens up all sorts of ideas for what this movie will be about. Traditionally Rogue One is the callsign of the first X-Wing pilot under Rogue Leader, a title both Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles have held. The possibilities are endless, as far as story, since the movie could take place anytime during, or in the years after, the rebellion against the Empire.
Director Gareth Edwards will be at the helm for Rogue One, backed up by writer Chris Weitz. Gareth has worked on two successful SciFi films already, Godzilla and Monsters and while Star Wars is entirely different in scope he’s a fresh mind on a fresh look at our beloved franchise. I think a crop of young minds is exactly what is needed to bring Star Wars to new life.
Chris Weitz has picked up writing duties after Gary Whitta stepped down. In this case the creds are a little sketchier than Edwards, with a couple of hits and a few misses. Of course a movie is a sum of its parts, and Weitz can hardly be responsible for all of those misses.
We’ve also got the first actress announced, in Felicity Jones. Of course there’s no news on what character or what her story will be, but it’s a good choice. As I write this we were watching The Theory of Everything, and she was great. We’ve also seen her in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, along with a fairly good list of credits for a young actress. I’ve also seen rumors/calls for her to play Black Cat in an upcoming Spider-Man movie or spinoff, which would be great by us. A new generation certainly seems to be the name of the game for the Star Wars franchise so far.
On the slate to write and direct Episode VIII is Rian Johnson of Looper fame. He’s also responsible for giving us another great movie, Brick, so we have a lot of hope for the future of Star Wars films all around. Like the rest, his list of credits is short, with some bright spots along the way.
In all this news the Rogue One announcement is the most exciting to me. Rogue Squadron was one of the most loved extended universe series, and opens up so much potential for interesting story and visuals. I would love to see a fighter pilot style X-Wing movie like Red Tails, or a hot shot movie like Top Gun. Perhaps Felicity will play Rogue One, who knows. Either way this is all great news, but not the end of it by a long shot.
Rumors abound that we’ll see the new Battlefront game from Dice/EA in December, near the release of Episode VII. All official sites still point to a TBD release date as of this writing, but announcements ramping up with gaming convention appearances, and publisher’s tendency to tie in game releases with movie releases, point to a fairly good chance we’ll see it before Christmas. I just hope they’ve taken their time, cleaned up issues with the engine, and release a solid game. One can always hope right?