March 12, 2015 – Disney chairman Bob Iger announced today that Rogue One will be the first in a series of upcoming stand-alone “Stars Wars” movies. Iger further stated at the shareholders meeting that Oscar nominee Felicity Jones (age 31, born 17 October 1983), will be starring in Rogue One.
The English actress has appeared in numerous films, including Brideshead Revisited (2008) with Emma Thompson; The Tempest (2010) with Helen Mirren; Like Crazy (2011); and The Theory of Everything (2014).
Filming for Rogue One will begin in London this summer and is expected to premiere 16 December 2016 – just one year after the debut of Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
Iger further announced that Star Wars Episode VIII, to be produced by Rian Johnson, will thereafter be released on 26 May 2017. The date is significant because it will mark the 40th anniversary (plus one day) of the release of the original Star Wars – A New Hope (1977).
While Rogue One‘s storyline has not been released yet, various rumors suggest the movie might focus on the enormously popular Boba Fett and other bounty hunters in their attempt to steal the construction plans of the Empire’s Death Star.
The appellation “rogue one” has been used before to identify the commander of the Rogue Squadron, a Rebel Alliance team of fighters. Longtime fans will recall that Luke Skywalker was called “rogue one” during battle scenes in The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Thereafter, Wedge Antilles assumed that moniker in Return of the Jedi (1983).