August 18, 2015 – Lucasfilm announced this week that filming of Rogue One, the first of the standalone or anthology films in the Star Wars series, had begun. Director Gareth Edwards and Producer Kathleen Kennedy have assembled an incredibly talented cast of actors for the film, which is scheduled to hit theaters on December 16, 2016.
Rogue One depicts a ragtag band of resistance fighters, who have banded together to steal schematics and plans to the notorious Death Star. We might finally get to meet the Bothans, whom Mon Mothma alluded to in Return of the Jedi (1983)(“Many Bothans died to bring us this information.”)
Set before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Rogue One “goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know,” said Kennedy.
Are any of the characters Bothans? At this point, we don’t know yet. But close-up views of the cast photo (above) released by Disney/Lucasfilm show a grittier band of fighters than the usually immaculate Jedi of past movies.
This first Star Wars spin-off is now labeled “A Star Wars Story” instead of “Star Wars Anthology”. The new moniker sounds less sophisticated than “anthology”, but perhaps this was a marketing decision? After all, what percentage of the viewing public really knows what an “anthology” is?
As shooting ramps up in London, stay tuned for further updates.
UPDATE (April 2016):
It is highly unlikely that any of the characters in Rogue One will be Bothans. The following graphic explains why:
You can also read our updated article HERE, Many Bothans Do Not Die in “Rogue One” (08 April 2016)