Star Wars: Episode VIII Gets Release Date; Spinoff Film Gets Name

Today in at its annual shareholders meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced details for two upcoming Star Wars films.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

It was revealed that Star Wars: Episode VIII will be written and directed by Rian Johnson, with an expected release date of May 26, 2017.

This is different from the Christmas time release date that Star Wars: Episode VII has. That one will be out December 18 of this year. It’s also a return to the May release dates of the first two trilogy of films. In fact, Star Wars: A New Hope, the one that started it all, was released May 25, in 1977. Return of the Jedi also had a May 25 release date (in 1983).

It was then revealed that the first of the two previously announced standalone films now has a name.

Rogue One will be directed by Gareth Edwards, and only one member of the cast has been announced. She is Felicity Jones, who was an Academy Award-nominee for her recent role in The Theory of Everything.

The film was based on an idea by Oscar-winning vfx supervisor John Knoll, and scripted by Cinderella writer Chris Weitz. No details have been released as to the plot, but Rogue One is the name of the Rogue Squadron leader, so it may have to do with the Rebel pilots (even better if Jones is the squadron leader).

Even though Disney said anything that happened in the books wouldn’t be canon for the movie universe, it’s possible that this film may also have ties to the Star Wars: X-Wing book series. Of course, all this is just speculation at this point.

Rogue One starts shooting this summer in London, and will be in theaters December 16, 2016.

For those keeping track, that’s a Star Wars film a year for the next three years. And it might be more than that, since Star Wars: Episode IX is due in 2019, and a second announced standalone film doesn’t have a date yet – maybe 2018?

I’m so excited. I’ve seen ever Star Wars film on opening weekend, so now I have two more films to schedule into my calendar.

Are you looking forward to the upcoming Star Wars fans? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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