ANAHEIM, Calif. — Rogue One, the first Star Wars spin-off movie, will deal with a group of resistance fighters stealing the plans for the Death Star from the Empire in the run-up to the original movie, Lucasfilm confirmed Sunday.
Directed by Gareth Edwards, who helmed 2014’s Godzilla, the film is a departure from normal Star Wars fare in that it promises to be a dark, gritty war film à la Zero Dark Thirty and Saving Private Ryan (its crew will contain veterans of those films, including Ryan’s special effects guru).
“It’s called Star Wars,” a droll Edwards emphasized to a packed house at Star Wars Celebration, the official Lucasfilm event in Anaheim where the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer was unveiled earlier this week.
“It’s about what happens when God isn’t here to save us,” he added, pointing out that this is a period in Star Wars history when Jedi knights are largely absent from the galaxy. Edwards also promised that the film wouldn’t be a straight good versus evil battle: “The bad guys are good, and the good guys are bad.”
The story came courtesy of John Knoll, veteran of Lucasfilm’s special effects shop ILM and co-creator of Photoshop. Knoll told the crowd that he pitched the idea to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy almost as soon as she arrived in the job.
“There’s something fun and challenging about writing something that fits into what we already know,” Knoll said, adding that there are just a few details in the original Star Wars (Episode IV – A New Hope) on how the plans were stolen before Princess Leia delivered them to R2-D2.
Rogue One, branded as a Star Wars “anthology” rather than a spin-off, will start filming this summer, and is expected to hit theaters in December 2016. Read more…