Thursday, March 12, 2015

'Star Wars: Episode VIII' to hit theaters in May 2017 while Gareth Edwards' spin-off is officially titled 'Rogue One'

As soon as Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the studio announced a massive set of plans for the Star Wars universe. Those plans included theme park attractions, video games, merchandise and most importantly, new Star Wars movies. The first film in a new trilogy, Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens, doesn't hit theaters until December 18, but that hasn't stopped Disney from setting up even more plans for the future. Disney CEO Bob Iger previously confirmed that Episode VIII and IX would hit theaters in 2017 and 2019, respectively, and that several spin-off movies would be debuting in between. We also knew that Godzilla director Gareth Edwards and Chronicle phenom Josh Trank were on board to direct two of the spin-off films. Now, we know quite a bit more about the future of the Star Wars franchise thanks to several reports from a Disney shareholder's meeting.

After The Force Awakens, the next film up is Gareth Edwards' Star Wars: Rogue One. This was officially announced today, and it was also confirmed that Felicity Jones will be starring in the film. That news broke a few months ago, so today was just official word from Disney. The film will be hitting theaters on December 16, 2016, a year after the debut of The Force Awakens. No word on what the film is about yet, but the rumors (via Rope of Silicon) are that the film involves a group of rebels attempting to steal the Death Star plans. Sounds intriguing to me, and I like the idea of having Jones in the Star Wars universe.

The other big Star Wars story of the day was the official release date for Star Wars: Episode VIII. While many had assumed that the film would snag a December 2017 release date, Disney announced today that the film will be in theaters on May 26, 2017, a mere 1.5 years after The Force Awakens. That's an insane turn around, but with a different director and a new team of screenwriters, this isn't too surprising to me. Rian Johnson will be writing and directing this film, with little to no involvement from JJ Abrams. As Star notes, this film will be hitting theaters 40 years and 1 day after the original Star Wars hit theaters, which will make for a fun anniversary celebration. It's safe to say that I'm very excited for the future of this franchise and I can't wait to see everything that Disney has in store for us. The fact that we'll be seeing three new Star Wars films in an 18 month period is very, very exciting.

Source: Rope of Silicon, Star Wars
Image Credits: Hollywood Reporter, Fandom Fest

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