Star Wars Episode 7 spin-off details and star revealed

Release date revealed for Gareth Edwards’ Episode 7 spinoff – and it will be an X Wing movie

X Wing Rogue Squadron
It looks like the spinoff will draw inspiration from the acclaimed book series, at least in part

The last few months have seen a relative lack of Star Wars-related news, with the the defences at Fort Abrams seemingly being reinforced by titanium mind shields. Now, something has slipped out, with new details being revealed about Monsters and Godzilla director Gareth Edwards’ spinoff movie.

First, the title of the film will be Rogue One. For Star Wars fans in the know, this name will bear most relation to Rogue Squadron, the name of the X-Wing group that Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles fight as part of at the Battles of Yavin, Hoth and Endor (albeit with Wedge solo at this one).

It’s worth pointing out, however that (at least to our knowledge – feel free to shout at us if we’re wrong) the squadron is rarely referred to as Rogue Squadron in the films, with the ‘Red’ moniker being preferred. The ‘Rogue’ insignia came into prominence in the wake of the Dark Horse comic-book series X-Wing: Rogue Squadron and the 10-book novel series by Aaron Allston and Michael A Stackpole, all of which came in for a lot of love from fans. At the very least, the title indicates that there’s a good chance the film will delve into Expanded Universe material for inspiration.

Rogue One Felicity Jones
Felicity Jones will star in Star Wars Rogue One

Secondly, it has a lead and a crew. Felicity Jones (recently the recipient of a nomination for a Golden Globe Best Actress nomination for her role in Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything) is the only confirmed cast member at present.

Working alongside Edwards is Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic John Knoll, who is credited with the idea for the story and take on producing duties. Also included in the lengthy producers list are fellow executive producers Simon Emanuel (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Dark Knight Rises) and Jason McGatlin (Star Wars: Rebels, X-Men 2). Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy and Tony To (Band Of Brothers) will produce, with fellow The Force Awakens crew member Jason Swartz co-producing.

All the rumours point to this being a prequel, what with the dearth of X-Wing action taking place in between and during Episodes IV-VI, but considering that judging by the trailer for The Force Awakens, X-Wings still seem to be active around this time, we’ll hedge our bets for now.

Star Wars: Rogue One will be released in cinemas on 16 December 2016. For up-to-date Star Wars news, grab the latest issue of SciFiNow.