A “Star Wars” standalone film has been announced with the title “Rogue One”
Last year it was announced that Disney was looking at an Obi-Wan spinoff with either Josh Trank (“Chronicle”) or Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”) to direct. Today we learn that there will be a spinoff film but its title doesn’t necessarily scream “Obi-Wan.” According to StarWars.com, Disney has selected Director Gareth Edwards to be the first director to be attached to a standalone film titled “Rogue One.”
Rogue One is the title for the first film in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga. Rogue One will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and written by Oscar nominee Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About a Boy, Antz).
If that weren’t news enough, it seems we already have a cast member attached to the film and a confirmation for “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” Felicity Jones is confirmed to be a part of “Rogue One” which is a great pick right after her recent Oscar nomination for “The Theory of Everything.” As far as “Star Wars: Episode VIII” is concerned, Director Rian Johnson (“Looper”) is still attached to the film and the film is set to release on May 26, 2017.
It’s an interesting route that Disney is taking with the Star Wars franchise. I like the idea of having a more expanded universe but I’m wondering how the variation in directors will affect the films. I expect the continuity to still be sound despite the change but the tone could be vastly different.
In the original trilogy, the films had three different directors and they all did well (with some being better than others). But between “A New Hope,” “Empire Strikes Back,” and “Return of the Jedi,” there was a noticeable difference in tone. After George Lucas directed the first film, Irvin Kershner took over as director for “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” “Empire” is still regarded as the best of the trilogy and probably because it is less kid friendly and more dramatic than George Lucas’ usual run of films. Irvin Kershner seemed to be better at capturing the emotions of the characters and the situation. He was even responsible for asking the actors to improvise their lines which created Han Solo’s famous “I Know” response to Princess Leia’s “I love you.”
With that said, we could see the films change between Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” J.J. Abrams‘ vision could be drastically better or worse than Rian Johnson’s. Johnson is a very prominent young director with a lot of critical acclaim while J.J. Abrams is more known for his visual effects and stunning eye for capturing a scene. Given they are both masters of their craft, we could get two films that are equally as good but for different reasons. But before making any assumptions, let’s see how “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” turns out first!