In a mere 341 days (Dec. 16, 2016), the first of three Star Wars spinoffs from Lucasfilm, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, hits theaters. Starring Oscar nominee Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything) and directed by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One tells the story of the rebel fighters who banded together to steal the Death Star plans from the Empire.
Producer Kathleen Kennedy told Starwars.com, “Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe. It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know.”
Five months after Rogue One, the still-unnamed Episode VIII blasts into theaters on May 26, 2017. Production kicks into high gear in the new year, and will feature most of The Force Awakens cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, and of course, BB-8.
The following year the much talked-about Han Solo prequel is set for release. The movie is being written by The Force Awakens scribe Lawrence Kasdan and reportedly directed by The Lego Movie team of Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Speculation has been rampant on who will play Solo, with Internet favorites ranging from Chris Pratt to Josh Hutcherson. Ford, who isn’t a part of the prequel, said he didn’t feel the need to offer any tips to his successor. “I don’t think it’s about being like me, it’s about us being like Han Solo,” he told Reuters.
The original saga ends in 2019 with Episode IX, and fans are hoping to have all their questions answered. Is Rey a Skywalker, a Kenobi or both? Is Finn a Calrissian? What in the world happened with Han and Leia? Is BB-8 a descendant of R2D2? Until then, the Force will remain strong in the multiplexes.