First Star Wars stand-alone will be Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones. Also Rian Johnson confirmed to direct Episode VIII.

First Stand-Alone Star Wars Film Will Be Rogue One, Starring Felicity Jones

First Stand-Alone Star Wars Film Will Be Rogue One, Starring Felicity Jones

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Slate's Culture Blog
March 12 2015 2:21 PM

First Stand-Alone Star Wars Film Will Be Rogue One, Starring Felicity Jones

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Felicity Jones, rebel starfighter?

Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Some exciting news for Star Wars fans: The franchise’s official site announced today that the title for the first stand-alone film will be Rogue One. Fans may recall that this is the name given to the leader of the Rebel Alliance’s Rogue Squadron, which probably means the movie will feature lots of dogfighting in space. Additionally, it was announced that the first actor cast is Felicity Jones, who joins the Star Wars universe fresh off of her first Oscar nomination for The Theory of Everything. The starfighters in the original movies were usually men, so perhaps the Rebel Alliance will finally put more women into the cockpit. The movie, directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), is set for release on Dec. 16, 2016.

Additionally, though it was first reported months ago, Rian Johnson (Looper) has been confirmed to direct Episode VIII. That movie is set for release on May 26, 2017, which StarWars.com notes is “forty years and a day after the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977.”

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.