When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters later this year, it will mark the first time since the creation of the Star Wars franchise that a new film installment will have been released in consecutive years. Disney is to thank for the Star Wars renaissance that world is experiencing, and the reaction to last year's Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens proved that audiences are eager for more stories within this world. Rogue One will be the first movie set outside of the regular storyline, with Disney and Lucasfilm taking us back to before Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.
Marketing has recently started to pick up for the movie with a second trailer and international trailer being released for Rogue One, a film that is directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla (2014)). Now, the film's misfit crew of Rebel Alliance freedom fighters have assembled to be on the front of a new magazine cover.
In the latest issue of Empire Magazine, Rogue One will have a big presence. Gracing the cover, from left to right, are the film's main characters: Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang) Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed). The towering figure of K-2SO, voiced and portrayed via motion-capture by Alan Tudyk, is also featured in the background.
— Star Wars UK (@StarWarsUK) August 18, 2016
As we near closer to Rogue One getting released in theaters, this marketing push will be a factor into just how big of a commercial success the movie is. Nobody is expecting the first anthology film in the Star Wars universe to be as massive a success as The Force Awakens was last year, but the box office draw could shape the future model for Lucasfilm when it comes to the Star Wars spinoff/standalone films.
If all goes well for Rogue One, it will serve as just the beginning of non-Episode films set within the Star Wars cinematic universe. Plans have already been announced for a young Han Solo movie starring Alden Ehrenreich, possibly with a young Lando Calrissian along for the ride. It is up to Rogue One, and Star Wars fans in general, to prove that the world wants more out of this universe beyond the main Episodes.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.