We've seen a flurry of updates in the Star Wars universe of late, with the biggest reveal being the official title of director Gareth Edwards' standalone entry: Star Wars: Rogue One. We've also heard rumors of a live-action TV show being in development and that Episode VII - The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams is the frontrunner to direct Star Wars: Episode IX.
All of these developments underscore the same thing: that Disney and Lucasfilm are making good on their intention to keep the Star Wars brand alive and well, releasing one movie per year for the foreseeable future. Looper writer/director Rian Johnson's Episode VIII follows Rogue One in 2017, with Fantastic Four helmer Josh Trank's standalone entry presumably following the year after.
Yes, the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney has rejuvenated the Star Wars brand for a new generation - and this year's Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, CA is sure to be an exciting exploration of what has come before... and where the franchise is heading. Taking place from April 16 - 19, 2015, the events include art shows, screenings (Revenge of the Sith in 3D) and celebrity panels.
According to Star Wars.com, two intriguing names are showing up on Sunday, April 19th: directors Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank will appear together for a panel to "share their experiences as the newest members of the Lucasfilm creative family" and discuss the the conceptions of their standalone films.
Fans will no doubt be cautiously optimistic that the directors will share some kind of studio-sanctioned revelations, but there's no guarantee of this. Still, beyond the title Rogue One, a confirmed star (Felicity Jones) and secondhand descriptions of concept art, we still don't know much about Gareth Edwards' entry. Meanwhile, nothing official has been revealed about Josh Trank's Star Wars spinoff just yet.
The rumored plot of original Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta's script - a plan to steal the original Death Star plans - has so far been neither confirmed or denied. Even current writer Chris Weitz has managed to avoid sharing details of any kind, but the subtitle is a clear hint that the Rebel Alliance's elite Rogue Squadron pilots will take center stage.
With zero details on Trank's standalone (which has been rumored to be a Han Solo movie) available or likely forthcoming, expect Disney to take the opportunity to focus more on Force Awakens and Rogue One. Bear in mind, though: the studio has made a deal with Paramount to not promote Edwards' movie this summer, while the latter builds hype for the similarly titled Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation arriving in July.
As for the much-awaited second Force Awakens trailer? Well, the 2015 Star Wars Celebration might just end being the event during which that preview is released...
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Star Wars: Rogue One on December 16th, 2016, and Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017. Josh Trank's Star Wars spinoff film will presumably reach theaters by 2018.
Source: Star Wars.com
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Artwork by BarbarianFactory @ DeviantArt