As Rogue One: A Star Wars Story nears its December release, buzz and build-up turns to simply counting the days, hours, and minutes. The majority of the marketing surrounding Rogue One, the first standalone Star Wars movie since Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilm, has already been released, which means that the rest of the movie's secrets won't be uncovered until it arrives in theaters.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will celebrate the one year anniversary of its U.S. release date at around the same time as Rogue One’s December 16 premiere in American theaters. Now we have confirmation that, just like the release of The Force Awakens, fans of Rogue One in the U.S. will have to wait a day longer to see the movie than their peers across the pond.
According to the Star Wars U.K. Twitter account (via ComicBook.com), Rogue One will premiere in U.K. theaters on December 15, 2016. This release date comes one day before the U.S. premiere on December 16, 2016, meaning Rogue One - and, therefore, movie spoilers - will be finding their way online less than 24 hours prior to the U.S. theatrical release. The tweet contains a GIF of the X-wing battle shown briefly in the latest Rogue One trailer.
— Star Wars UK (@StarWarsUK) October 23, 2016
The aforementioned release for The Force Awakens was done the same way, with U.K. audiences getting the first taste of J.J. Abrams’ revival of the dormant franchise and U.S. theaters getting the premiere a day later. Fans who actively avoided spoilers while anticipating The Force Awakens will need to do something similar when Rogue One hits theaters for the first time. The internet, particularly social media, will inevitably reveal information about Rogue One before its U.S. release that fans may otherwise want to avoid seeing, such as anything involving potential connections between Rogue One and The Force Awakens. It would behoove fans who want to go into Rogue One spoiler-free to unplug for a day or two before seeing the movie for the first time.
The only concern that the makers of Rogue One could possibly have with the movie getting an early release in the U.K. is if the general reaction to the movie is initially lukewarm or worse, but the Star Wars franchise is likely too big to have that much of an issue at the U.S. box office, even if the movie does not live up to the critical or commercial standard set by The Force Awakens. Most fans in the United States have already made up their minds on whether they’re seeing Rogue One; they’ll just have to wait a little bit longer than those in the U.K. before seeing it.
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.