If Lucasfilm has been a thriving hub of activity in recent years since the Disney acquisition, the studio is only set to ramp up production even more so moving forward as its rebooted Star Wars universe begins to take shape. Working in tandem with the House of Mouse, the likes of company president Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm CCO John Knoll remain heavily involved in the new franchise, and as revealed to Wired, it was Knoll who first pinpointed the pitch for upcoming standalone prequel, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
As ardent fans will tell you, the line “Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star” can be glimpsed in the famous opening crawl to Star Wars: A New Hope, released all the way back in 1977. After extrapolating the pitch, Knoll and Kennedy drafted in Godzilla helmer Gareth Edwards to take the reins of the galactic heist movie, and the rest is history.
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Due to launch in 2016, Rogue One represents the first chapter in the Anthology series, laying the groundwork for spinoff movies dedicated to Han Solo and another character or potentially an event from the franchise’s rich lore. It’s for this reason that, according to Kiri Hart of Lucasfilm Story Group, the studio is able to dabble in two separate timelines.
“In the case of ‘Rogue One,’ we’re essentially making a period piece. The benefit of making additional episodes that move forward on the timeline is that we are making new space for ourselves.”
How and ever, while Star Wars has a firm grip on the lion’s share of Lucasfilm’s output creatively and financially, there’s a certain roguish archaeologist called Indiana Jones that is on the verge of making a comeback. It’s been rumored for a long time, though now that Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford have each expressed their interest to have another crack at the whip, Kennedy has revealed that she’ll soon be joining them on reviving the dormant franchise.
“I’ve talked about it with everybody at Disney. Alan Horn, [chair of Walt Disney Studios] is very supportive of it,” she said of moving on to other properties. “But at the same time, he’s right when he says we’ve got a lot on our plate…And then I’ll be working with them on Indiana Jones.”
Kicking things off in almost a month’s time is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story following in swiftly behind on December 16, 2016.