When Disney first outlined its bold vision for the future of the Star Wars franchise, the Mouse House essentially established two creative avenues. First, there are the core, episodic releases – VII, VIII and IX, so far – that are designed to expand upon the series legacy in new and exiting ways, while the anthology movies represent a platform that effectively fosters a need for experimentation.
Take Rogue One as an example. Gareth Edwards’ imminent actioner is designed from the ground up to be a standalone experience, one that will soon take a largely throwaway line from A New Hope – “Rebel spies manage to steal plans to the Death Star” – and craft a different kind of prequel story. And make no mistake, this is very much a self-contained prequel. With zero chance of a sequel, both Lucasfilm and Disney continue to stress that there will be no Rogue Two, and during Friday’s panel, Lucasfilm head honcho reaffirmed that the likes of Jyn Esro (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) won’t be appearing in any future Star Wars films.
Per The Playlist: “This is devastating to everyone [in the cast],” Kennedy joked. “Wait a second! We don’t know yet, it’s a conversation we haven’t had!” Diego Luna cried jokingly.
Kennedy went on to elaborate on the studio’s approach to the Star Wars anthology movies, and how part of their innate charm is how they offer storytellers the chance to tell a complete story without feeling the need to stretch out the narrative over two or three movies.
“When we came up with these ideas to do these stand-alone movies, what’s liberating in many ways is the notion that we can come up with these stories inside the ‘Star Wars’ universe that really have a beginning, middle and end. And they stand truly on their own and this [movie] does.”
As a result, it’s nigh on certain that we won’t be revisiting the world Gareth Edwards and Co. have created in any capacity. Perhaps that’s for the best, though, and at least based on early reactions, Rogue One is shaping up to be an unmissable experience.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will finally make its bow on December 16 here in the States.