It feels like just yesterday that we were all getting hyped for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but here we are a year later with the release of another new Star Wars movie on our hands. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of many planned Star Wars spin-offs and will be the first live-action entry in the franchise that’s not part of the Saga films (Episodes I – VII).
Star Wars fans are already chomping at the bit to see how the Rebels came to be in possession of the Death Star plans that Princess Leia hands off to R2-D2 at the beginning of the 1977 film that started it all, but the average viewer might be a bit confused by the fact that they’ve been seeing trailers over the last few months filled with a bunch of characters that were nowhere to be found in The Force Awakens. Fortunately, we’ve assembled a primer of sorts to get you up to speed on what you need to know going into Rogue One (don’t worry, there’s not much in the way of SPOILERS here, given that we haven’t actually seen the movie yet).
It’s The First of Many Planned ‘Anthology’ Films
In addition to the new episodic trilogy that kicked off last year with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney and Lucasfilm are also developing a series of what they’re referring to as ‘Anthology’ films — spin-offs set within the larger Star Wars universe. Rogue One is the first of many planned Anthology films, with the next being a young Han Solo picture starring Alden Ehrenreich in the title role and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian.
Lucasfilm was also reportedly working on a Boba Fett spin-off, but it was recently revealed that they pulled back on announcing the film last year, so it’s unclear whether or not that film is still in development. Either way, we will be getting a new Anthology film every two years until the well runs dry, with the Han Solo spin-off set to arrive in 2018 and the next film hitting theaters sometime in 2020.