'Rogue One' Plot Details: 6 Revelations From the 'Star Wars' Panel

by Ashley Crossan 6:20 PM PDT, April 20, 2015
Playing 'Rogue One' Plot Details: 6 Revelations From the 'Star Wars' Panel

Sunday marks the final day of geek paradise at 2015’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, Calif. -- and there’s no shortage of big announcements, surprises and excitement.

Director Gareth Edwards took the stage Sunday to talk about his newest venture, Rogue One, the first “anthology” Star Wars film – and much was revealed.

1. Rogue One Is Officially an “Anthology Film”: While we’ve been calling them “spinoff” and “standalone” films since the project was first revealed, Lucasfilm VP Kiri Hart says that the movies will officially be known as “anthology films.”

2. A Short Teaser Was Shown – Twice: Though it seemed unlikely there would be a trailer, given that the movie hasn’t even started filming, Edwards unveiled a short teaser for Rogue One. The teaser opens over a forested terrain with narration by Alec Guinness delivering the line, “For more than a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of justice and peace in the old republic. Before the dark times, before The Empire.” The sky is revealed to be largely eclipsed by what appears to be…wait, that’s no moon. It’s a space station! The teaser ends with panicked voices, communicating over radio frequency before breaking up. This small glimpse of the film was met with a standing ovation by the audience, and then was played once again for the cheering crowd.

3. The Plot: The plot has finally been revealed! Rogue One will center on a band of resistance fighters who “unite on a mission to steal the Death Star plans.” The film takes place in an era without Jedi, and is essentially a war film. On that subject, Edwards joked, “It’s called Star Wars.

WATCH: The 6 Greatest Moments From the 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Panel

4. The Timeline: Speaking of an era without Jedi – we finally know when the events of Rogue One will take place. Edwards tells us the film will take place after Episode III, leaning much closer to Episode IV.

5. Felicity Jones' Character Details: Until this morning, we only knew that The Theory of Everything’s Felicity Jones was cast in the film, and not much else. But, while we’re still without a character name, Edwards reveals that Jones will play a Rebel soldier.

6. Josh Trank's Absence: As the panel began, it was announced that Josh Trank, who is set to direct the second of the Star Wars anthology films, would not be in attendance because he was “feeling under the weather.” The announcement caused immediate suspicion and speculation on Trank’s status with the project. But he tweeted a few hours later, “Hey all. So, so, so sad to have missed today. Worst flu of my life. I heard it went beautifully with Gareth. Here’s to next year.”

May the force be with you, Trank.

Rogue One is set to begin filming Summer 2015 in the UK and “additional locations” to be revealed. The film is scheduled for release December 2016.

Josh Trank’s anthology film will be released in 2018.

ETonline Producer Ashley Crossan attended the Star Wars Celebration, live-blogging the panel and tweeting exciting moments from the convention.