Some of this is spoiler-ish, but not really. There’s no “death of a major character”-level clanger in the following text. Read on, if you’re game…
We’ve now lived with The Force Awakens for just over a month. Ordinarily, we’d be talking about preparations for the next film, with a script yet to be written. Not anymore. Now we have a new film on the horizon, set for release in 11 months: Rogue One has already wrapped principal photography, and it’s now it’s in its post-production phase.
So, as we already know, the film tells the story of the “Rebel spies” who stole the plans to the first Death Star. Written by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth) and Chris Weitz (About a Boy, Cinderella) and based on a story by ILM Chief Creative Officer John Knoll, it’s now come out that Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) did a further polish on the script early in shooting, working on the script for two weeks. It seems that Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm is doing everything in her power to ensure a quality script.
That may be a sign of trouble, of course—McQuarrie did similar work on World War Z, and that still ended up with a tepid reception. But at worst, we may be looking at a mid-tier entry on the level of Revenge of the Sith—we won’t be seeing another Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones anytime soon.
In a way, though, Rogue One may actually be the prequel everyone hoped for: Vader on the hunt while the good guys try and stay one step ahead. Not only is James Earl Jones back as the voice of the Dark Lord of the Sith, but sculptor Brian Muir, the man who transformed Ralph McQuarrie’s Vader designs into the costume as seen in A New Hope, is back and has been involved in an attempt to faithfully recreate the costume.
Rumour has it that the story centres around Galen (Mads Mikkelsen), an Imperial scientist who has helped to perfect the Geonosian Death Star plans. When Galen defects, his daughter (Felicity Jones) joins “resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star”. My guess is that Vader shows up in Act III, determined to retrieve the plans himself.
Excited? You should be. Everyone’s now waiting for Episode VIII, but Rogue One (as well as Rebels) should be more than enough to tide us over until then.