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‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Release Date and Spin-off Title Announced

George Huertas ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

On Thursday at Disney’s annual shareholders meeting in San Francisco, CEO Bob Iger made several important announcements regarding the status of the Star Wars franchise. Firstly, the release date of Star Wars: Episode VIII: May 25, 2017. That’s forty years and a day to the release of the first Star Wars film. Helmed by Rian Johnson, the director behind such critical hits as Looper and Brick, Episode VIII will be the first installment of the Disney-owned Star Wars films to be released during summer.

The next Star Wars film to be released after Episode VII is Gareth Edwards’ spin-off film now titled Star Wars: Rogue One. Felicity Jones will be playing the lead role, and current details on Chris Weitz’s screenplay (reworked from Gary Whitta’s draft) are being kept under lock and key.

An X-Wing featured in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer Photo Credit: Disney
An X-Wing featured in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer.   Photo Credit: Disney

That being said, the title of Rogue One harkens back to Luke Skywalker’s squadron in The Empire Strikes Back. The possibilities for Star Wars spin-offs are endless, but a likely storyline could be one about an X-Wing squadron.

With this dearth of strong female protagonists, a female-led Star Wars film could be a great boon to representation. And, as the first live-action Star Wars film to not be a part of a trilogy, time will tell to see how well it does. Because how well could a Star Wars film really do?

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