Closing out Star Wars: Celebration, Disney/Lucasfilm had one last surprise in store for fans, revealing new details for "Star Wars: Rogue One," the upcoming standalone movie directed by Gareth Edwards (of "Godzilla" fame). Joining the Sunday panel was Edwards, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, the Story Group's Kiri Hart and host Pablo Hidalgo.
Despite the lack of simulcast, the "Rogue One" presentation turned out to be a pretty huge one. In addition to screening a teaser for the film -- which hasn't even started shooting yet -- the panel also gave us insight into what the movie will actually be about, as well as what role star Felicity Jones will play in the movie.
Below are the eight big takeaways from the panel, via the liveblog on StarWars.com...
The "Star Wars" Spinoffs are Called "Anthology Films"
One of the more interesting announcements that came out of the panel was how non-"Episode" "Star Wars" movies (like "The Force Awakens") are now referred to as "Anthology films," rather than "spinoffs" or "standalones." This includes "Rogue One," which even has the word "Anthology" in its new logo. Hart also noted that these "Star Wars" installments will be more filmmaker-driven, stating, "This [is an] opportunity for us to tap into emergent directing talent out there and do some things that are unexpected."
The "Rogue One" Teaser Shows the Death Star
While production hasn't yet begun on "Rogue One," Edwards did bring a teaser to show fans and give them a sense of what the movie will be like. The footage shows a TIE Fighter soaring over a forest/jungle planet, as Obi-Wan Kenobi narrates the scene, talking about the Jedi and the Dark Times. Off in the distance, obscured by clouds, an ominous space station -- The Death Star -- comes into view. The image then cuts to a title card, with muffled Comlink chatter playing behind it. Be still our fangirl/boy hearts!
Official Plot Synopsis Revealed
After the teaser, Hidalgo offered up the official "Rogue One" logline, which was then echoed by the official "Star Wars" Twitter account moments later. We also learned that the film will take place between "Revenge of the Sith" and "A New Hope."
No Jedi to the Rescue
Hidalgo also noted that the Anthology films allowed them to tell stories that may not include Jedi characters. Going off the description, that very much seems to be the case with "Rogue One."
"Rogue One" Gets Into Some Murky Territory
"Good versus Evil" this movie is not -- so what is "Rogue One" exactly? "Real," Edwards replied. "This is a real place that we're really in... The thing that interests me about it, is 'Star Wars' was basically very black and white. Our movie is gray."
Felicity Jones Plays a Rebel Soldier
A few months ago, we learned that Felicity Jones ("The Amazing Spider-Man 2") would be the star of "Rogue One." Today, we found out that she will be playing a Rebel soldier in the film. Of course, this raises the question, does that mean Felicity's character will also be the titular "Rogue One"? Speculation abounds.
"Rogue One" was the OG "Star Wars" Pitch
ILM CCO John Knoll, who also came up with the idea for "Rogue One," joined the panel halfway through, and explained how he pitched the film to Kennedy and Hart. "I started thinking about which story would I like to see told?" Knoll said. "I informally pitched it around... One of the people I pitched it to was Pablo, and he was pretty enthusiastic about it as well... I made an appointment with Kathy and Kiri, pitched the 20-minute version of this, and got a pretty good response.”
Concept Art Unveiled
To close out the panel, Edwards and co. showed off a concept image, featuring Rebel soldiers charging into battle. Our response? Lock S-foils in attack position!
"Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One" hits theaters December 2016.