The first stand-alone Star Wars movie will be called Rogue One, and it's coming to theaters Dec. 16, 2016. That's the word from Disney Chairman Bob Iger, who made the announcement at a shareholders meeting.
The film will star Felicity Jones, most famous for her Academy Award-nominated performance in The Theory of Everything, and it's the first of several planned Star Wars films that explore "the characters and events beyond the Star Wars saga," a Disney statement said. The film will be directed by Gareth Edwards, who previously made Monsters and Godzilla, and written by Chris Weitz.
Iger also said that Rian Johnson, best known for Looper, will direct the eighth film in the series, which is set for release May 26, 2017, a day after the 40th anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars film. That film follows episode VII, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is due to be released in December.
Disney bought Lucasfilm In 2012 and said it would relaunch the successful franchise with a slew of new films. The Wall Street Journal has a useful guide on how to make sense of all the developments in the Star Wars universe.