Star Wars: Rogue One Will Be About Stealing the Death Star Plans

While the release of the new The Force Awakens trailer dominated Star Wars Celebration, it wasn’t the only news to come out of the annual fan festival. Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy and Rogue One director Gareth Edwards took to the stage to tease details about the first upcoming Star Wars standalone film.

Kennedy explained that these “anthology” films—another will be directed by Fantastic Four’s Josh Trank—are meant to explore what’s happening in the rest of the Star Wars universe while the main players for good and evil are fighting in the old and new trilogies. To that end, Rogue One will center on a raid to steal the original Death Star plans.

Here’s the official description for the film:

A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans and bring new hope to the galaxy.

Wookieepedia has an entire entry devoted to the history of the Death Star plans, spanning from the prequels to A New Hope. (Rogue One takes place after Revenge of the Sith.) While much of this has likely been moved to the non-canonical “Star Wars Legends” category, it would be interesting to see if Edwards and screenwriter Chris Weitz pull from any of the Rebel missions detailed there—one of which involves young smuggler Han Solo forced into helping the Rebel cause.

So far, they’re in the early stages of development. Screenwriter Gary Whitta contributed a first draft (and the title) before leaving the project; Industrial Light & Magic’s John Knoll came up with the original idea. What fans at the panel did get to see, however, was a teaser, which Entertainment Weekly describes:

The footage rolls, and we hear Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi: “For more than a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.”

The visual is a lush, rocky planet, with bird-like creatures flying over a valley, as the point of view lifts to see a TIE Fighter scream overhead. There’s the crescent of a dim moon in the blue sky above. Except…

That’s no moon.

As the camera rises above the treeline we see the laser disc of the original Death Star looming over the planet.

The footage cuts to black over the sound of panicking pilot voices, screaming at each other over their intercoms.

Update: You can watch the teaser here!

And that’s all we know so far! Felicity Jones will, of course, play one of those courageous Rogue Squadron pilots. Rogue One comes to theaters December 16, 2016.

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