It’s official! Star Wars: Rogue One, the first of the newly minted A Star Wars Story series, has begun filming. Director Gareth Edwards, who directed last year’s Godzilla, is helming the film set just before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. The film follows a group of rebels who go against The Empire to steal plans for the Death Star. Those same plans are the ones that help the Rebels destroy the Death Star in A New Hope.
With the film moving before cameras, Lucasfilm brought the film to D23, to give us the first image from the film, as well as a full cast list. In addition to the already announced Felicity Jones, Star Wars: Rogue One has added the likes of Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk, while also confirming that Ben Mendelsohn and Forest Whitaker had officially joined the film.
Here’s a look at the first photo of the film:
Lucasfilm announced the new cast and photo on their official Star Wars website as well in a press release:
The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, nominated for an Academy Award for her leading role in The Theory of Everything; Diego Luna, who was featured in 2008’s Oscar-winning Milk and 2013’s Elysium; Ben Mendelsohn, recently nominated for an Emmy for his leading role in Bloodline and co-starring in the upcoming Mississippi Grind; Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and martial artist who starred in Ip Man and Blade II; Jiang Wen, who co-wrote, produced , directed and starred in the award-winning Let the Bullets Fly and Devils on the Doorstep; Forest Whitaker, recently featured in the critically-acclaimed Lee Daniels’ The Butler and winner of an Academy Award for his leading role in 2006’s The Last King of Scotland; Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in The Hunt and was the memorable villain from 2006’s Casino Royale; Alan Tudyk, who plays a performance-capture character in Rogue One, stars in the soon-to-be-released Con Man series and Trumbo, which releases this November; and Riz Ahmed, who was recently featured in Nightcrawler and starred in the BAFTA-winning film Four Lions.
I honestly didn’t think that I could be more excited for Star Wars: Rogue One, but this cast is even more amazing than I imagined it would be. Edwards is hugely talented, and to be telling this vital story to the Star Wars universe, in which we so no Jedi or Sith, just a war between the Rebels and Empire, has me hugely excited. It’ll be very interesting to see who these actors are portraying, and I’m very much looking forward to learning more about it over the next year.
Star Wars: Rogue One will be released on December 16, 2016
Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.” – from the opening crawl of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope