This past weekend at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, we finally learned the first loose story details for Gareth Edwards’ forthcoming film Star Wars: Rogue One. The first film in the Anthology series of Star Wars spinoffs, Rogue One will be a war movie that will tell the story of a small group of renegades stealing the plans to the Galactic Empire’s superweapon from the original film, the Death Star. Now, in addition to Felicity Jones and Ben Mendelsohn, we may know the first lead actor to join the cast.
According to Variety, actor Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Closed Circuit) is in top contention for the male lead in the forthcoming film. Jones is expected to play the female lead, while Mendelsohn is expected to portray the film’s villain. The primary setting of the film will be between the events of 2005’s Revenge of the Sith and 1977’s A New Hope, with the Death Star already well under construction — if not completed — by the time Rogue One takes place. In the closing moments of Revenge of the Sith, the newly christened Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine were overlooking the frame of the massive station being assembled, while A New Hope — set 19 years later — saw the station complete and fully operational.
The newsbreaking piece reports that Ahmed was among a group of actors that had met with Edwards in London while the director has been prepping the film. A screen test with Jones indicated a high level of chemistry between the two of them, which has reportedly set Ahmed apart from the other actors that had been tested.
Rogue One will be the second released Star Wars film from Disney after this December sees the release of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Episode VII in the main Star Wars saga that takes place roughly thirty years after the events of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Rogue One is currently slated for release in December of 2016. For more on the film as it takes shape, keep an eye on GeekNation!
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