The D23 Expo kicked off in Anaheim yesterday and whilst the animation panel was great, all eyes were on Disney's live-action presentation today. And, even though the film may still be over a year away, the first, official Star Wars: Rogue One image was released and the film's full cast lineup was revealed.

As we already knew, the recently Oscar-nominated Felicity Jones will be taking the lead for the spinoff film and she'll be joined by Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed and Diego Luna. However, as was revealed during the Star Wars segment of the presentation, they'll also be joined by Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen (who had both been rumoured but never officially confirmed, until now). That's not all though as it was also announced that Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk will also be starring in the project.

As far as the first official image for Rogue One goes, the shot (see below) features Jones, Ahmed, Luna, Wen and Yen - all who play resistance characters. It doesn't give away too much but it's still a cool image. It has a bit of dark, gritty tone to it and that's something we've not seen in the Star Wars films yet. The characters all look so badass and ready for action too, especially Felicity who I can't wait to see in this. A new logo for the film was also unveiled (see above), and it's worth noting the title change to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is different from the previous title of Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One that it was set to be. Honestly, does it really matter? It's Rogue One at the end of the day. That's all we need to know.

As far as the rest of the cast goes, Tudyk will be playing a motion-capture character and there were no details as to who Mikkelsen will play in the film. As we already know, Mendelsohn will portray the film's antagonist but who that will be remains to be seen. Although, since the story of this takes place between the events of Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars IV: A New Hope, it's rumoured that Darth Vader may have an appearance of some sort. The film will follow Rebel spies trying to steal the plans for the Death Star so seeing him get involved could be a very plausible idea.

With Gareth Edwards at the helm, and starring Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Alan Tudyk, Diego Luna, Jiang WenDonnie Yen and Mads MikkelsenRogue One: A Star Wars Story opens on December 16th, 2016.

Check out the image below:

And, here's the official press release from D23:
Resistance Fighters Unite to Steal Plans for Death Star
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (August 15, 2015)—Lucasfilm announced today that their first film in the new standalone Star Wars stories series, “Rogue One,” has begun principal photography. Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) is directing “Rogue One,” which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 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 the critically acclaimed “Killing Them Softly”; 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.”

“‘Rogue One’ takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe,” says Kathleen Kennedy. “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for ‘Rogue One.’”

Veteran ILM visual effects supervisor John Knoll, who shares a long history with the Star Wars movies, dating back to the mid-1990s, originated the idea for the movie. Allison Shearmur (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Cinderella”), John Knoll, Simon Emanuel (“The Dark Knight Rises,” “Fast & Furious 6”) and Jason McGatlin (“Tintin,” “War of the Worlds”) are executive producers. Kiri Hart and John Swartz (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) are co-producers.

To create the lived-in, realistic feel of “Rogue One,” Edwards chose Greig Fraser (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Foxcatcher”) to be his director of photography and Neil Corbould (“Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator,” “Saving Private Ryan”) to be his special effects supervisor.  Star Wars and Lucasfilm veteran Doug Chiang (“Star Wars: Episodes I-II,” “Forrest Gump”) and Neil Lamont (supervising art director for the “Harry Potter” series, “Edge of Tomorrow”) will be the production designers. Additional crew members will include stunt coordinator Rob Inch (“World War Z,” Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger”), creature effects supervisor Neal Scanlan (“Prometheus”) and co-costume designers Dave Crossman (costume supervisor for the “Harry Potter” series, “Saving Private Ryan”) and Glyn Dillon (costume concept artist for “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Jupiter Ascending”).

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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