“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” hits theaters on Friday, and given that the franchise is in Disney’s hands — the same company behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe — fans are no doubt wondering if there will be post-credits scenes teasing upcoming sequels and spinoffs.
After all, the new era of Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars” stories aim to deepen fans’ understanding of the galaxy far, far away and expand the universe that started growing in 2015 when J.J. Abram’s “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” hit theaters. “Episode VIII” is set for theaters in 2017, followed by “Episode IX” in 2019. Spinoffs in the pipeline include a young Han Solo movie and a Boba Fett movie.
So will the franchise’s faithful fans get a glimpse or tease of any of these upcoming adventures at the end of “Rogue One”?
Don’t hold your breath. TheWrap has learned that viewers should not expect a Marvel-style bonus scene after the credits start rolling in the new standalone “Star Wars” story, directed by Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”), that runs for over two hours.
“Rogue One” stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Set between the prequel and original trilogies, it follows Jones as Jyn Erso and a band of unlikely rebels thrown together by circumstance, who find themselves faced with the impossible task of finding the architect of the Death Star, the ultimate weapon of the Galactic Empire, and stealing the plans.
When Lucasfilm president and “Star Wars” producer Kathleen Kennedy first sat down with George Lucas, he outlined plans to continue with the “Star Wars” saga and to make Episodes VII, VII, and IX. Then he revealed another ambition: “George was excited, not only about doing more Saga films, but also about the potential of doing standalone stories that lived and breathed insde the “Star Wars” universe,” Kennedy explained.
“The ‘Star Wars’ episodes (I-VII) follow the Skywalker family and tell a continuing story. The standalone movies, which can occur anyplace on the timeline, will introduce new characters and explore a wide variety of genres,” Kennedy added.
When it came to finding the right story to lead off the series of spinoffs, Kennedy found it in her backyard. As luck would have it, one person who had been secretly harboring an idea of his own was ILM chief creative officer and senior visual effects supervisor John Knoll. Having been at ILM nearly 30 years and as a visual effects supervisor on several of the “Star Wars” saga films — “The Phanthom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” and “Revenge of the Sith” — Knoll is almost unequalled in his knowledge and passion for the films.
Who were these rebel spies and how did they manage to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon? Armed with these simple questions, Knoll began to formulate an idea based on the events. And then the opportunity came to take his story idea one step further.
“I’d known Kathy for about 20 years,” said Knoll, “but it was quite a unique experience to go up to the office of the president of Lucasfilm and pitch a story idea. I did about a seven-page treatment and went up to the office and pitched it to Kathy and Kiri Hart (SVP, development). I thought at least I’d done the pitch so I wouldn’t always wonder ‘what if.'”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens in theaters on Dec. 16.