Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spinoff isn’t getting the kind of press that J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is, but some recent news may win the movie additional fans. During Disney’s D23 Expo it was announced that Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen and Firefly/Serenity actor Alan Tudyk have joined the cast of Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. The full cast includes Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Jiang Wen, and Donnie Yen. IMDb tells us that the movie focuses on “rebels [who] set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.” The narrative is set before the events of the 1977 Star Wars film, but ventures into new territory. Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.
In other Star Wars news, Disney is opening two 14-acre Star Wars-themed lands — in Disneyland and Disney World, because no one wants an East vs. West coast brawl. “I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger at the D23 Expo yesterday. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”
And finally, a new poster designed by famed artist Drew Struzan was revealed for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (via Den of Geek). It features a shaggy-haired Harrison Ford that is sure to frighten children everywhere. J.J. Abrams’ film opens December 18.