It's hard to pay attention to any other Star Wars movie when The Force Awakens is so near on the horizon, but Disney is trying its best. Today we're getting our first photo (full size) from the set of Rogue One. The movie, set for release on December 16th, 2016, will be the first in a series of "Anthology" films that explore different parts of the Star Wars universe from the core trilogies. Godzilla's Gareth Edwards is directing the film, and Disney is announcing today that shooting is already underway.
Lucasfilm previously announced that Rogue One would take place just before the events of Episode IV: A New Hope. The movie will center around the Rebels' mission to steal the plans to the Death Star. Star Wars fans will remember that Princess Leia already has the plans in her possession at the beginning of Episode IV.
The photo shows star Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) and some scruffy-looking rebels including Diego Luna (Killing Them Softly) and Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen. There are some parts to ships hanging around for good measure — perhaps they're getting ready to take on the Empire.
In a statement, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says that "Rogue One ... will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe." She adds, "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."