Saturday at Disney's D23 Expo was highlighted by the "Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios" presentation, which featured lots of big Star Wars news -- including major updates to "Star Wars: Rogue One," the first planned "standalone" Star Wars film set in continuity, but outside the storyline of the three trilogies.
Much of the main cast of "Rogue One" was revealed at D23 -- while Felicity Jones was long known to be on board and other including Diego Luna and Forest Whitaker had long been reported to be involved, the following are all official for the film: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk and Riz Ahmed.
The first cast photo was also revealed:
"'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," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. "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.'"
Noticeably, the "Rogue One" logo doesn't have the "Anthology" branding, introduced in April at Star Wars Celebration as the name for the Star Wars spinoff films. Rather, it reads "A Star Wars Story."
Directed by Gareth Edwards, "Star Wars: Rogue One" is scheduled for release on Dec. 16, 2016.