Of the two Star Wars spinoff movies – now labeled as Anthology films -- Star Wars: Rogue One is the one that’s moving at a decent clip. Gareth Edwards is directing the film, with Felicity Jones in a pivotal role. Now we get word that Diego Luna has been added to the cast. But in what role?
Variety now reports that Luna, still best known for his breakout role in Y Tu Mama Tambien, has landed a "lead role" in the upcoming thriller, which will center on the extraction of the plans for the Death Star by rebel fighters. Retrieving those plans allows the rebel alliance to blow the Death Star to smithereens in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, so Edwards’ film will fall between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope on the saga’s timeline.
It’s interesting that Variety would use the word "lead with the casting of Diego Luna, because it’s starting to seem like Rogue One will have several leads. The word has been applied not only to Felicity Jones, but also to Riz Ahmed and Ben Mendelsohn, all of whom have been added to the growing ensemble in recent weeks. As the trade points out, though, Rogue One is expected to have a large ensemble of key players, and they use sprawling features like The Dirty Dozen or even Saving Private Ryan to give us an example of just how many recognizable faces we might see in the picture once it finally hits.
During Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, Gareth Edwards was able to show a very quick teaser video, to give fans an idea of the tone of the upcoming movie. It has since been taken offline, but it showed TIE fighters swarming over a forest planet, with the Death Star looming in the background. This movie will take place during an interesting tangent of the Star Wars mythos. It will still be a time of uncertainty for our heroes, as the Empire maintains a grip on the galaxy. I’m thinking that the members of Edwards’ team will fit that rag-tag label of antihero, but it’s early to tell what he will be going for just based on the casting.
The Star Wars Anthology films are stories that can exist outside of the Saga of the trilogies that have been told, and that will be told by directors like J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson. They can be standalone features that have indirect connections to the characters and events in the known Star Wars universe. But it also allows storytellers like Gareth Edwards to use characters who we might have known from previous Star Wars films... just in different scenarios. Case in point, the Anthology film that Josh Trank walked away from is reportedly going to be a Boba Fett story.
Diego Luna is a talented actor who has tried his hand at directing, as well. He’s the perfect age to have grown up a Star Wars geek. I wonder if we will hear more from him now that the casting is out. Star Wars: Rogue One will aim for a December 16, 2016 release date.