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Ben Mendelsohn revealed that he took his place front and center in the theater for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and managed to beam throughout because of just how spectacular it was. Speaking to Deadline, Mendelsohn glowingly described his experience watching the seventh instalment to the beloved series, saying:
I was in the audience for number seven and it was delightful. It exceeded my wildest hopes and dreams for what it might be. It's a beautiful film. So we've got something to reach for and that's a good thing.
Of course, it makes perfect sense why Ben Mendelsohn and everyone associated with Rogue One was relieved with the fact that The Force Awakens was not only well received, but is currently flourishing financially. If, somehow, J.J. Abrams’ film had failed then it would have put a huge amount or pressure on Rogue One. Sure, that pressure to match The Force Awakens is still there, but since it’s not a sequel, and is instead a spin-off, this weight is somewhat different. It’s also definitely not as intense as the expectations on director Rian Johnson to try and eclipse it with his Star Wars: Episode VIII .
Details regarding Rogue One are still at a minimum. All we know about the stand alone film is that it is set in the Star Wars universe, shortly before the events of 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope. It will focus on a group of Rebels are sent on a mission to acquire the plans for the Death Star, the Empire’s new weapon that has the ability to destroy planets with the press of a button.
Leading the way in this spin-off is the Academy Award-nominated Felicity Jones, who received accolades for her stirring performance in The Theory Of Everything. Jones will be joined by quite the cavalcade of acting talent, too, with the likes of Diego Luna (Y Tu Mama Tambien), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), and the always magnificent Ben Mendelsohn (Slow West). Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Forest Whitaker (The Last King Of Scotland), Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale), and Alan Tudyk (Serenity) will also join in the adventure.
Godzilla and Monster’s Gareth Edwards will direct from a script by Gary Whitta (The Book Of Eli) and Chris Weitz (About A Boy). All Star Wars: Rogue One will have to do to match The Force Awakens when it is release on December 16, 2016 is gross a few billion dollars. Good luck.