Rogue One: A Star Wars Story tells the story of a group of rebel fighters on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
The film, out on Thursday (December 15), is the first in a series of on-screen adventures exploring stories outside the core Star Wars saga.
It is set before the first part of the original series, Episode IV: A New Hope.
Speaking about the film, Disney chairman/CEO Bob Iger said recently: “Rogue One is about a band of rebels plotting to steal the plans to the Death Star. It takes place right before George Lucas’ first film, which came out in 1977 and is now called ‘The New Hope’.
He added: “We have others in the works, including one, which is an origin story about Han Solo and Chewy. And that’ll come after Star Wars VIII in 2018. And then there will be more thereafter.”
Rogue One had its US premiere at the weekend, and the critical consensus is that the force is strong with this one.
Here are five things you need to know about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ...
1. Where, when
Rogue One hits UK cinemas on Thursday. There won’t be a multiplex in the land that’s not showing this one all day long, and while you will need to buy tickets in advance if you want to see it early, it is likely to stay in cinemas for months.
2. There’s more to come
Rogue One is but the first in a what is known as the ‘Star Wars Anthology’ series, with others films in the series expected to focus on Han Solo, Chewbacca and Boba Fett.
3. The cast
The likes of Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill have nothing to do with it - but the cast is impressive all the same, with the likes of Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donny Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whittaker and Ben Mendelsohn all on board.
Rogue One is the first not to feature Obi-Wan Kenobi in any form. So there’s no place for Ewan McGregor, who took over the role from original the Obi-Wan, the late, great Sir Alec Guinness, in the prequel films.
5. No sequel
The film’s director and producer, Gareth Edwards and Kathleen Kennedy respectively, have both said in interviews that there will be no sequel to Rogue One - which hardcore fans already knew, seeing as we already have that sequel… it’s called Star Wars: A New Hope, and it came out in 1977.