Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger revealed the news at a shareholders meeting in San Francisco this Thursday. Also announced was the release date of the next Star Wars big screen outing: 16th December 2017.
Rogue One will be the first spin-off movie and will placate fans while they await Star Wars Episode VIII, and will be directed by Godzilla director Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitz (Cinderalla, About a Boy). Little is known about the movie at this point, although it has been confirmed that Felicity Jones has been cast. Jones, 31, is perhaps best known for her recent role in 2014 hit The Theory of Everything.
It's fair to say that with the name Rogue One, the film is likely to feature Rogue Squadron, the rebel starfighter group first seen efending the rebel base on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. In the former expanded universe, Luke Skywalker lead Rogue Squadron after the events of A New Hope, and the fan favourite organization spawned it's own line of Star Wars novels, comics, and video games.
Rogue One will reportedly start filming in the UK in summer 2015.