‘Star Wars’ Spin-Off To Be Directed By ‘Godzilla’ Director Gareth Edwards For 2016

By  · Published on May 23rd, 2014

Lucasfilm Ltd.

First he made Monsters, then he made Godzilla, so the next logical step is for Gareth Edwards to make a movie about the Rancor creature from Return of the Jedi. Or should he instead give us the origin story of the Sarlacc or maybe the Space Slug from The Empire Strikes Back? The news that Edwards will direct a stand-alone Star Wars spin-off movie has to be about him tackling one of those. The guy doesn’t do movies that don’t involve monsters.

Okay, so his venture into a galaxy far, far away will likely involve a more popular character than any of those giants, but I bet we will at least see some kind of monsters in the movie, whether this will be the young Han Solo adventures or a Boba Fett movie or something that more directly spins off from next year’s Star Wars sequel. According to Lucasfilm, the installment from Edwards already has a release date of December 16, 2016. That’s almost exactly twelve months to the day after the release of Episode VII.

Joining Edwards is screenwriter Gary Whitta, who last gave us the disappointing outer space adventure After Earth, which was directed by M. Night Shyamalan. You may remember that that movie also was based around a giant monster. Are we sure this new Star Wars movie won’t be a monster movie? The origin story of the Acklay from Attack of the Clones, maybe? No, let’s say that Edwards is set on delivering his biggest creature yet. That means a movie set on Alderaan before its destruction by the Death Star. Yeah, let’s get a look at the great thranta!

Both Edwards and Whitta made statements about this news, offering their cred as fans, which should appease the Star Wars geeks out there.

Edwards said, “Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm.”

And here’s Whitta’s bit: “From the moment I first saw the original movie as a wide-eyed kid, Star Wars has been the single most profound inspiration to my imagination and to my career as a writer. It is deeply special to me, so to be given the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing legacy, especially in collaboration with a filmmaker as talented as Gareth, is literally a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself.”

Whitta also previously wrote The Book of Eli, a post-apocalypse movie directed by the Hughes brothers, as well as some video games including two based on The Walking Dead. Edwards is more of a shooting star, having made his super-indie Monsters on his computer only four years ago. That should give hope to other young fans out there like Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed), who we once thought was on board for Episode VII, and Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who told us that he wants to make a Star Wars movie before he dies.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.