Later this year the first stand-alone film to bear the Star Wars name will hit theaters, and this weekend new information about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was revealed at Star Wars Celebration Europe in London.

Since the closing of the three-day all things Star Wars festival tons of new information about Rogue One, Star Wars Episode VIII and DisneyXD's Star Wars Rebels TV series were revealed.

For starters, one of the big stories coming out of London is that the forthcoming film may not include the saga's signature opening crawl.

During a panel on Friday, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said that producers of the film, along with director Gareth Edwards, were currently in discussions over whether or not to include the opening set-up -- and that goes for all of the upcoming stand-alone stories, including the confirmed Han Solo origin film.

"You know, we're in the midst of talking about it, but I don't think these films will have an opening crawl," she told ET Online at the event. "I think that's what we kind of telegraphed at the beginning of the event today."

"There's this feeling that if we did a crawl, then it'll create another movie. And so the honest answer is you'll have to wait and see," Edwards said.

Felicity Jones as Jyn ErsoLucasfilm

That's not really a bad thing though, as the opening crawl from the very first Star Wars film back in 1977 pretty much reveals the plot of the entire film:

It is a period of civil war.
Rebel spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil Galactic Empire.

During the battle, Rebel
spies managed to steal secret
plans to the Empire's
ultimate weapon, the DEATH
STAR, an armored space
station with enough power
to destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire's
sinister agents, Princess
Leia races home aboard her
starship, custodian of the
stolen plans that can save her
people and restore
freedom to the galaxy....

Rogue One takes place just before the events of that first film, dubbed Episode IV: A New Hope after its original release in 1977, and tells the story mentioned above -- that of how the Rebel Alliance stole the plans for the Death Star.

The film won't be the first to exclude the famous opening crawl though, 2008's animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which served as the lead-in for the Cartoon Network series of the same name that debuted later that year, was also released without an opening crawl.

Rogue One: A Star Wars story hits theaters on December 16.

Other stories from Celebration Europe include the return of fan favorite character Grand Admiral Thrawn, who first appeared in Timothy Zahn's 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, which launched the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

The character fell victim to Disney's reclassification of what was included in the Star Wars canon following the announcement of The Force Awakens, but the series is bringing back the Imperial military commander, who will play a major part in the third season of the series.

Also announced was that actor Alden Ehrenreich will play a young Han Solo in the other confirmed Star Wars one-off film, the as-yet-untitled Han Solo origin movie. Ehrenreich was the very first to auditon for the role and won out over about 3,000 other aspiring young stars.


While everyone is digesting all of that, they may have forgotten about another film on the horizon: Star Wars Episode VIII, but not to worry, there was plenty of Ep. 8 news to go around, along with a few mild spoilers.

Director Rian Johnson revealed that the film is set to take place immediately after The Force Awakens, and by immediately he means that filming started right on Skellig Michael island in Ireland, where Rey (Daisy Ridley) hands Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) his old lightsaber. It marks the first time a Star Wars film will start "right where the alst one left off," Johnson said.

Carrie Fisher (Princess/General Leia Organa) also revealed that the film will include a funeral scene for Han Solo (Harrison Ford), a small point she let slip when asked by panel moderator and fellow Star Wars star Warwick Davis if she knew what happened between the two characters between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

"Han's Funeral," she blurted out, according to geekfeed.

"The old one, oh," she corrected herself. "Han and I have a very, very volatile relationship, obviously, which leads to space divorce as you know. No, I don't think we are divorced - just estranged."

"We also had a child who turned out to be Hitler," she added.