This year’s Star Wars: Celebration event is in full swing in London, and while a number of panels will cover a variety of Star Wars-related topics from the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII to the animated Star Wars: Rebels, there’s one project that’s receiving a tremendous amount of attention.
During the opening festivities, there was a huge celebration for the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie, a spin-off that tells the story of a brave team attempting to steal plans for the Empire’s mighty Death Star station. A panel featuring a majority of the film’s cast, including Felicity Jones, Diego Luna and Donnie Yen alongside director Gareth Edwards got fans excited by presenting a “celebration reel” that showcased behind-the-scenes footage.
Disney is sparing no expense at promoting Rogue One as one of its biggest holiday releases, considering that its last Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, made well over $935 million domestically and more than $2 billion worldwide. It also did remarkably well on home video, and Starz paid top dollar for the cable rights to the film, set to premiere on September 10.
The promotion for Rogue One isn’t just at Celebration. ABC will be airing a Star Wars-themed special, Secrets of the Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey, tonight, and the newest movie trailer is expected to debut right along with it. There are hints that this snippet will also reveal a popular villain in the Star Wars universe—the return of Darth Vader.
Disney hasn’t laid out all its promotional plans for Rogue One yet, but they’re likely to be along the same lines as The Force Awakens, with a number of promotional partners, toys and other products related to the film. EA is working on new add-on content for its hit game Star Wars: Battlefront, but hasn’t detailed how or if it’ll tie in with the film.
There’s still plenty of time for Disney to continue Rogue One‘s push leading up to its release. Given its strong reception at the Star Wars Celebration, the Force is certainly strong with this movie.
Star Wars: Rogue One hits theaters on December 16.