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Gareth Edwards confirmed to direct 'Star Wars' spinoff film

May the force be with Gareth Edwards. On May 22 The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that one of the recently announced "Star Wars" spinoff films will be directed by filmmaker Gareth Edwards. The spinoff films were revealed around the same time as "Star Wars: Episode VII," when Disney acquired Lucasfilm Ltd. which owns the rights. The new film is scheduled for a worldwide theatrical release in December 2016.

Gareth Edwards
Gareth EdwardsPhoto by Ian Gavan/Getty Images

The news comes just easy after director J.J. Abrams revealed two lucky fans have the chance to win a role in "Star Wars: Episode VII," which he just began shooting in Abu Dhabi. There are several spinoff films in the works, and they are expected to expand the universe of characters more than the seven films in the franchise. Edwards will direct the first film in the sequence, but the plot of that film is being kept tight under wraps.

Gary Whitta, who wrote the script for the film "Book of Eli," has been chosen to write the screenplay along with Edwards. Whitta is also a prominent force in the video game industry and has also worked in journalism. The director is a self-proclaimed "Star Wars" geek, who as a child wanted to grow up and join the Rebel Alliance.

On May 22 Variety posted that there has been much speculation about what characters the spinoff films will focus on. The most popular choices include bounty hunter Boba Fett, who was introduced as a child in "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones," and became a bounty hunter after his father was killed in the Clone Wars. Another option is Jedi Master Yoda, who was already a master in the prequel films and taught Luke Skywalker the ways of the force.

The spinoff could also focus on Han Solo and tell his origin story from decorated pilot to smuggler or his life after the series ended. Luke Skywalker's story could also be expanded to include his Jedi Knight adventures away from Han and Leia. Disney is planning to make at least three spinoff films, so many of these characters could be included. The film is scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 16, 2016 which is a year after Episode VII.