|Source: Focus Features|
Variety have this week reported the supposed identity of the actress set to take on a leading role in the first of Walt Disney Pictures' upcoming standalone Star Wars motion pictures. Intended to accompany Episode VII, Episode VIII and Episode IX as new instalments in the Expanded Universe-cleansed official cinematic canon, the spin-off outing will nevertheless boast a narrative which doesn't require the audience to have seen this December's The Force Awakens in order to work out whether or not the droids presented on-screen are indeed the droids they're looking for.
With that clumsily-inserted yet admittedly irresistible pun out of the way, let's first make something abundantly clear: Variety's report (which can be accessed by clicking here) does not feature a direct quotation from any members of The Force Awakens' production team or Disney CEO Bob Iger and therefore cannot necessarily be considered genuine until such a time when the studio at the new-found helm of a galaxy far, far away have issued an official press release confirming the news. By all means grab a pinch of salt, pepper or whatever condiments are presently available, then, as we proclaim that if the website's Justin Kroll is to be believed, then Felicity Jones of Cemetery Junction, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Theory of Everything fame will lead the sure-to-be potent cast ensemble for next year's high-octane sci-fi yarn. After her frankly spellbinding portrayal of Jane Hawking in Theory, the world should surely be in little doubt regarding Jones' abilities, although as we say, it'd probably be worth everyone's time keeping their fingers crossed and holding off on the bunting until Disney gives the official go-ahead to pull out the party poppers, particularly as Orphan Black's Tatiana Moseley's acquisition of the lead star position here was thought to be a given just last week in certain sectors of the interwebs.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (the teaser trailer for which lies below) will leap out of hyperspace and into UK cinemas everywhere on December 18th, 2015, while the first standalone chapter in Disney's take on George Lucas' pseudo-operatic space-faring saga - which has been written by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz and will be directed by Godzilla's Gareth Edwards - will make its début on December 16th, 2016.