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Rogue One is bucking a Star Wars tradition

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The stand-alone anthology film will look a little different

K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) and Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) Lucasfilm/Disney

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first stand-alone anthology movie that Lucasfilm is making, and it’s crucial to the future of the Star Wars franchise. In an attempt to keep it separate from the main series, however, one key component of past Star Wars films will be removed.

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Rogue One.]

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm president and CEO, said that it was “more than likely” that the opening crawl won’t make an appearance in the film. Other notable and traditional Star Wars elements, Kennedy added, would be pretty scarce in the stand-alone film as an effort to make it feel separate from the main trilogy.

“We feel that that is proprietary with the saga films,” Kennedy said. “But how this evolves …? We haven’t fully decided.”

Kennedy said that what Lucasfilm is hoping to gauge with Rogue One is how different the studio can get with Star Wars films. There will be quite a bit of effort spent watching the audience’s reaction, and if it’s overwhelmingly positive, the studio may order more stand-alone films down the road. If not, however, Kennedy said there are other avenues they’re interested in exploring. Still, the president has high hopes for Rogue One and the Han Solo movie set to be released in 2018.

“I have to honestly tell you, could we [do nothing but stand-alones]? Sure,” Kennedy said. “But I don’t know. We are looking at all of that.”

There are a few other movie ideas that Lucasfilm has been mulling over, but the studio is adamant that it wants to keep the stand-alone titles and main series completely separate. Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII is due out next year, while Colin Trevorrow’s Episode IX, the last movie in the new trilogy, will be released in 2019. Kennedy said what the studio does after that is still up in the air, but there’s still quite some time for executives to figure out the finer details.

Rogue One, which follows a group of Rebel fighters as they try to steal the plans to the Death Star, premieres on Dec. 16.