Is the First Star Wars Spin-Off a Heist Film?

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Fans will get their first taste of Disney’s Star Wars-verse when the Force Awakens trailer hits theaters this Friday, yet the folks at /Film have looked away to the future, to the horizon, to the spin-off film that Gareth Edwards is directing and Gary Whitta is writing for December 16, 2016 release, and the site claims to know the plot.

File this under rumor control, but the first Star Wars spin-off will purportedly be about a heist to steal the plans for the Death Star. Yep, THOSE plans, the ones keistered deep in R2-D2’s crevices during events of 1977’s A New Hope, the ones that eventually turn the tide for the rebellion… Except it won’t be rebels stealing them, it will be bounty hunters.

Even more intriguing than this heist picture concept–“The Empire Job,” if you will–is the detail that the leader of the thieves will be a major character in The Force Awakens, which could be Max von Sydow’s character if age factors into it at all.

Of course, any discussion of bounty hunters in the Star Wars universe immediately brings to mind thoughts of Boba Fett, everyone’s favorite piece of Sarlacc food, and the site goes on to speculate that Fett might be part of the heist crew. This goes sharply against what we’ve heard through the grapevine, which is that there IS a Boba Fett solo film (possibly written by Lawrence Kasdan) and it is most certainly NOT directed by Gareth Edwards.

That said, there is nothing stopping Lucasfilm from making Fett a lynchpin character in both or all three spin-offs, yet it doesn’t make too much sense for Darth Vader to hire the mandalorian in Empire Strikes Back if that’s the guy who stole the plans for the Death Star… unless Boba winds up betraying his fellow thieves in the spin-off? Tres confusing.

The article also mentions that the Millennium Falcon will be involved but Han Solo will not, which begs even more questions: Does Lando have the ship? How long before A New Hope does this story take place? If you remember the Death Star was just starting construction at the end of Revenge of the Sith, which means it took Vader and the Empire nearly twenty years to complete it… presumably with non-union labor.