Director Gareth Edwards, who was tapped to direct a standalone Star Wars movie separate from the new sequel trilogy that is also in progress, has begun auditioning female leads. Among the hopefuls is Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany—and before you try and conflate the fact that she plays a series of clones on that show with Attack Of The Clones or The Clone Wars, just take a moment to reflect that any joke you could possibly make has been made already by someone else on the Internet. And most likely you will keep hearing that joke, either until the casting is resolved or until the end of time, depending on whether Maslany gets the part. Also in the running are The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s Rooney Mara and recent Oscar nominee Felicity Jones, although Jones has a possible scheduling conflict with Ron Howard’s Da Vinci Code sequel, Inferno.
What has yet to be revealed is what—or, more importantly, which Star Wars character—this standalone movie is actually about. Rumors abound that the first two standalone films currently in the works (the other from Chronicle’s Josh Trank) will focus on a young Han Solo and fan favorite Boba Fett, but Disney and Lucasfilm have kept details closely under wraps. Given that casting is focusing on a female lead, could we be getting Princess Leia: Full Metal Bikini? Or is it all a smokescreen for The Lando Before Time? The emotionally charged Salacious Crumb biopic the world has been crying out for? All that’s known is the film is set for a December 16, 2016 release date, so expect to hear something before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters at the end of this year.