'Star Wars': Why Did Director Josh Trank Bail on Stand-Alone Panel?

Gareth Edwards and Trank were scheduled to appear at an event on the final day of Star Wars Celebration.
REX USA
Josh Trank

There's a new mystery in the galaxy far, far away. 

The final day of Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim was supposed to include a much-anticipated panel on the future of the Star Wars film franchise with stand-alone directors Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank detailing their movies set for release in 2016 and 2018.

But when the moderator, Pablo Hidalgo, took the stage Sunday morning, he had some bad news for the crowd: Trank would not be coming. The crowd expressed its disappointment with plenty of grumbling. 

"He woke up under the weather and sends his regards," Hidalgo told the audience. Trank himself tweeted after the panel that he had the flu and was "so, so, so sad to have missed today."

Trank's absence seems to have been a last-minute development because even the signage on the stage before the event promoted both Edwards and Trank "in conversation." There was no indication from any Disney or Lucasfilm official that Trank would not attend. 

Because of Trank's absence, there was no other mention of his stand-alone film, which still has no title, no cast attachments and no official logline. The project remains a mystery. Trank, who broke into Hollywood with his directorial debut Chronicle, was hired in June to helm one of the two announced Star Wars stand-alone films. 

In a strange coincidence, at the exact moment that Trank was MIA from the highly anticipated panel, a new trailer for his next film, Fox's Fantastic Four reboot, was released. The film, starring Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan, hits theaters Aug. 7. 

But the panel, which also featured Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and head of development Kiri Hart, revealed plenty of new information on Edwards' stand-alone project, Star Wars: Rogue One, which is set for release in December 2016. Edwards debuted concept art and a concept sizzle reel, plus an official logline for the project, which centers on a group of Rebels who attempt to steal the plans for the Death Star. 

Harrison Ford was set to take part in a Star Wars event on Thursday but was still recovering from his plane accident and was unable to attend. 

Disney had no further comment on Trank's absence. His tweet is below.

April 19 at 2:14 p.m. Updated with Trank's tweet.

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