After a year of work on the project, writer Gary Whitta (‘Book of Eli,’ ‘After Earth’) has left the ‘Star Wars’ standalone project, presumably on amicable terms, as he is getting set to write a film adaptation of Mark Millar’s ‘Starlight.’ Even with the man leaving the project, his work on the first draft of the script will undoubtedly find its way into the final film, especially as the director, Gareth Edwards (‘Godzilla’) had nothing but kind words to say about Whitta:

“Gary has been a wonderful, inspired contributor and I enjoyed working with him tremendously. I’m so grateful for all of his contributions.”

In Whitta’s defense, stepping away at this point is not an unprecedented move. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ dealt with the same issue when writer Michael Arndt (‘Toy Story 3’) stepped away after a year of work, leaving JJ Abrams and Laurence Kasdan to finish the script themselves.  And in this case, Whitta has said that he truly enjoyed working on the ‘Star Wars’ script:

“The year I spent working with Lucasfilm on this Star Wars film has been by far the most rewarding period of my entire career. As a lifelong Star Wars fan I’m deeply grateful to have had the rare opportunity to contribute to a new chapter in its ongoing cinematic legacy. The film is going to be amazing.”

For those unaware of what the rumored storyline potentially will be for the spin-off, word is that it will be an integalactic heist story detailing a group of bounty hunters working together to steal the plans for the original Death Star, the very plans that Princess Leia is escaping with during the first scene of the original ‘Star Wars.’ The main character supposedly will be introduced within ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ and the spin-off film has a release date of December 16, 2016. Hopefully Edwards and the team will be able to find a new writer quickly to polish off the script and get the film ready by that deadline! Source: The HollywoodReporter