As excitement continues to build for the release of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, fans of the galaxy far, far away have been given even more to get lively about with Forest Whitaker just announced as part of the cast of Star Wars Anthology: Rouge One.

Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker will appear in Star Wars spin-off Rogue One

The Star Wars spin off is due to arrive at the big screen at the end of 2016 and already has a stellar line-up that includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises).

Variety reported Whitaker as a new addition to Rogue One that is being directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla).

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Rogue One is set between the years of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and has been described as a darker take on the Star Wars universe.

The plot centres on a group of rebellious fighters and X-Wing pilots who come together to steal the plans for the Death Star which will lead to the Rebel Alliance being able to infiltrate it and destroy it during A New Hope.

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There has been no confirmation about where Whitaker will fit within the film but there is plenty of time for a lot of Star Wars speculation.