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First image of 'Star Wars: Rogue One' resistance fighters

First image of 'Star Wars: Rogue One' resistance fighters
Riz Ahmed, left, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen in the first image released for "Star Wars: Rogue One" (Jonathan Olley / Lucasfilm)

The resistance is on.

Lucasfilm revealed a first look at "Star Wars: Rogue One's" cast of resistance fighters during Disney's live-action movie presentation at the D23 Expo on Saturday. The announcement included news that the film has begun principal photography.

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Led by actress Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything"), the rest of the announced "Rogue One" cast includes Diego Luna ("Milk"), Ben Mendelsohn ("Bloodline"), Donnie Yen ("Ip Man"), Jiang Wen ("Let the Bullets Fly"), Forest Whitaker ("Lee Daniels' The Butler"), Mads Mikkelsen ("Casino Royale"), Alan Tudyk ("Con Man") -- who will play a performance-capture character in the film -- and Riz Ahmed ("Nightcrawler").

FULL COVERAGE: D23 EXPO

The first of the announced "Star Wars" standalone films, "Rogue One" tells the story of resistance fighters who have banded together to steal the plans for the infamous Death Star.

"'Rogue One' takes place before the events of 'Star Wars: A New Hope' and will be a departure from the saga films," said Lucasfilm President and "Rogue One" producer Kathleen Kennedy in a statement. "It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential 'Star Wars' feel that fans have come to know."

The film, directed by Gareth Edwards ("Godzilla") is set for a Dec. 16, 2016 release.

Twitter: @tracycbrown

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