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The Star Wars Stand-alone Movie Will Be Called Rogue One, But What Will It Be About?

Disney CEO Bob Iger was a real Chatty Cathy earlier today at an annual shareholders meeting. He announced the release date of not one but two more Star Wars movies and gave into inevitability by confirming Frozen 2 is in the works with the same directors and Josh Gad returning. So, the parents of the world have that to look forward to, possibly filling them with a mix of relief (Finally, my kids will want to watch something other than Frozen) and dread (I don’t know if I can go through this again).

It was at a similar shareholders meeting that Iger first announced the studio’s plans to have one new Star Wars movie out every year through 2019, with the installments of a new trilogy falling in 2015, 2017, and 2019 and two standalone titles/spin-offs dropping in 2016 and 2018. J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens kicks all of this off this December, and then he hands it off to Looper’s Rian Johnson, who will write and direct Episode VIII for a May 26, 2017 release, one day removed from the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars. In-between those two will come Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones and due out December 16, 2016.

Here’s a handy-dandy bullet list to help you keep it straight:

  • The Force Awakens due December 18, 2015
  • Rogue One due December 16, 2016
  • Episode VIII due May 26, 2017

At one point, it was widely speculated that the standalone movies would be showcases for some of the iconic characters, like maybe a Han Solo prequel or something about Boba Fett. Then a rumor arrived that one of the movies would actually be about a collection of mercenaries tasked by the leaders of the rebellion to steal the plans for the Death Star during the original trilogy. Now, we know the first one of these is going to be called Rogue One. Huh. What the heck does that mean?

Yeah, no idea, but as per usual BadAssDigest has a theory:

In the Expanded Universe novels the “Red Squadron” of the movies is known as “Rogue Squadron,” led by Wedge Antilles and tasked with all sorts of elite missions. They appear in books, comics and video games, but only get mentioned sort of off-handedly in The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke is referred to as “Rogue Leader” during the Battle of Hoth. If this is a movie about the X-Wing squadron, and if it has Wedge Antilles and all those dudes show up, it’ll be a big victory for those who have been hoping to see the Expanded Universe folded into the new canon.

But if the early rumors are true – that it’s a movie about a group of pirates/bounty hunters (aka, rogues) who end up stealing the Death Star plans, it could get a very different reaction. Maybe the movie will establish that this group begins the “Rogue Squadron” designation? Still, the title Rogue One really, really, really sounds like the callsign for the leader of Rogue Squadron. In fact Wedge Antilles, who is almost always Rogue Leader in the Expanded Universe stuff, once used the title Rogue One – in Shadows of the Empire, the book that takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and whose current canonicity I do not know. It was, at the time of release, promoted as the canon story of the missing years between those films, but that could have all changed with the recent sweep of continuity when Disney bought Lucasfilm.

Found at

He’s right that all of that could be totally irrelevant considering that Disney has drawn a line in the sand and erased all of those pre-Disney Star Wars novels out of continuity, although there’s nothing stopping them from using any of those for inspiration. Maybe we’ll get some hint of Rogue One in the 20 canonical novels Disney is going to release in the build-up to Force Awakens.

Overall, I feel like I should be more critical of all of this, pointing back to the Ghostbusters article I wrote a couple of days ago where I included James Gunn’s quote about Hollywood rushing too fast with its new expanded universes and not allowing a base film to actually justify the existence of any follow-ups. After all, Rogue One is scheduled to start filming this summer meaning there’s going to be no turning back for them if The Force Awakens turns out to be more Phantom Menace than New Hope when it arrives later this year. But that Force Awakens teaser trailer does look really good, the tie-in animated series Star Wars: Rebel Force was a worthy successor to Clone Wars, and I love everything Rian Johnson has done to this point and appreciate a lot of what Gareth Edwards did with his Godzilla movie last year. Plus, Kathleen Kennedy is producing all of this, and have you seen how many amazing, modern classic movies she’s produced?

What do you think of the potential plots for Rogue One? Are you part of the Wedge adoration society? Do you still not even know who that is? Or are you just excited about Felicity Jones potentially getting to do a female-led Star Wars movie? Is 3 Stars Wars in 3 years too much?  Are you echoing The Who and pointing to the prequel trilogy as evidence for your shouts about why you won’t get fooled again?  Or do you just want to make a joke about how you can’t wait forward for the inevitable sequel called Rogue Two?

Source: BadAssDigest

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  1. I would rather they release more substantial information than merely a title. It’s actually a little infuriating what they have done.

    My main thought is “Please don’t f#@k this up!” Please don’t revisit the same things again and again, specifically Tatooine has been in 5 of the 6 live action films, *a* Death Star has appeared in 3 of those films. I kind of like the idea of a bunch of rogues but can we get away from the Death Star? It’s meant to be a big big galaxy. To throw in a quote from a different but also great franchise: “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” I think the idea of having a team of lovable rogues is very marketable like how Disney/Marvey have done well with Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.

    I like Wedge but never read or played any of the Rogue Squadron books and games. I do think it’s a bit weird they are not going for one of the household names. Maybe they feel they need more time and rewrites before delving in the Boba/Han backstory? I wish Chewbacca got his own movie entirely spoken in Wookiee – no humans.

    “Or are you just excited about Felicity Jones potentially getting to do a female-led Star Wars movie?”


    “Is 3 Stars Wars in 3 years too much?”

    Not really.

    “Are you echoing The Who and pointing to the prequel trilogy as evidence for your shouts about why you won’t get fooled again?”

    The prequels were a complicated thing. I blame Lucas mainly for that. He had too much power for his own good and it corrupted him. The cynic in me says that he surrounded himself with “yes men” such as Rick McCallum and old ILMers such as Ben Burt were made happy by given upward mobility within the organisation.
    After watching so many behind-the-scenes DVD/Blu-Ray extras of shows such as “Breaking Bad”, you really get the feeling that all those writers stuck in a room together really refined their work more than a single mind could.

    “Or do you just want to make a joke about how you can’t wait forward for the inevitable sequel called Rogue Two?”

    Groan. I hated how they had “21 Jump Street”, “22 Jump Street” and “Oceans 11”, “Oceans 12″… “Oceans” too many.

    1. Felicity Jones was just nominated for an Oscar for playing Stephen Hawking’s wife in The Theory of Everything. Prior to that, she had played Felicia Hardy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. At this point, she’s the only confirmed cast member for Rogue One. Prior rumors had Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul also being up for a role. Here’s a profile of Jones:

      The odd thing is that we’ve known about Rian Johnson and Gareth Edwards being attached to Star Wars movies for dang near 10 months now and Felicity Jones landing the role of the lead in the first standalone entry for at least a month, yet so many articles about yesterday’s Star Wars news indicate that this was technically the first time any of that had been confirmed by Disney. So, that’s a big indication of the kind of secrecy we’re working with here, and even if the rumors about Rogue One are true Disney isn’t likely to comment one way or another for a long ass time.

      I agree with Devin of BadAssDigest that something called Rogue One really does sound like the call sign for the leader of a collection of spaceships. If that will be a collection of mercenaries I kind of dig it. At one point, there were those who were worried that we might be getting too many of these mercenary team-up movies with Suicide Squad, Sinister Six, and now Rogue One all due out in 2016. However, now Sinister Six is dead, and we still don’t technically know what Rogue One will actually be about. Ultimately I’m trying my best to not to get too far ahead of anything and just focus on The Force Awakens, which similarly has a ton of rumors which may not add up to anything.

      “The prequels were a complicated thing. I blame Lucas mainly for that.”

      I was just reading Tom Shone’s book “Blockbuster: How Hollywood Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Summer” the other day, and in the chapter about the prequel trilogy he talks about how a lot of the ILM employees of the time were described as young enough that they grew up on the original trilogy and were very conflicted about working on the prequel trilogy. Whenever any one of them or a senior staff member would point out things like, “It doesn’t make sense for R2-D2 and C-3PIO to be in this” or “Why is the technology so much more advanced here than it was in the original films” or whatever, Lucas always had some answer which mostly came down to, “Don’t worry – I have all of this figured out.” At this point, Lucas has truly become the Gene Roddenberry of Star Wars, with the prequel trilogy being his version of The Motion Picture, i.e., the thing that really tested everyone’s faith in the unquestioned master. Of course, the Star Trek films got so much better when Roddenberry was pushed aside in favor of Harve Bennett and Nicholas Meyer, and now Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams could do the same for Star Wars.

  2. Side note: It’s a nitpick but I think the graphic’s text is wrong. The Death Star II attack didn’t require a trench run attack. Once the shields had gone down, the Rebels could fly straight into the super-structure to seek out the reactor to destroy.

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