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The next chapter of the Star Wars saga on the big screen has finally been given a name.
During Thursday’s Walt Disney Company investor day event, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced Rogue Squadron, a new Star Wars film to be directed by Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins.
While Kennedy described the upcoming movie as introducing “a new generation of star fighters,” adding that the movie “will move us into a future era of the galaxy,” the title alone is something that evokes significant markers from Star Wars’ past.
The Rogue Squadron title has been used since 1995, when Dark Horse Comics published the first Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron series, creating a brand that would a year later spread to prose novels, with the release of Star Wars: X-Wing — Rogue Squadron. Both comics and prose series were created and written by Michael A. Stackpole and featured the adventures of Wedge Antilles, a background character from the original trilogy of movies, and the X-Wing squadron he commanded.
In 1998, the first video game bearing the title Star Wars: Rogue Squadron was released, becoming successful enough — selling more than a million copies in a year — to earn two sequels, 2001’s Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader and 2003’s Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike. Unlike the earlier prose and comics projects, however, the video game Rogue Squadron was predominantly set during the original movie trilogy, as opposed to its aftermath.
Of course, when using the title Rogue Squadron now, it should be noted that the most obvious project evoked now is 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, another movie that introduced a new generation of star fighters — albeit none who made it out of their story alive.
The connection might be a useful one, given the ways in which Rogue One used pre-existing iconography and concepts to build a new cast and new story, providing a potential model for this first Star Wars movie post-Skywalker Saga. Could Patty Jenkins be planning something similar? The answer lies a long, long time away — well, three years or so, at least; Star Wars: Rogue Squadron will be released Christmas 2023.
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