Way back in February 2013, just a few months after Disney announced they had purchased LucasFilm for a whopping $4 billion, Disney's Bob Iger confirmed that there will be stand alone movies set within the Star Wars universe. That report essentially confirmed rumors that Han Solo and Boba Fett movies are in the works at LucasFilm, but the first of these stand alone adventures is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, set between A New Hope and Revenge of the Sith, following a team of Rebel soldiers trying to steal the plans for the first Death Star. When the title was first announced, most assumed it just tied into the Rebels' X-wing fighters, but today we have word from director Gareth Edwards that there is another meaning as well.
While Rogue One is most certainly set in the Star Wars universe, this will represent the first film that will stand alone from the established timeline, and is not part of the saga that now spans seven blockbuster movies. A few months ago, producer and LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy teased that they may not even use the iconic opening crawl for this movie, to differentiate it from the saga films, although she said at the time that a final decision had not been made yet. Director Gareth Edwards spoke with Empire, revealing that the title also reflects how different this movie is from the main saga.
"I'd been thinking about it. What does it mean? Rogue One is a military call sign to some extent. But this is the first film that's gone off-piste and is not part of the saga - or the Anakin story - so it's the 'rogue' one, you know?"
The story follows a group of unlikely heroes from the Rebel Alliance soldiers, who band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. This group is lead by Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso, who has been compared to Han Solo by many fans. Here's what the director had to say about that comparison, and how the title aligns with her character as well.
"It's kind of describing her as well in a similar way. It has [all] these split, multiple meanings that made it feel like the right choice."
When asked if the title could also describe himself, the director wouldn't be so bold as to make that comparison, but he did add that they, "tried to do different things, for sure." Lucasfilm debuted the second trailer for Rogue One last month, but it isn't clear when the next trailer will arrive. We'll be sure to keep you posted with more updates on Rogue One, as we get closer to the December 16 release date.