Disney is ready to take the Star Wars franchise back to the big screen with a new original film directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) called Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. The film is slated to be released in 2023 and will be the first film that Disney has developed in the series/world/universe since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019.
It is no secret that Disney has put a lot of attention into the smaller screen when it comes to Star Wars. After the huge success the studio had with The Mandalorian, The Bad Batch and The Clone Wars, Disney decided to switch gears and focus on developing more original series for their platform such as The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor, The Acolyte, Ashoka and more to come. This caused the movie to be put on hold for a few years in an effort to focus on larger scale movies. Since this film will not be released until 2023, they have plenty of time to start new story lines as well as end or at least fill in some holes from other well known films.
With Disney and anyone associated with them keeping details sealed tighter than the plans to Death Star (bad example), we really don't know much about this new project. We have done some digging and put together everything we know have so far. So let's dive right in and see what we can expect from Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.
Who is writing Rogue Squadron?
A 2023 Star Wars film was originally set to be written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, however, Benioff and Weiss exited the project in October 2019. Nobody knows if it was Rogue Squadron, or if the movie is part of the untitled film series which was set to be from Benioff and Weiss. During a promotional interview in December 2020 to discuss who had already been hired for Rogue Squadron it was also said that Benioff had been working on the film's story treatment "for awhile," and that the treatment was nearly finished.
Rumors were put to bed in June when it was revealed that Matthew Robinson is doing the writing for director Patty Jenkins' Rogue Squadron. Regardless, it appears that the screenwriting is moving in the right direction.
Is Rogue Squadron a video game adaption?
If you are familiar with Star Wars than you are no stranger to the Rogue Squadron video Games. When Rogue Squadron was released in early December 1998, the title's Nintendo 64 incarnation was the second-highest-selling video game for the first half of the month. In the United States Rogue Squadron sold 584,337 units and earned $29.3 million in revenue by the end of 1998. This made it the ninth-best-selling Nintendo 64 release of the year. That is not even the total sales for the PC.
The games are true classics when it comes to Star Wars gamers and fans. These games also spawned two sequels, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader and Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, as well as the spin-off Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron was one of the many Star Wars announcements revealed during Disney Investor Day 2020 and since then, many have speculated that this movie would pull its material from those video games. However that is not the case, as Jenkins says that her film will feature an original story. But the movie will give honor to everything that we love from the Rogue Squadron game franchise that came before it. Director Patty Jenkins had this to say,
"There's a lot of things being acknowledged and understood about the greatness of all of those things, but yes, it's an original story and I'm so psyched to do it. We're doing something original with great influence from the games and the books. There's a lot of things being acknowledged and understood about the greatness of all of those things, but yes, it's an original story and I'm so psyched to do it."
Is the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron script finished?
In May 2021 Jenkins confirmed that the script is almost done and that they have a lot of material to work with. Staying true to the Star Wars world is a huge focus while adding something new and fresh for the audience.
Patty Jenkins commented, "we're finishing a script, crewing up, and it's all going wonderful. I'm so excited about the story and excited that we're the next chapter of Star Wars, which is such a responsibility and such an opportunity to really start some new things."
What is the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron story about?
Patty Jenkins also feels confident that she has creative control or at least mostly has creative control as far as the story and characters for this new story. So what is this new story about? The story will introduce a new generation of starfighter pilots as they earn their wings and risk their lives which will move the saga into the future era of the galaxy. That's about it - we don't know where this movie falls in the Star Wars timeline or if any of the major characters will make an appearance.
We also know that this movie will indeed be a fighter pilot movie. Patty Jenkins, the director talks about the desire that she's had, for years, to make an epic, exciting, fighter pilot movie. So it looks like Rogue Squadron will not feel like a traditional Star Wars movie as we have known them but more like a war movie.
Who is in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron?
One of the bigger questions that we would all like to know is, who has been cast officially so far? Of course Disney, Patty Jenkins and anyone involved is keeping that buried very deep in the Sarlacc pit. Have no fear though, we do have a few names that have been added to this project.
Matthew Robinson was reported to have joined the crew of Rogue Squadron as a writer. Robinson is known for his work on the movie The Invention of Lying, Dora The Explorer, Love and Monsters and Little Shop of Horrors (the remake). Another name that has been added to the list is Aline Bonetto. Bonetto is currently listed as production designer. Not much to go on but at least we have some names and faces.
For now, this is the news we have besides rumors. But with this being a new story and a new film, they can really take it in many different directions and introduce a lot of new characters. And with the focus of moving the franchise into the future, we could see this film take take place at a later time in Star Wars history despite what everyone is guessing. Ultimately, I doubt we will see much more until it gets closer to release or a teaser comes out. Which means we are once again left into the world of speculation and to ponder what might happen. Here are some of the biggest questions we still have running around in our mind.
Will Star Wars: Rogue Squadron connect to other Star Wars Disney+ shows?
Disney has been working hard since launching their streaming service on November 19th 2019. Reclaiming the rights to their movies and TV shows as well as producing original content is and has been the focus. Of course Star Wars is one that remains a pillar for the company. With The Mandalorian working on Season 3 and several other shows coming out soon, the question remains..."Is this movie following the same time line?"
So far the new Disney+ shows take place after Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens. With this being about the jet fighters who took on the Death Star and the rebels who flew those jets, it's possible that this takes place before the fall of the empire. However it is following new fighters and a new story, since we don't have much knowledge of what happened after the Empire fell and how the First Order gained power, it could connect to the shows or at least in the timeline.
Another question would be if this movie will pull characters from the shows or be the tie in for a premier? We know that the Obi Wan Kenobi series is set to be released in 2022 along with Andor which is before the release of this film. So far though we do not have an official release date for Ahsoka but it looks like it could be already 2022 or even early 2023. So it is possible that the movie could have some sort of connection.
The focus from Disney is telling the stories that have not been told yet as well as connecting the dots in the Star Wars lore. Introducing and developing new characters while holding on to what makes the universe original is a tricky thing to do. After the backlash that the recent trilogy faced, getting the stories right is key. Bringing in Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker as well as others is great if it makes sense but we have to move on from them or at least finish the story. It was done perfectly in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and introduced brand new characters while giving us more of the ones we love or hated. So it can be done. We also know that they are not afraid to bring back the dead or characters we thought were dead anyways. Just look at Emperor Palpatine, even Han Solo came back as a ghost, vision or something. Could we also see another appearance from Luke Skywalker, or maybe The Mandalorian himself?
No matter what happens or where this film lands in the world of Star Wars, we will be viewing something very different and action packed. The possibilities are endless and we still have plenty of material to dive into or see on the big screen. Novels, comic books and video games have been around since the 80's. Not to mention any original ideas they have just laying around the office.
I personally like the idea of a jet fighter war movie. Besides the obvious reasons like awesome looking space battles and seeing the X-Wings in action again. I think that it would be great to see some new missions executed on the big screen. It also gives us the opening to bring some of the Clone Wars or Rebels characters into live action form. Even now I want to sit back and re-watch those series again to try and figure out who could be in any new future projects. Which is probably what I am going to do.
All of this is a lot to process but at least we have a bunch of great new material and stories to look forward to and write about. In the meantime, though, we should pay attention to the next series that is on the horizon from Disney. The Book of Boba Fett is coming to Disney+ sometime in December 2021. We know this takes place the same time as The Mandalorian. We don't know, however, what the series will be about and where it will lead. Clearly, we have to have an answer as to how he survived and what he has been doing since that fatal day on Tatooine. The fall out from this show could also pave the way for this upcoming film as well as several other shows. Or it could take us in another direction completely. Even though Fett is on the "light side" or was when we last saw him, he lived his life as a bounty hunter and saw his dad get beheaded by a Jedi. Will those feelings come back again? Could he go after the Jedi or anyone that helps him? Or maybe he will be one that helps the new fighters on a future mission?
What do you think about the upcoming film? Are you confident in the idea or concept? Do you think that this film will pull more material from the video games than is currently being let on? Post your theories, comments, and wishes. Or maybe post your fears as fans. As always we will keep you up to date on this film and any news we get regarding future Star Wars projects. Don't forget, May The Force Be With You.