When Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced the next Star Wars feature film — Patty Jenkins’s Rogue Squadron (2023) — at the 2020 Disney Investor Day event, we weren’t given many details about what to expect from the movie, other than the fact that Jenkins’s official Tweet about the Star Wars project featured a video of her at an airfield, teasing the starfighter pilots who will appear in her Star Wars movie.
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) December 10, 2020
The daughter of a fighter pilot father, Jenkins (Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 1984, I Am the Night) has said she wants her entry into the Star Wars story to be “the greatest fighter pilot movie of all time.”
Jenkins certainly has her work cut out for her, given the generally divisive nature of the Star Wars sequel trilogy — Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), and Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019). Now that the Skywalker Saga is over, however, Rogue Squadron has the ability to take the Star Wars franchise in an entirely new direction, and it seems as though that is exactly what Jenkins is planning to do.
She recently shared with The Hollywood Reporter:
“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. It’s really exciting in that way.”
The fact that Jenkins is looking forward to bringing “some new things” to the Star Wars universe is exciting for all fans of the iconic franchise, but should be of special interest to those who enjoy Star Wars Legends materials. It seems that Rogue Squadron — although not a direct interpretation of the 1998 Rogue Squadron video game and the novel series that began with “X-Wing: Rogue Squadron” — will draw heavy inspiration from these Expanded Universe projects.
The movie is likely to show a different side of the Rebel Alliance that doesn’t focus so heavily on Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford), like George Lucas’s original trilogy did.
The director previously told IGN:
“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.”
The 1998 Nintendo 64 Star Wars game, in particular, has a cult following. Wookieepedia shares these details about the plot:
The story is set between Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, beginning six months after the Battle of Yavin (with the exception of the final and secret levels), and shows the missions set during the formation of Rogue Squadron, led by Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles.
At this time, we don’t know when in the Star Wars timeline Rogue Squadron will fall, or if characters like Skywalker, Antilles (Denis Lawson), or even “Porky” Porkins (William Hootkins) will make appearances. However, given that Jenkins has acknowledged she won’t forget about these Legends stories, it seems likely that these iconic Star Wars characters won’t be left out of the screenplay completely.
Jenkins also shared more about her inspiration from the Star Wars EU with the Associated Press, noting:
“The Michael Stackpole books and the video games and all of the Rogue Squadron books, there’s an incredible history that’s really important to honor. And yet, it must be brought to a new age, because we have to tell a new story with it and so you’re trying to blend the best of everything and make it the great fighter-pilot movie…”
At this time, no casting details about Rogue Squadron have been confirmed, but screenwriter Matthew Robinson (The Invention of Lying, Love and Monsters) will oversee the script.
Are you excited to see more Legends stories potentially brought into the existing Star Wars canon?