Star Wars Already Has The Perfect Rogue Squadron Movie Written

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Now that Patty Jenkins is back working on a Rogue Squadron movie, Star Wars fans have been buzzing with excited questions about what the plot will be and when the film will be set. As a longtime fan of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, however, I’m here to tell both Jenkins and the fandom that the perfect movie has already been written…sort of. If Jenkins really wants to deliver the kind of film fans have been waiting for, she needs to adapt the first Rogue Squadron novel by familiar franchise scribe Michael A. Stackpole.

The First Rogue Squadron Book

Stackpole’s first Rogue Squadron book came out way back in 1996. This was one year before the Special Editions of the Original Trilogy hit theaters and three years before George Lucas kicked off the prequels with The Phantom Menace. Just like today, fans were clamoring for a different kind of Star Wars story, and Stackpole hit the ground running with a novel so successful it spawned an entire X-Wing series of books.

Wedge Antilles Gets The Squadron Back Together

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What is the first Rogue Squadron novel about, though? It takes place in the early days of the New Republic, and legendary X-Wing pilot Wedge Antilles has decided to put the equally legendary Rogue Squadron back together. The new squadron has some familiar faces from his old days (like Tycho Celchu) and new faces like Corran Horn, a hotshot pilot whose personal enemy may threaten the survival of both the squadron and the fledgling republic they are worn to protect.

Why, then, do I think Patty Jenkins needs to adapt Stackpole’s first Rogue Squadron book for her film? For one thing, the new characters are great: Corran Horn feels like a fully-realized character right out of the gate, and he manages to smoothly embody the “cocky Corellian” archetype without biting Han Solo’s style. Squadron leader Wedge Antilles is equally fleshed out, feeling perfectly consistent with his onscreen portrayals but still capable of surprising readers with every turn of the page.

Villains That Can Rival Darth Vader

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The bad guys in this first Rogue Squadron book are equally compelling and, perhaps most importantly, feel different from other onscreen Star Wars villains. Horn’s nemesis is Kirtan Loor, whose photographic memory and amoral nature make him feel like a very unique flavor of Imperial Intelligence. His boss is Ysanna Isard, someone whose ambition makes her just as dangerous to her fellow Imperials as she is to the New Republic.

Star Wars Fans Want New Characters

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From a storytelling standpoint, I’d like to see this Rogue Squadron novel adapted to the big screen because it manages to balance being an origin story (what with introducing our new heroes and villains) and telling an exciting and original story filled with nail-biting action.

That may not sound like much, but consider this: the last Star Wars movie that almost everyone enjoyed was The Force Awakens, a film that relied on legacy characters and basically copied the first Star Wars film beat for beat. By adapting this classic novel, Jenkins can deliver a movie filled primarily with interesting new characters and innovative new storytelling, something Star Wars fans haven’t had for decades.

A Rogue Squadron Trilogy

Finally, if Jenkins adapts this first Rogue Squadron novel and the film ends up being a success, she can draw from the three direct sequels as well as the more comedic follow-up series Wraith Squadron. As the Sequel Trilogy got worse and worse, we Star Wars EU fans kept wondering why Disney didn’t bother adapting the comics and novels that the fandom already loved. Jenkins has the chance to finally give the EU its due in the Disney era, and adapting a book that was a hit with fans is a great way to keep the often-contentious fandom happy.

Our Only Hope

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Obviously, I have no idea if Patty Jenkins is likely to adapt the first Rogue Squadron novel, but I can only hope she seriously considers the literary house that Michael A. Stackpole built. These books sustained fans in the dark years between Star Wars films and focused on the regular soldiers of the Rebellion in a way that we never really saw before or since. 

At this point, I’m going to channel my inner Princess Leia and give the director a message from my heart on behalf of a fandom hungry for a decent film: “Help me, Patty Jenkins. You’re my only hope.”

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