Star Wars fans were blown away last week when Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced during Disney’s Investor Day a litany of Star Wars projects currently in development. While most projects focused solely on premiering on the Disney+ platform, the true surprise came when Kennedy announced that Star Wars: Rogue Squadron would be the next movie in the Star Wars theatrical adventures and that Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins will helm the project.
Making Star Wars History
Kennedy’s announcement is notable for a couple of reasons. First, this will be the very first Star Wars movie that employs a female director. We say movie because Disney and Lucasfilms already enjoyed creating more opportunities for women having Victoria Mahoney serve as the second unit director on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Deborah Chow directing an episode of the highly regarded Disney+ series The Mandalorian and will also see Chow take charge in the limited series Obi-Wan, and Bryce Dallas-Howard having directed two extremely well-received episodes of The Mandalorian.
Secondly, it is just a shock to many that Disney is jumping back into the Star Wars feature film business so soon after the horror that was their final Star Wars trilogy. In fact, they had even said at the time of the divisive final three films that taking a break from future Star Wars films would be the best move. Producers, and even Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, called it Star Wars fatigue. “I’m not gonna tell them how to run their business, but is there a possibility of ‘Star Wars fatigue’? Yeah, I think there is. I’ve experienced it, to a certain degree. But they never listen to my ideas anyway, so who needs ‘em?” Hamill said this on The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast. It happens when you produce crappy movies that have no semblance of The Force.
Why Patty Jenkins Is The Perfect Director
As for Jenkins, she decided to share her announcement of Rogue Squadron as any director would. Through film. She posted her announcement on her Twitter page, giving all the reasons why taking on Rogue Squadron was deeply personal to her.
“It’s been a lifelong dream as a filmmaker to one day make a great fighter pilot film,” Jenkins said on Twitter. “As the daughter of a great fighter pilot myself, some of the best memories of my life are of seeing my father’s squadron take off in their F4s every morning, and hearing and feeling the awe-inspiring power and grace. When he passed away in service to this country it ignited a burning desire to one day channel all of those emotions into one great film. When the perfect story arrived in combination with another true love of mine, the incomparable world of Star Wars, I knew I’d finally found my next film. I’m extremely honored and excited to take it on, and grateful to Lucasfilm, Disney, and the fans for extending that thrill to me.” You can see the entire video below.
What Is Rogue Squadron About?
Not much is known about Star Wars: Rogue Squadron other than the little teases Jenkins has tossed around. “We’re doing something original with great influence from the games and the books,” Jenkins said to IGN. “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.” So, now we know the new movie won’t be an adaptation of the video games. We now also know the script is currently being written, though Jenkins won’t share by whom at this particular moment.
She told Collider, “I want him to have his own proper announcement, so I’m going to wait until that comes out.” She also explained where the writer is at in the process of the script. “We’re very far into the — we’re finishing the treatment basically, which is pretty big. So it ends up being like where you’re fairly close to a well-along screenplay by the time I’m done with the treatment in my process. So yeah, we’ve been working on it for awhile. It’s going great. I’m super excited about it. I’m super excited about the story.” Obviously, if Jenkins or Kennedy aren’t giving away who has been working on the script, then they definitely aren’t giving away which actors or actresses are being considered for the movie.
The History of Rogue Squadron
As for the history of Rogue Squadron, there is plenty, though when Kennedy announced the future fil, she made it a point to tell all at Investors Day that the movie will be introducing “a new generation of star fighters” and that it “will move us into a future era of the galaxy.” However, Star Wars aficionados know the name. Dark Horse Comics was the first to invoke it when they published Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron back in 1995 when they created the series. A year later would see Rogue Squadron move over to novelization, with Michael A. Stackpole penning both. Stackpole’s Squadron centered around Wedge Antilles and who, if you recall, was a background character in the original Star Wars trilogy. The comics and novels dealt with Antilles and the X-Wing Squadron he commanded.
The popularity of the comics and novels led developers to release the video game Star Wars: Rogue Squadron in 1998. Its eventual success earned the title two sequels, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader and Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike. Fans loved these games and praised them for the attention to detail given to the X-Wing, A-Wing, and Y-Wing spaceships as well as their arcade-style of gameplay and action.
When Is Rogue Squadron Coming Out?
At the moment, the plan is to have Star Wars: Rogue Squadron ready for a Christmas 2023 release. This is going to make Jenkins one busy lady. She has been out promoting Wonder Woman 1984, which will see a simultaneous release in both movie theaters and HBO Max. After that Jenkins has a Cleopatra project she has been working on with her Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot. Then she has Rouge Squadron.
With a full plate, Jenkins told Collider taking time on her projects is key but developing others as she moves along is definitely possible. “You can never do it in one year. You could never do a good ‘Star Wars’ movie in one year or a good ‘Cleopatra’ in one year. I think each of those movies takes two years probably. But I do think, as I even learned on the two ‘Wonder Woman’s, I already had sold a limited TV series [‘I Am the Night’] that I was in love with when they decided to move the ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ release date up. So suddenly it was happening on top of each other. And I was actually able to write a huge treatment and have a bunch of creative meetings and go off and do my show while pre-production was happening for ‘Wonder Woman 1984.’ So there is a lot of ways. Certainly, until I’m on set shooting ‘Star Wars,’ I could be developing all sorts of other things and pushing them forward. It’s actually possible. So, I think that’s apparently how people do multiple things at one time, which I’m usually pretty singularly focused, but I’m getting better at this all the time.”
Let’s hope that Jenkins can strike the right balance with her projects. After what J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson did to the legacy of Luke Skywalker and company in the last trilogy, nothing but Jenkins’ best is what long-suffering Star Wars fans deserve. May the Force be with her.