During its recent “Investor Day,” Disney announced a metric butt ton of new titles and offerings for its various properties (e.g., Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar). The Star Wars-specific announcements included new series for Lando Calrissian and Ahsoka Tano. The news that got me most excited, though, was the reveal that the next Star Wars movie will be Rogue Squadron, and it will be directed by Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins.
According to the official announcement, Rogue Squadron “will introduce a new generation of starfighter pilots as they earn their wings and risk their lives in a boundary-pushing, high-speed thrill-ride, and move the saga into the future era of the galaxy.”
If you’re not up on your Star Wars lore, Rogue Squadron is an elite group of fighter pilots formed by Luke Skywalker out of the ashes of Red Squadron, which played major roles in some of the Rebellion’s greatest victories (like the Death Star’s destruction). Rogue Squadron inspired several comic and novel series as well as one of the most popular Star Wars video games of all time. (Most of the squadron’s exploits were detailed in the Expanded Universe, and are therefore not considered Star Wars canon. However, select Expanded Universe elements have slowly made their way into canonicity in recent years, like Admiral Thrawn’s appearance in Star Wars Rebels.)
The above announcement video makes it clear that Rogue Squadron is more than just a mere paycheck opportunity for Jenkins. Her father was a decorated fighter pilot, and the thrill that she experienced as a child from watching his squadron fly ultimately ignited a desire to create, in her words, “the greatest fighter pilot movie of all time.”
That personal desire, paired with Jenkins’ ability to blend big screen spectacle with solid character work — as evidenced by Wonder Woman — has me very excited to see what she’ll do with the adventures and exploits of Wedge Antilles, Biggs Darklighter, et al. Furthermore, it’s nice to see that future Star Wars movies appear to be moving away from the Skywalker clan’s trials and tribulations, and instead, focusing on the bigger galaxy.
Rogue Squadron will be released on Christmas 2023. No other details (e.g., cast, crew) have been announced yet.