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Star Wars: Rogue Squadron - What We Know So Far

Space battles have always been an integral part of the "Star Wars" universe. From the first time moviegoers saw Luke Skywalker hop into the pilot seat of an X-Wing in "A New Hope," the magic of seeing fighters whiz through the vacuum of space while dodging blaster fire has never gotten old. In those days, Luke sat proudly as a member of Red Group on a mission to destroy the first Death Star, and his victory became a hallmark moment in both the franchise's ever-extending lore and the real world.

However, most members of Red Group wouldn't make it to the end of that battle (Rest in Peace, Porkins), and from their ashes emerged a new team: Rogue Group, which first appeared in "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back." Later rebranded as "Rogue Squadron," it was more than a stand-in for the role Red Group once filled in the Rebel Fleet. Rogue Squadron would go on to become a brand all on its own. In the 1990s, the team served as inspiration for the classic flight game series, "Star Wars: Rogue Squadron" on the Nintendo 64 and its sequels. Now, Rogue Squadron is set tp be the title of a new "Star Wars" movie, directed by none other than Patty Jenkins ("Wonder Woman 1984")

Much is still unknown about the "Rogue Squadron" film. As always, however, that won't stop the legions of "Star Wars" fans from asking about its release date, cast, and plot. As such, it's important to go over what we know so far about the first major "Star Wars" picture following the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga.

Rogue Squadron enters attack formation come Christmas 2023

News on "Star Wars: Rogue Squadron" first broke in December 2020, when Disney announced the movie — along with a myriad of other upcoming projects — at its annual Investor's Day. Along with the film's December 22, 2023 release date (via Collider) Patty Jenkins was picked as director from the start. This decision was no doubt based on the success of her work directing the DC Universe's "Wonder Woman" film series.

While Jenkins was hard at work putting the final polish on the "Wonder Woman" sequel, however, she was also embarking on the early stages of "Rogue Squadron's" development. In July, 2021, Jenkins gave The Hollywood Reporter a brief update on her progress, saying that they were in the process of "finishing a script" and "crewing up" in preparation for filming.

Assuming all goes as planned, Jenkins' apparent work ethic shines an optimistic light on the film's Christmas 2023 release date. On top of that, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic did not seem to affect the film's existing production schedule in the same way as it did many other films. With that kind of resilience, it seems as if fans can expect to see the franchise's next cinematic entry to arrive perfectly on time.

Which pilots will fly in Rogue Squadron's skies?

As forthcoming Disney has been with "Rogue Squadron's" release date, the exact opposite can be said in regards to its cast. Disney has announced zero cast members, and it doesn't seem like that will change anytime soon. On top of that, it's unclear what characters the prospective cast would even be playing in this upcoming film. Disney hasn't given any real details at all yet, either. In short, when it comes to who'll be in this movie or when it takes place, we just don't know. But that doesn't mean we can't speculate wildly.

If, for instance, "Rogue Squadron" takes place during the war against the Empire, then fans might be incredibly disappointed if characters like Princess Leia, or Rogue Squadron co-founders Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles, don't make some appearance in the movie. Furthermore, the decision to include these characters opens entirely new avenues of questioning. How Disney chooses to portray some of the series' classic characters whose actors can no longer play the role (whether that be due to age or, unfortunately, death) will be a major factor in determining "Rogue Squadron's" critical success.

Rogue Squadron aims to pay homage to the art of aviation

While Disney hasn't given any specific plot details, the words of the film's esteemed director do point towards a central theme that the film might follow. The daughter of an Air Force pilot, Patty Jenkins looks to create the perfect pilot's film.

"When [my father] passed away in service to this country it ignited a burning desire to one day channel all of those emotions into one great film," Jenkins said in an article posted on the official Star Wars website. "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."

Some of the more studied "Star Wars" fans out there might find this approach exciting. "Star Wars" has always contained its fair share of World War II parallels, and its space battle sequences were no different. They took direct inspiration from the aerial war movies of the early Cold War era (via /Film). Having a director take inspiration from modern pilots and pilot films would serve as a fitting descendant to the Original Trilogy's source material. Whether it manages to live up to that reputation, however, is yet to be seen.