Amongst all our many, many questions about Star Wars spin-off Rogue One (which released its first trailer yesterday), one is pretty fundamental – why exactly is it called Rogue One at all? Wouldn’t “The Great Death Star Caper: A Star Wars Story” be more accurate and clear?
Luckily for us, one Star Wars fan might have the solution – and it all goes back to an X-Wing-themed comic book from the 90s.
Said comic was called Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (you may have noticed the connection here) and was based on the exploits of a daring band of X-Wing pilots led by flying ace Wedge Antilles and Luke Skywalker himself following the destruction of the Death Star (but before the events of 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke and the squadron fought in the Battle of Hoth in their only on-screen appearance).
The concept proved so popular that the comic ended up having an extended run and both novel and video game spin-offs, and remains fondly remembered by Star Wars fans to this day.
When the first Star Wars anthology film’s title was announced as Rogue One, many assumed the plot would reflect the Rogue Squadron series.
As it turned out that wasn’t the case. The film instead follows the group of rebels who stole the plans for the first Death Star a few years before Rogue Squadron was set.
But one Star Wars fan has still pointed out there could be a connection between the two stories.
Writing on the Star Wars subreddit, Sanguiluna points out that we never actually found out why Wedge and Luke named their team Rogue Squadron, and that the pair might have been inspired by the heroics of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her team enough to honour them by taking the “Rogue” prefix (assuming that Rogue One is some kind of codename used by Jones’ character in the upcoming film).
To quote the post: “Given that the squadron was formed from the remnants of the pilots who destroyed the Death Star, maybe they used the Rogue name to honour the memory of the soldiers who stole the plans, making it possible for them to destroy the Death Star in the first place.”
In other words, the film’s title was sort of reverse-engineered from the X-Wing pilots in a fun way to link the different time periods together, while also making the heroes of the new film sound like cool Han Solo-types.
Personally, we have a few suspicions that this theory might not turn out to be watertight. Under the new Star Wars canon the Rogue Squadron stories are now deemed “Legends” (ie they didn’t really happen), and it might be that director Gareth Edwards and his team just thought “Rogue” sounded kinda cool – but to be honest, we can’t imagine the film or anyone else going out of their way to disprove such a harmless bit of fan fun.
Unless of course Gareth Edwards REALLY meant to make a French-influenced film called Rouge One, but was too embarrassed to change it once he realised his mistake in the early documents. It happens to the best of us.
Rogue One: A Star Wars story will be released on 16th December