Revelations about the premature nature of Lucasfilm’s movie announcements make their delay of Rogue Squadron even worse, albeit more understandable.
Rogue Squadron, which was supposed to be Disney’s next theatrical Star Wars release, was removed from the studio’s slate this year, yet new revelations about the project indicate that there was little to the movie’s development in the first place. After years of announcements attaching big names to take the franchise forward after the Skywalker Saga, not one theatrical Star Wars movie project has reached production let alone hit a release date. While the excuse of irreconcilable creative differences is usually offered up, the further delay of Patty Jenkins’s Rogue Squadron is especially disappointing after it was revealed that the project was announced before a story was even settled.
Hollywood insider Matthew Belloni claims Lucasfilm’s Rogue Squadron announcement was premature, occurring prior to a story being agreed upon. Lucasfilm’s preference for headlines over deliverables eventually resulted in a redress from former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, ceasing such hasty announcements. A lack of proper planning had also led to diminishing results in the sequel trilogy, but the revelation that Rogue Squadron was announced without even a premise in place goes a step beyond not having a trilogy mapped out. The movie’s potential as a big screen crowd pleaser and franchise innovator serves to exaggerate the missed opportunity from this botched announcement as Rogue Squadron‘s failure capstones Disney’s Star Wars problem.
Why Rogue Squadron’s Delay Is So Disappointing
Of all chances to move the Star Wars franchise into a new, more grounded war movie genre, Rogue Squadron easily showed the most promise. Building off the legacy of the namesake’s video game franchise, the film already had brand recognition and source material from which to draw inspiration. Moreover, the franchise has seen the role of true space combat diminished in recent outings, with the climactic act of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker being set with a battle in the atmosphere.
Elsewhere, incidentally containing several parallels to the Star Wars franchise and further demonstrating the demand for the property’s return to the big screen, the massive success of Top Gun: Maverick only raised the bar for Rogue Squadron. And in light of a growing appetite for watching X-wing and TIE fighter dogfights, Rogue Squadron’s delays are especially discouraging.
Andor Has Shown The Potential Of The Rogue Squadron Movie
With Andor, Star Wars has demonstrated a capability for telling political stories that center around the average people of the galaxy. From the various civilians on Ferrix, to the jockeying underlings of the Empire’s Imperial Security Bureau, the show never fails to highlight the personal struggles that make up the Galactic Civil War, heightening the tension of each conflict as the lack of name recognition among the characters obscures their ultimate role and fate in this ongoing mythology. Andor‘s politically charged backdrop allows for a ground-level approach to each character, which reinvigorates the common action set pieces, spaceship chases, and firefights, indicating the full potential of a Rogue Squadron movie.
While Star Wars continues to experiment with new story directions on the streaming front, Lucasfilm’s idling on the theatrical side has appeared as a missed opportunity. Of all the possible cancelations of announced projects, Rogue Squadron showed the most potential given a combination of current audience trends and the inherent popularity of this specific property. The continued delay of Rogue Squadron is then further disappointing given the success of new streaming shows like Andor, which likewise focuses on themes of sacrifice and rebellion.
More: With Andor, Disney Finally Learns The Right Lessons From The Last Jedi