Along with the giant mystery of the plot to the seventh installment of the Star Wars saga comes the mystery to what is the first standalone Star Wars film, being directed by Gareth Edwards? Well, on March 12th, 2015 the answer to that mystery was revealed. The first standalone film is called Rogue One and Felicity Jones has been cast. They have also revealed that the idea for the story comes from John Knoll, a special effects supervisor who is no stranger to the Galaxy Far Far Away.
So with the reveal of the title, a million Star Wars fans cried out in joy and were suddenly silenced when we realized, "OK...but what's the story?" For as much as they revealed on that March day, we still don't know much about it. But that won't stop me from speculating.
What the Title Rogue One Implies
What diehard fans know, that casual viewers may not be familiar with, is the implication of the title. Rogue Squadron or Rogue Group refers to the team of starfighters on the Rebel Alliance. It's safe to say that this film will focus on the starfighters, that don't really get nearly as much focus in the films. Now depending on the time period, the story could be many different things. So let's look at each and try to speculate what stories they could be trying to tell.
The fact that it is Rogue One seems to imply that it may tell the beginning of Rogue Squadron. Will we get to see the formation of the Rebel Alliance? Could we get to meet familiar characters such as Biggs and Wedge? Could we also be seeing the acquiring of the Death Star plans that would eventually reach Princess Leia? We still have not been given a name to the character that Felicity Jones is playing. We assume that she's the star, but you know what they say about making asumptions. The Princess Leia comic that was recently released showed us a few female pilots, perhaps she could be one of them? Which brings me to my next time period.
I haven't quite seen this being speculated yet, but I'm going to put this idea out there. Since the Original Trilogy didn't spend all that much time focusing on the Rogues, and focused instead more on our core group of characters, perhaps we could be seeing those events from their point of view. Perhaps we could even see run-ins with Luke, Han and Leia and see what the pilots think of our heroes, whether they be favorable opinions or not.
Between Episode 6 and 7
Part of the reason that Lucasfilm/Disney is remaining so mum about this story could be that the plot details are spoilers for The Force Awakens or other Star Wars properties. So EU fans may be familiar with the role that Rogue Squadron played after the Battle of Endor. We could be seeing a story similar to those beloved stories where we see the Rogues lead by Wedge Antilles, battling the remnants of the Empire. The possibility for this time period really is boundless, especially since we know close to nothing about this time period in the current canon.
Lucasfilm/Disney have also promised a cohesiveness to their cinematic universe comparable only to the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Could we be seeing films that take place concurrently and reference eachother? Remember that the release date for Rogue One is December 2016 and 6 months later we'll be getting Episode VIIII in theaters. Could this film tie directly into the succeeding film? I suppose we'll find out sooner or later, but it's safe to say we've taken our first step into a larger world.
What do you think Rogue One will be? What do you want it to be? Since Star Wars has always been many different elements put into one, does making the standalone films deviate from our favorite space opera? Does having a Star Wars film every year, with animated shows, novels, and comics run the risk of oversaturation? Leave a comment below and let's talk about it.