Culture on My Mind
Rogue Squadron Grounded
November 22, 2021
I’ve seen various reports about the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron movie to be directed by Wonder Woman alum Patty Jenkins. The more reputable sites are saying that movie is merely delayed while others are reporting that the film is shelved indefinitely due to “creative differences” and friction with Lucasfilm.
Either way, this makes the third (at least) film project in the galaxy far, far away that is delayed, following trilogies by Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and the David Benioff/D.B. Weiss duo (Game of Thrones).
The film by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) is still on the books.
Honestly, considering the immense popularity of starfighter titles in Star Wars history and the success of television for the franchise, this might be for the best.
In 1993, LucasArts released a space flight simulator game called Star Wars: X-Wing. It placed the player in the cockpit dogfighting against the Empire. It was followed by TIE Fighter, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, and X-Wing Alliance, along with several expansion packs. These titles advanced the stories of the galactic jet jocks and their missions.
Between 1996 and 2012, authors Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston crafted a ten-book series about the adventures of Rogue and Wraith Squadrons. This series still stands as a major milestone and fan favorite in the former Expanded Universe, divorcing readers from the Skywalkers and the Force and exploring the world of aviators. Michael Stackpole also had explored this territory a year earlier with the 35-issue comic book series Star Wars: X-Wing – Rogue Squadron. That series also included the 2005 prequel X-Wing – Rogue Squadron, which tells the story of Luke Skywalker’s departure from the fighter team.
The Prequel Era also got involved with 2001’s Star Wars: Starfighter and 2002’s Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter.
The tales of Star Wars fighter squadrons are immensely popular. It’s evident thanks to nineteen years of books, comics, and video games that the stories are easily serialized. I think that Lucasfilm would be better served by putting Rogue Squadron on television, treating an eight to ten-episode stretch as a novel length presentation in a continuing series of missions against the Empire, Imperial Remnant, or First Order. The stories of these pilot heroes are better served by long-form serialization instead of one-shot film treatments.
The room exists in the Star Wars legend and has potential for many years on Disney+ as the pilot roster can naturally shift. It’s also a great chance to explore the galaxy without lightsabers, Jedi, and the Force.
Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.
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