March 14, 2024
by Bespin Bulletin

Just when you thought Lucasfilm had moved on from the slate of films they announced in 2020, Patty Jenkins, the director tapped to direct Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, reveals that she’s currently working on the movie and that she struck a deal with Lucasfilm for the movie ahead of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that ran from last Spring into the Fall.

In December 2020, Jenkins was announced to be helming a Star Wars movie titled, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, as she skated on roller blades and donned an X-Wing pilot’s helmet on an airstrip, she was revealed to have a movie in active development and that it was slated to hit the big screen, the first since 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, on December 22nd, 2023. That date has since come and gone, there was no Rogue Squadron, and we fans still await the next Star Wars theatrical release, which appears to be The Mandalorian and Grogu which starts filming in June, but Lucasfilm being Lucasfilm have yet to confirm a release date for the movie, despite having an untitled Star Wars movie dated May 2026, and have stated The Mandalorian and Grogu will lead their theatrical slate.

Jenkins exited Rogue Squadron less than a year after she chucked on those roller blades and the film was indefinitely delayed. Some fans and unreliable outlets reported that Jenkins was let go because of the negative response to Wonder Woman 1984 which released just a couple of weeks after she was announced to be directing Rogue Squadron. This wasn’t the case and it was reported as such from more reliable outlets, she simply had to leave the project due to a commitment she had on a third Wonder Woman film, which Warner Bros had pushed up, so she was obligated to work on that project first.

In the months and years that followed, it had been reported multiple times that the Rogue Squadron film from Jenkins was dead and that Lucasfilm had moved on. Just last year at Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm announced three brand new films, a film that would focus on Rey Skywalker attempting to create a new Jedi academy, a crossover event film from Dave Filoni that would see The Mandalorian and connected series converged in this one movie, and a film that would explore the origins of the Jedi from James Mangold. Less than a year later, Lucasfilm announced The Mandalorian and Grogu, a follow-up movie to Disney’s hit series, The Mandalorian. It appeared as if Lucasfilm had moved on from Rogue Squadron and have their hands full with a bevy of Star Wars films in various phases of development.

This brings us to present day where Patty Jenkins appeared on the TCM and Max (the streaming service formally known as HBO Max) podcast, Talking Pictures. During Jenkins’ chat, the topic of her seemingly defunct Star Wars project, Rogue Squadron, was brought up, with Jenkins surprising listeners by revealing that she had signed a deal with Lucasfilm to develop the movie just ahead of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, that she’s currently working on the movie, and that she owes Lucasfilm a new draft of the script. Jenkins said;


I left Star Wars [Rogue Squadron] to do ‘Wonder Woman 3.’ I went and started working on that and we talked [Patty and Lucasfilm] about that and me maybe coming back to Star Wars after ‘Wonder Woman 3.’ So we did a deal for that to happen, started a deal, but I was doing ‘Wonder Woman 3.’ So then when ‘Wonder Woman 3’ went away, Lucasfilm and I were like, ‘Oh, we gotta finish this deal.’ We finished the deal right as the [Writers Guild of America] strike was beginning, so I now owe a draft of Star Wars [Rogue Squadron]. So we’ll see what happens there, like who knows, it’s a hard job, they have a hard job in front of them of what’s the first movie they’re going to do. They have other directors who have been working, but I am now – I am back on doing ‘Rogue Squadronand we’ll see what happens. We need to develop it and get it to a place where we’re both super happy with it.

The news of Patty striking a deal with Lucasfilm less than a year ago and that she is still working on the project is certainly a surprise, especially given the studios focus on a The Mandalorian and Grogu along with the untitled Rey Skywalker film in particular. When asked if she was excited to be working on Star Wars again, Jenkins seemed thrilled. The Wonder Woman filmmaker stressed at how beautiful the franchise is and her enthusiasm for wanting to make a film around fighter pilots, in particular due to her interest in jets from the nineteen seventies and eighties. Jenkins said;

Absolutely. Star Wars is beautiful. The emotion of Star Wars and what it stands for is something so beautiful in this world. It particularly, in the moment that we’re in right now, Star Wars was born out of World War Two, right? It’s born out of how do you make a metaphor and talk in metaphor. So, in that way I’ve always wanted to make a fighter pilot movie, it’s been a dream of mine. I always had a hard time with it because I’m in love with the Jets of the seventies and eighties, but that’s not where the great dogfight stories are. So ‘Wonder Woman’, sorry, Star Wars, becomes a great playground for that. Star Wars is so beautiful. So, yes, if I can do something beautiful and do something that serves that [Star Wars] audience and it’s great, then I’d love to do it, of course.”

Though Jenkins seems to be very enthused, I’m personally not holding out much hope for seeing Rogue Squadron on the big screen. There’s multiple films connected to The Mandalorian being developed, the New Jedi Order Rey film, among others that seem to have more steam and to be a priority for the studio. We have a plethora of Star Wars films in various forms of development and we’ve not had one on the big screen in five years, and won’t see one on the big screen for at least another two. I don’t see Lucasfilm committing to all of these movies, nor do I want them to. At the time of writing we have The Mandalorian and Grogu, New Jedi Order, Dawn of the Jedi, the MandoVerse crossover film, possibly a follow-up to a MandoVerse crossover film, a movie being directed by Shawn Levy that might be a follow-up film to New Jedi Order, an untitled film by Taika Waititi that we know nothing about, Lando being written by Lando Calrissian himself – Donald Glover, and Rogue Squadron.

What I do hope for Rogue Squadron is that it becomes a multi-season series or a limited series for Disney+. Having Jenkins on as a director for an episode or two along with being an executive producer sounds great to me. The Mandalorian is seemingly moving away from the small screen and onto the big, Andor ends with its next season, there seems to be no plans for second seasons of The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and we don’t know how the upcoming The Acolyte and Skeleton Crew will fare. Either way, there’s some Star Wars shaped holes to be filled on Disney+, and I’d be happy to see Rogue Squadron on the service.

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