Use The Force

Rogue Squadron movie logo confirms its place in the Star Wars timeline

The 2023 Star Wars movie is pushing the sequel era further into its future.

Lucasfilm/Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

Patty Jenkins is going to a galaxy far, far away as the director of Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 helms the 2023 movie Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. The spaceship-focused film is mostly a mystery, but the logo for the movie actually reveals something big about the movie: its timeline.

What Happened? — On December 10, Disney announced a load of new Star Wars projects, including new shows for Disney+ and theatrical films. One of the biggest announcements was Rogue Squadron, a new movie centered around X-Wing fighter pilots. The name "Rogue Squadron" is famously the division of starfighters led by Luke Skywalker in the Rebel Alliance, and named after Jyn Erso's group, who stole the Death Star blueprints in 2016's Rogue One.

In the announcement video, Jenkins revealed that she is the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and long sought to do a fighter pilot movie. But she couldn't find the right story, until now.

Shadowed in Red — Little else is known about Rogue Squadron, including its main characters and even its plot. But one revealing piece about the movie lies hidden in its logo. Shadowed in a red silhouette is a T-85 X-Wing, the new generation of X-Wing ships that are used in the New Republic era, and seen in movies like 2015's The Force Awakens, 2017's The Last Jedi, and 2019's The Rise of Skywalker.

In other words, 2023's Rogue Squadron may very well continue the story of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, perhaps taking place just before, during, or after the era of the New Republic.

Update 12/23 — A number of you have reached out to me on Twitter, and once on LinkedIn, to tell me that the X-Wing in the Rogue Squadron logo is, in fact, a T-65B X-Wing and not a T-85. I was fooled by the shape of the turbines; it looked strikingly like a T-85 due to the illusion of a "half-circle" caused by the negative space in the lettering. Having looked at sketches of the separate X-Wings side-by-side with the movie logo, I have to concede: I was wrong. I've been betrayed by typeface.

The original article continues below.

The logo of 2023's Rogue Squadron.Lucasfilm

Why This Matters — Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy actually confirmed that Rogue Squadron will push the Star Wars story forward. During the Investor Day preview, Kennedy said that the film will introduce "a new generation of starfighters" and "will move us into a future era of the galaxy."

But the use of the name "Rogue Squadron" is an interesting one most closely associated with the era of the Original Trilogy thanks to a 1998 video game of the same name. That the title is being used in the New Republic/Sequel Trilogy era should be a fascinating reveal.

As a Rebel Alliance division, the Rogue Squadron was most active during the Galactic Civil War. After the fall of Endor, the Rogue Squadron were still around but fell out of use, and eventually dissolved. (As someone who doesn't keep up with too much expanded Star Wars media, I invite more knowledgeable experts to correct me on Twitter if I'm wrong.)

Star Wars: Squadrons, a spiritual successor to the popular Rogue Squadron video games, were released in October 2020.EA Games

Meanwhile, the name "Rogue Squadron" has also belonged to plenty of other non-cinematic Star Wars media, including books and a popular video game franchise. Patty Jenkins told IGN in an interview that Rogue Squadron will not adapt any specific book or video game but are inspired by them. “We're doing something original with great influence from the games and the books,” Jenkins said. “There's a lot of things being acknowledged and understood about the greatness of all of those things, but yes, it's an original story and I'm so psyched to do it."

The Inverse Analysis — However you want to call it, the "return" of Rogue Squadron will be a lot of fun for Star Wars fans as the future of Star Wars pays homage to its past. For many millennials, the name "Rogue Squadron" is closely associated with the popular video games, which has also made a spiritual comeback in 2020 in Star Wars: Squadrons. When Jenkins' film finally arrives in 2023, you can bet that every generation of Star Wars fans will be unified.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron will be released in theaters in 2023.