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Patty Jenkins on 'big brew' of influences behind Rogue Squadron, pressure to get Star Wars right

By Matthew Jackson
Patty Jenkins

Last year, amid a flurry of news from the Walt Disney Company's Investor Day presentation, Star Wars fans learned that Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins would move from the DCEU to a galaxy far, far away for Rogue Squadron, a film that celebrates the pilots of the Star Wars universe and fulfills Jenkins' own wish to make a great fighter pilot movie.

Not long after that announcement, Jenkins moved into full-on promotional mode for Wonder Woman 1984's holiday season release, and we haven't heard much about Rogue Squadron since. Now, Jenkins has opened up a little about the project, its influences, and the pressure she feels to get it right.

Speaking to the Associated Press in a just-released video you can view over at their Twitter account, Jenkins stressed once again that while it's named for the legendary Rebel Alliance squadron depicted in various Expanded Universe novels and games, her Rogue Squadron will be focused on telling a new story for movie audiences. Still, that doesn't mean she's leaving those influences completely behind.

"I think the Michael Stackpole books, and the video game, and all the Rogue Squadron books, I think they all have...there's an incredible history that it's really important to honor," Jenkins said. "And yet, it must be brought to a new age because we have to tell a new story with it, and so you're trying to blend the best of everything and make it the great fighter pilot movie which I've always wanted to make as well. It's a big brew of things that you're trying to put together and still keep a very simple story."

Beginning in 1996, novelist Michael A. Stackpole chronicled the post-Battle of Endor adventures of Rogue Squadron with the X-Wing series of novels, which followed Wedge Antilles and his team of crack pilots as they fought the remnants of the Empire and helped to establish the New Republic. The novels were a cornerstone of the early years of the Star Wars Expanded Universe book series, and remain fan favorites, so it's natural that Jenkins would name drop them in connection with her own Rogue Squadron story.

But of course, just as her Wonder Woman film was not a direct adaptation of any one comic book, Rogue Squadron is not a direct adaptation of any one pre-existing Star Wars story, and yet there will be plenty of things fans are looking for in Jenkins' vision. It creates, as she acknowledged, a certain amount of pressure, but it's the kind of pressure she's faced before.

"It's a huge amount of pressure, and Wonder Woman was a huge amount of pressure as well, so it's not a totally new feeling to me, but yeah. Definitely nerve-wracking."

Rogue Squadron is set to hit theaters Christmas Day of 2023, but it's not the only major genre project Jenkins is working on at the moment. Just weeks after her Star Wars film was announced, Warner Bros. Pictures revealed that she'll also be re-teaming with star Gal Gadot for a third Wonder Woman adventure.