As we approach December the hype for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story continues to grow with fans excited to see the first of the Star Wars Anthology films which offer cool diversions to the main Skywalker saga. With Disney firmly behind Star Wars, the film series is going down the path of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with all the films set to be released in the next few years already in some state of development with a release date to match. We already know that the next anthology film will be the untitled Han Solo movie and Lucasfilm no doubt know what the next couple after that will be. One problem with planning that far ahead in the release schedule is that it seemingly doesn’t account for a sequel to any of the projects. What if Rogue One is a huge success critically and commercially with audiences latching onto the characters and wanting to see more only for Lucasfilm to have already moved on to the next story? And will the events of Rogue One actually warrant a sequel?
I know what you’re thinking. That there already is a sequel to Rogue One and it’s called Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and to a degree that’s true. A New Hope concludes the narrative of the stolen Death Star plans and the space station itself but it isn’t a sequel in terms of characters. None of the core cast of Rogue One characters appear in Episode IV and while I’m of the same mindset of numerous fans, that most of the said Rogue One characters will die before the movie ends, I don’t think all of them will. With only the small amount of information we are currently privy to I wouldn’t want to guess who survives only that some, or maybe just one, will because there are other ways of explaining why certain characters weren’t involved in the events of Episode IV than that they died. If this turns out to be true then there is more than enough precedence for a sequel, although the title Rogue Two wouldn’t work because it was already a call sign for a Snowspeeder pilot in The Empire Strikes Back.
So what should a Rogue One sequel be about? The obvious answer is the theft of the plans of the second Death Star seen in Return of the Jedi but that’s only one possibility. While Mon Mothma clearly states in Jedi that many Bothans died to bring the Death Star II information to the Rebel Alliance that doesn’t mean that it was just Bothans involved in the mission and so the Rogue One survivors could still be involved in the mission. While this idea might seem as if the sequel would be very similar to Rogue One that wouldn’t necessarily be the case because the Bothan mission wasn’t actually for the plans to the second Death Star but instead was to find out its location and the Emperor actually wanted the Rebels to find the Death Star this time.
The second Death Star does seem a bit too obvious of a direction of a potential sequel however. Rogue One looks to be, and has been described as, a war film and so a sequel could purely focus on this aspect rather than a chase for yet another macguffin. I’d love to see it set just after the events of Return of the Jedi, bookending the original trilogy with the two Rogue One movies, and featuring the Rogue One survivors fighting a battle against the remnants of the Empire after the destruction of the second Death Star. From canon novels like Aftermath and Lost Stars and the comic book Shattered Empire we know that the war continued for several months before the Galactic Concordance was signed bringing peace to the galaxy. Maybe the movie could occur around the Battle of Jakku which was the biggest of said battles and was actually the last before the treaty was signed. The Battle of Jakku has been vaguely described in a number of canon materials and is set to be further explored in next year’s conclusion the Aftermath trilogy of novels written by Check Wendig. Movie fans are also familiar with the battle with the battleground heavily featured in The Force Awakens.
If Lucasfilm truly is moving on with other film projects without considering a movie sequel to Rogue One then there are a variety of other formats in which the story could be told. While I would prefer a movie there are some tremendously talented writers in the Lucasfilm family who could tell such a story as a novel or even a comic book. Even an animated miniseries would be an interesting idea or, if the rumours of a live action Netflix or ABC show are real, then maybe live action. Do you think there could be a sequel to Rogue One? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about Star Was on Twitter @kylebrrtt.