With Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron movie set to hit theaters in 2021, a lot of familiar Star Wars faces could be getting ready for a proper return. While few details about the project have been revealed, the story will focus on the eponymous team of elite Rebel pilots that first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back. In all likelihood, that means a return to the original trilogy timeline and the possible resurgence of some characters from across the Star Wars mythos.
Canonically, Rogue Squadron was formed by Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles after the Battle of Yavin. As the only two surviving members of Red Squadron, the two opted for a new name under which to rally incoming pilots. Luke chose the name to honor Jyn Erso and the other members of Rogue One who sacrificed their lives to make the destruction of the Death Star possible. The squadron flew with Luke commanding it as Rogue Leader through the Battle of Hoth. Afterwards, when Luke went to train as a Jedi on Dagobah, Wedge took over the command.
While plenty of stories were told about Rogue Squadron in the Star Wars Legends timeline, a lot less is known about their operations in the current canon. That leaves a lot of options open for the upcoming movie to potentially explore. Story and casting details likely won’t be revealed for some time, but there are a few characters – both major and minor – who seem primed to return.
As the leader of Rogue Squadron for much of its lifespan, bringing Wedge Antilles back for the movie seems like a sure thing. Wedge has been the star of numerous adventures and dangerous Rebel operations in the Star Wars books, comics, and video games, though many of those escapades are no longer canon. Other members of the team who appeared in the films could return as well – like Zev Senesca and Dak Ralter – but Wedge is an absolute necessity.
That means recasting the role of course. Denis Lawson excelled in the role in all three original trilogy films and even came back for a cameo in The Rise of Skywalker, but a younger actor will be necessary for a starring role in Rogue Squadron. Disney hasn’t hesitated to recast more major Star Wars characters in the past, however, and they could certainly find someone fitting to carry Wedge’s legacy into the future.
While not part of the original trilogy, Hera Syndulla is nonetheless one of the Rebellion’s best pilots from before the Battle of Yavin to after Battle of Endor, but her story during the events of the original trilogy have yet to be told. Whether or not she was ever a proper part of Rogue Squadron, she surely knew, flew with, and fought alongside its members. We already know she commanded some of Rogue Squadron’s pilots both in the early days of the Rebellion - as a part of Phoenix Squadron -and after the fall of the Empire a prior relationship with the team seems likely.
Hera has yet to appear in a live-action capacity, but that hasn’t stopped Disney from bringing back characters before. The Mandalorian has seen high success casting previously animated characters, with Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka Tano both making the jump to positive responses. Hera could be the next character to be brought over into live-action, and Rogue Squadron would be the perfect way to do it.
Any story involving Rogue Squadron will also involve the leaders of the Rebellion, none of whom are more iconic than Mon Mothma. Mothma served as the de facto leader of the Alliance throughout most of its fight against Palpatine’s regime and even went on to become the first chancellor of the New Republic after the Empire’s defeat.
As Rogue Squadron ran some of the Rebellion’s most important missions, they likely would have been in contact with Mothma quite a bit. Plus, the character has already been recast for the modern Star Wars era, having been played by Genevieve O'Reilly in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. O’Reilly could reprise her role as Mon Mothma, potentially alongside other Rebel leaders like Generals Crix Madine and Carlist Rieekan.
One of the biggest questions about Jenkins’s Rogue Squadron is what role Luke Skywalker will play in it. As the founder of the team and its commander through a good portion of its existence, it seems impossible to remove him from the story completely. Depending on the movie’s particular setting and angle, however, Luke could be anything from a brief cameo to the central protagonist of the entire film.
Again, the trouble here is recasting the iconic character, though on that front Disney may have an easy way out. Many Star Wars fans have been calling for Sebastian Stan to take up the role of Luke in future projects – a prospect the actor himself has openly endorsed. With Mark Hamill officially done with the character, Rogue Squadron could be the perfect time to put someone new in the role.
A bit of a dark horse pick for this list, the fan-favorite fighter from The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels could make a surprise appearance in Rogue Squadron. Canonically, Captain Rex survived the duration of Rebels and the rest of the Galactic Civil War, participating in countless campaigns including the Battle of Endor. He’s a beloved character who’s yet to be brought to live-action, and he could easily be written into any new plot centering Rebel soldiers.
A Rex return seems more probable now than ever, as Temuera Morrison has come back to the Star Wars universe to play Boba Fett in The Mandalorian. Morrison played Jango Fett and all his clones through the prequel trilogy, and he’s often expressed his love for the franchise and his role within it. His version of Boba has been widely celebrated by fans, and that success could lead to him playing a live-action Captain Rex in Rogue Squadron.
Who would you like to see make an appearance in Rogue Squadron? Share your thoughts with us @RegalMovies.