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Among a few major announcements about the newly-reinvigorated Star Wars franchise, it appears that the upcoming first spinoff film has finally been given a title – and it’s one that longtime fans in mourning over Disney's canonical kiboshing of the Expanded Universe (including comics and novels) will be pleased to hear: Rogue One!
With one subtle word of "Rogue" in the title, it becomes clear to die-hards that this film will focus on the long-storied Rogue Squadron of Rebel pilots depicted in comic books, novels and even a popular, groundbreaking series of video games. Now, Godzilla director, Gareth Edwards takes the cockpit of this proverbial X-Wing of a film and confirmed star, Felicity Jones is reportedly locked into the cast. But what should the film actually be about? We have a few ideas…
We’re well aware that Disney won’t adhere to all of these stories strictly, but it is possible to find a narrative framework on which to build. So, with that said, here are five established plots that the film could use.
5. Princess Plourr Ilo Leaves Royalty To Fight ImperialsAs far as the 1996 storyline in Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Warrior Princess was concerned, Leia wasn’t the only princess who gave up the good life of luxury and worship to go fight the Empire. Enter Princess Isplourrdacartha Estillo, usually referred to simply as Plourr Ilo. This young royal whose family once ruled the Ado sector of the galaxy, was forced to sit back and witness her Monarch grandfather overthrown by sympathizers to the Galactic Empire. Slowly but surely, she witnessed her kingdom’s sovereignty hemorrhaging away until it was just another glorified garrison.
Sporting a signature shaved head, the resourceful former princess was forced into exile until being recruited by Rebel pilot, Wedge Antilles into joining the forces of the Rebellion. A warrior and skilled pilot in her own right, Plourr Ilo becomes and invaluable member of the Rogue Squadron, befriends a female Mon Calamari Rogue named Ibitsam (Pictured above) and even participates in a mission to rescue Princess Leia from a gang of pirates. That’s movie gold!
4. The Continuing Story of Hera From Star Wars RebelsThe animated series Star Wars Rebels was the first real bit of official franchise material produced in the post-Disney takeover era of the legendary sci-fi franchise. That means that it should be considered canon, which could be extremely useful in that it could inspire a feature-length story about Hera Syndulla, the bright-eyed, green-skinned female Twi’lek pilot of the freighter ship Ghost that the Rebels gang essentially calls home. The show, which takes place in the period between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope is fast-paced, leaving little time for character exploration outside of the main protagonist in thief-turned Jedi Padawan, Ezra Bridger. Of course, that could change in a big way if she were to be a big part of Rogue One
There is obviously plenty of canonical wiggle room to explore in a live-action film focusing on the possible future of Hera, who has already been depicted on the show as being a vital part of the early days of the Rebellion. Having Felicity Jones play her in a film about the burgeoning Rogue Squadron during the Original Trilogy era war against the Empire would be a smart bit of property parlaying.
3. Corran Horn Goes From Cop To JediOf all the characters in the now-abandoned Expanded Universe of novels and comic books, Corran Horn may possess the deepest catalogue of non-canon adventures this side of the Outer Rim. Horn’s story arc starts as a simple constabulary; a member of a security force for Correllia, the planet where the Millennium Falcon was manufactured. However, he would experience a huge shift in life after he would run afoul of the Galactic Empire. A skilled pilot and a crafty warrior, he would escape imprisonment and eventually wind up with the Rebellion, joining Rogue Squadron.
However, that’s not even scratching the surface of his story. Apparently, he is also sensitive to The Force, and his begins a training regimen at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Temple, becoming somewhat of a rough-around-the-edges type of lightsaber-swinging Jedi who finds himself in all sorts of exotic galactic adventures, complete with the obligatory romancing of alien babes and even a smuggler princess.
2. Getting To Know Wedge AntillesAs far as characters in the Star Wars canon go, Wedge Antilles came in on the ground floor with his appearance in the very first film in 1977, Episode IV: A New Hope. A perennial member of the Rogue Squadron, Wedge participated in all of the Original Trilogy’s major dog fights, from the Battle Yavin alongside Luke Skywalker and Biggs Darklighter down the Death Star trench, to downing an Imperial AT-AT in the Battle of Hoth, to the "trap" of a battle over Endor to destroy the Second Death Star. He survived all of those predicaments.
However, his backstory depiction in the Expanded Universe is riddled with tragedy. An orphan, his course towards the Rebellion was set at the age of 17 when his girlfriend was killed by rampaging Imperials. Fortunately, his unkillable status in the films would be repeated in the EU area, as he has been depicted in loads of adventures and ended up marrying a sexy super-spy for the Rebels named Iella Wessiri after an intriguing courtship that could provide good narrative fodder for Rogue One. It’s also key to mention that the character has spent time as Rogue One himself, so it would absolutely fit to make him a key player in the new movie.
1. Shira Brie Becomes Sith Apprentice, LumiyaOf all the celebrated Expanded Universe characters, Shira Brie/Lumiya probably dates back the longest. She first appeared in Marvel’s Star Wars comic book series in late 1981. She was depicted as a beautiful up-and-coming Imperial spy and pilot who was tasked with infiltrating the Rebellion as a member of Rogue Squadron. Yet, despite her malevolent intentions, she distinguished herself with several acts of valor, seemingly burying herself in the part. However, her final act with the Rebels involved faking her death, making Luke Skywalker believe that he had accidentally killed her via his X-Wing.
She was gravely injured and scarred in this act of fraud, and was rescued by Darth Vader, who, recognizing that she was sensitive to The Force, had her reconstructed with cybernetic parts and rehabilitated - much like what had been done to him. Now calling herself Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith, she would serve as apprentice to Darth Vader. She would spend the rest of her days battling the Rebellion and Luke Skywalker in a much more deadly approach, armed with her signature lightwhip weapon which emits a pliable rope of energy to entangle her enemies.
Lumiya fell off the Expanded Universe map for well over decade before resurfacing in Dark Horse Comics in the 2000’s. A film focusing on her or an analogous character, filled with spy intrigue and dramatic moral conflict would play well amidst the array of galactic dogfights we’re sure to get in Rogue One.