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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is an odd entry in the Star Wars franchise, and not just because it's the first Anthology spinoff. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently confirmed that the movie would not receive a sequel (a.k.a. Rogue Two), which makes sense. Rogue One leads directly into A New Hope, and judging by the added emphasis on "Wars" in this story, many of the main characters will die. For a regular movie, this wouldn't be a problem, but since this is a Star Wars entry, moviegoers might want to see more of these characters afterwards. If Disney and Lucasfilm isn't willing to release a Rogue One follow-up, that makes it all the more important for them to continue following this corner of the Star Wars universe in other media, specifically books and comic books.
The 1978 novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye kicked off the Star Wars book line, and the comic books followed shortly afterwards. However, it was in the early 1990s that these types of tales really started to pick up traction. After all, this was when no Star Wars movies being released, and even as the prequels came and went, the books and comic books continued to provide tales to fans across all eras, from the Old Republic to decades after Return of the Jedi. Then in 2014, Lucasfilm announced that every piece of Star Wars media previously released that wasn't the main movies or the Clone Wars animated series would be categorized under the Legends banner, i.e. no longer in continuity with official Star Wars material. Now all Star Wars literature published (starting with A New Dawn) is canon, so why not take advantage of releasing more Rogue One stories in book or comic form to continue this particular saga?
If you think about it, even though Rogue One is closely tied to A New Hope, it's also the Star Wars movie that feels the most distant from the others since its main cast is mostly comprised of never-before-seen characters. This also puts a gap between it and the other spinoffs. The Han Solo movie is exploring the younger years of the smuggler we've known and loved for decades. The third spinoff hasn't been confirmed yet, but assuming it's about Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi or another established character, then it's following the same approach. Assuming Rogue One opens to the same kind of reviews The Force Awakens received last year, many casual moviegoers might walk out of the theater wondering if they'll see the surviving characters again. Well, that cinematic sequel isn't coming, but that's no reason to not provide other stories for consumption, especially since there have been plenty of novels and comic books in the past that haven't starred the main group of players from the trilogies.
It's not like this is an idea that hasn't already been played around with, either. Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel was published last month and has been received positively overall. The novel follows Orson Krennic and Galen Erso during the Clone Wars and the Empire's reign as the Death Star is slowly constructed. While it's not mandatory to read this before seeing Rogue One, it does enhance the story by exploring Orson and Galen's motivations, as well as Jyn Erso's childhood. The expansion doesn't have to stop with this one book.
There are plenty of directions to go for Rogue One stories in other media, both as prequels and follow-ups. If Jyn Erso survives the movie, let's follow her continuing to fight the good fight for the Rebellion. If Saw Gerrera dies during the story, let's read a Marvel comic book miniseries showing what he was up to between the Clone Wars and Rogue One. It would be fun to learn what Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus up to before being recruited on the Death Star mission. We're not saying that all of the main Rogue One players have to be seen again following the movie's conclusion, but it would be foolish for Lucasfilm not to consider publishing a few novels or comic books (or both) to give hardcore fans and casual viewers some extra Rogue One excitement they can enjoy.
What do you think? Should Lucasfilm continue to publish Rogue One books and comic books following the movie's release, or is it better to leave all this behind once the movie is released? Let us know what you think in the comments below.