SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains absolutely massive spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. If you have not yet seen the film, and don't wish to know any details about the ending, please save this page, click away to another one of our wonderful articles, and return after your screening!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fills in a lot of interesting holes and gaps in the larger canon of the sci-fi franchise. Because of the film, we know why the Death Star has such an obvious flaw; how the plans ended up in the hands of Princess Leia; why it was that Obi-wan Kenobi was called into action; and the explanation for Jyn Erso & Co.'s absence from the original trilogy. Within Rogue One, these are all fairly obvious and deliberate, but there is another possible interesting consequence that the movie conceivably has on the series continuity: it could explain why the group Luke Skywalker leads in the beginning of Empire Strikes Back is called Rogue Squadron.
Before Lucasfilm was sold to Disney back in October 2012, Rogue Squadron was a big deal in the Star Wars extended canon, noted as the group featuring the elite pilots of the Rebel Alliance (led by the survivors from the Battle of Yavin -- Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles). That being said, its origins have always been tied back to the Battle of Hoth in Empire Strikes Back, and the name of the team has never really been given an explanation. Now that we've seen Rogue One, however, it makes a hell of a lot of sense that Rogue Squadron is named for the group of brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives so that the Rebels could get their first victory against the Empire.
The relationship between Rogue One and Rogue Squadron further makes sense when you consider the timeline of events between Gareth Edwards' movie, A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. The Star Wars Story is built to perfectly dovetail with the 1977 classic, and one thing you'll note reflecting on George Lucas' first Star Wars movie is that it's story is extremely simple (between the time on Tatooine, the Death Star and the Battle of Yavin, it's maybe 3-4 days). In the period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, it makes all kinds of sense that the Rebels would take a second to honor Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, Bodhi Rook, and the rest of the Rogue One crew by naming an elite unit after them.
Admittedly this is purely speculation, and a comic book may be released this week that totally undermines this theory -- but it's part of the fun of being a Star Wars fan, trying to fit all of the puzzle pieces together. Do you think I'm way off track, or do you think this makes a reasonable amount of sense? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts!